Nature Centers

Missouri's nature and interpretive centers help you and your family connect with nature in a variety of ways.

  • Take a walk on an interpretive trail or nature trail.
  • Learn about wildlife through live exhibits.
  • Attend workshops or classes on a multitude of topics, including outdoor skills.

Nature Center Events

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 7:00am to 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join us for a rugged hike at Ketcherside Mountain Conservation Area. We’ll hike along Royal Gorge Natural Area and stop by Taum Sauk Mountain (Missouri’s highest point). Hike is 4 miles and rated moderate to difficult. Adult supervision required for ages 12-17.
Ask if you need transportation from the nature center sign up under "ride with us' event. Participants MUST dress appropriately for the weather and MUST wear sturdy shoes. Bring water, lunch, and any comfort items (insect repellant, hat, binoculars, and sunscreen). For specific questions, registrants may contact Dustin.. Will be canceled if severe weather or severe heat.

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 7:00am to 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join us for a rugged hike at Ketcherside Mountain Conservation Area. We’ll hike along Royal Gorge Natural Area and stop by Taum Sauk Mountain (Missouri’s highest point). Hike is 4 miles and rated moderate to difficult. Adult supervision required for ages 12-17.
Ask if you need transportation from the nature center sign up here. If caravanning with your own vehicle, sign up under "drive yourself" event. Participants MUST dress appropriately for the weather and MUST wear sturdy shoes. Bring water, lunch, and any comfort items (insect repellant, hat, binoculars, and sunscreen). For specific questions, registrants may contact Dustin.. Will be canceled if severe weather or severe heat.

Register by August 25

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required.
Meet at the nature center, drive to Clifty Creek Natural Area in Maries County, and hike one or two of the best trails. Bring your wading shoes and join us as we hike the natural bridge and wade along the creek exploring. Some transportation is provided, but carpooling may be necessary. Bring lunch, water, insect repellant, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and come dressed for the weather. Trail Length: 2.5 miles. Terrain: Easy
573-526-5544

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

In a busy world it is nice to take time out and do something with the family. So join us at Twin Pines for our annual Family Fish Day and enjoy sitting under the pines while you and the kids try for that "big one." You may even win a prize for your catch. We will also have a variety of other activities and hot dogs and lemonade, if you get hungry. For this event only, no Missouri fishing license is required.

Register by August 25

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Ages 12-adult. Online registration begins August 1.
Try your hand at woodcarving with members of the Southern Missouri Woodcarving Artists as they teach carving techniques and show how to transform wood into works of art.

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (ages 2+)
Join us for story hour as we lead you on fantastic nature adventures! We will meet birds, mammals and all sorts of magnificent creatures! We will cross rivers, discover mysteries within the forest and fly across the prairies. Our imaginations are the only limits.

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages)
What was that!? I think it was a bat! Nature has its own insect exterminators. One bat can eat around 1000 per night! Missouri’s bats play an important role in those memorable summer nights you enjoy. Come learn about these essential little winged critters.

Register by August 25

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Ages 10-adult. Online registration begins August 1.
Join Volunteer Naturalist Dana Tideman to learn about monarch butterfly conservation, their life cycle, and how to rear and tag them.

Date: Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

All ages. No registration required.
Visit with members of the Southern Missouri Woodcarving Artists as they share information with the “wood-be” carver, demonstrate carving techniques, and show works in progress.

Date: Sunday, August 26, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

All ages. No registration required.
Here is your chance to see a ruby-throated hummingbird up close! Join master hummingbird bander Sarah Driver to learn more about this winged jewel while attempting to capture some for banding.

Register by August 28

Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required.
In the heat of summer, the prairies are alive with flowers, insects, birds, and other wild animals. It may be hot out there, but we will learn a lot about the “cool” things on the prairie this month!
573-526-5544

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Humans have been fascinated with the arrival and departure of beautiful birds for thousands of years. Come learn how to identify the most common migrating birds in our area. We'll explore the Great Missouri Birding Trail and the opportunities for birding close to the city. Learn to use binoculars and a field guide as we take a birding hike on our trails.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages)
There are more than 300 fascinating species of spiders in Missouri! They can be camouflaged, furry or even brightly colored. Join us as we creep into the eight-legged world of spiders. We will learn about them inside then head out on a trail to see who is hanging around.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join us in celebrating vultures! Often overlooked or misunderstood, the vulture is an important player in human health! Stop by to enjoy our display and make a craft as you learn more about these helpful birds. Youth and adult groups welcome. We will not have a live bird.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 3-8; all welcome) Join volunteer naturalists for a fantastic journey through forests, streams and other magical places as they read select books. Children will participate in a hands-on nature activity.

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 3:00pm to Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 3:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages)
Discover what’s for dinner at Burr Oak Woods as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their feast every Wednesday and Saturday.

Register by September 5

Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Howls in the night, tracks in the mud . . . could it be a wolf? Missouri has far more coyotes and foxes, but a few wolves have been confirmed in Missouri. Researchers continue to learn more about how large predators can benefit Missouri and how to avoid conflicts with them. Conservation Department Wildlife Damage Biologist Tom Meister is joined by Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation, and Brian Chrysler, Director of Education with the world-renowned Endangered Wolf Center, to share fascinating information on the latest wolf research and findings.

Register by September 6

Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 3-6 years).
In a single bound, you can see them leap a tall fence, flash white in the blink of an eye, snort, grunt, and stamp their feet. Calling all little “dears” to learn about the life of a white-tailed deer.

Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

No registration required (all ages)
Ever wonder what it takes to keep all of the nature center reptiles, amphibians, and fish happy? Thanks to some amazing animal care volunteers, they are fed a delicious smorgasbord of crickets, worms, minnows, and more! Drop by to visit with the volunteers and staff as they feed the hungry critters. Youth and adult groups welcome.

Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

All ages. No registration required. We are partnering with the Missouri Mycological Society Springfield Chapter to bring Taylor Lockwood for a program covering highlights of his 34-year mushroom adventure career. See his new photos and animations of beautiful and bioluminescent mushrooms. He is the author of two books and several video programs including two popular educational mushroom DVDs The Mushroom Identification Trilogy and The Good, The Bad, and the Deadly. A book signing opportunity will follow his presentation.

Register by September 7

Date: Friday, September 7, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (For this program, you need one child in the 0-2 age range AND one child in the 3-6 age range).
In a single bound, you can see them leap a tall fence, flash white in the blink of an eye, snort, grunt, and stamp their feet. Calling all little “dears” to learn about the life of a white-tailed deer.

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 8:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (ages 12+ years).
Are you new to birding or a seasoned birder? Either way, join us for a friendly, team birding competition at Runge. See how many species of birds you and your team can find. Enter your own team or call Runge to join one of ours. This a great way to learn about birds and to meet other birders in the area. Binoculars and field guides will be provided for those that need them.

Register by September 7

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required on-line (families)
This is a great time of year to take your family fishing. We will teach some fishing basics, provide equipment and worms and then let you practice your new fishing skills. Kids who attend will be entered in a drawing at the end of the summer for a new fishing pole and tackle box.All family members participating must register. Participants will meet at the W. Robert Aylward Educational Pond.

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