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

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. All ages. Fireflies have intrigued and fascinated children and adults on countless summer evenings. Join Volunteer Naturalist Nancy Ryan to learn everything you ever wanted to know about nature’s “flashlights.” Bring your flashlight and join the fun.

Register by June 19

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required. Adults. Please call to register. Join our volunteer-led program designed to provide opportunities for people to hike Missouri trails and learn about our plants, animals, and natural communities. Meet at the nature center, drive to Van Meter State Park, in Saline County, and hike one or two of the best trails. Some transportation is provided, but carpooling may be necessary. Bring lunch, water, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and come dressed for the weather. Trail Length: 5 miles. Terrain: Moderate inclines and/or occasional rocks/roots. 573.526.5544

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a short hike (weather allowing) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We’ll make a “flowery” craft to take home. Please no organized groups.

Register by June 21

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Adults. Registration required.
One of the most versatile and easy to recognize flowers, the violet, is the subject of the sixth block in the series, Birds and Blooms. Join us as we discuss how these beautiful, little flowers play a big role in Missouri’s natural world. 573.526.5544

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. Ages 3-6. Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a short hike (weather allowing) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We’ll make a “flowery” craft to take home. Please no organized groups.

Register by June 21

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Adults. Registration required.
One of the most versatile and easy to recognize flowers, the violet, is the subject of the sixth block in the series, Birds and Blooms. Join us as we discuss how these beautiful, little flowers play a big role in Missouri’s natural world. 573.526.5544

Register by June 21

Date: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 7:30am to 3:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Online registration begins June 1. Ages 12-17. Come and enjoy trout fishing, and a fish fry at Roaring River State Park and Conservation Area. We will fly fish or spin fish in our own privately stocked trout pool in the morning and then learn how to clean and fry trout for lunch. So, make plans to join us for a great outdoor experience. Transportation provided.

Date: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Groups of ten or more please call (314) 301-1500 to reserve a place for your group.
Participants will visit the different stations at their own pace. Indoor and outdoor activities are available.
After a morning of fun, cool off from the summer heat while enjoying a nature film at 1pm.

Register by June 21

Date: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 8:30pm to 10:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required. Ages 8+ years, children accompanied by an adult. Please call to register. Spark your interest in fireflies by joining us for Firefly Watch, a citizen-science driven project. Fly in and explore the life of lightning bugs as we observe and count fireflies. Learn about this project and what you can do to help monitor these spectacular, flashing insects in your own backyard. 573.526.5544

Register by June 23

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Who is buzzing around those flowers? A bee! Come learn about the buzzy bees and why they’re so busy. We’ll head out to our front garden to see bees in action. Ages 0-2. Registration begins June 1.

Register by June 23

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 9:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Adults Registration required.
Seeds play a vital role in plant reproduction. Certain seeds might stick to your clothes. Others are distributed by the wind and twirl to earth. Animals and birds also play an important role in dispersing seeds. Join us as we paint dandelions using recycled paper. Please dress appropriately for painting. 573.526.5544

Register by June 23

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Who is buzzing around those flowers? A bee! Come learn about the buzzy bees and why they’re so busy. We’ll head out to our front garden to see bees in action. Ages 0-2. Registration begins June 1.

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

All ages. No registration required. Just below our feet lies an exciting world of insects. Come explore the Runge area with insect nets and bug viewers! There will be lobby activities, games, crafts, and insect investigation groups exploring Runge! 573.526.5544

Register by June 23

Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Adults Registration required.
Seeds play a vital role in plant reproduction. Certain seeds might stick to your clothes. Others are distributed by the wind and twirl to earth. Animals and birds also play an important role in dispersing seeds. Join us as we paint dandelions using recycled paper. Please dress appropriately for painting. 573.526.5544

Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 8:30am to 1:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

No registration required. All ages. Do your trees have disease or insect problems? Bring infected twigs (at least 12” long), branches, or leaves to Urban Foresters for identification and a solution to your tree problems. Stop by anytime.

Register by June 26

Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 9:00am to Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Early registration begins May 15 (ages 7-11) Registration will be -ONLINE-
Child must attend both days.
Are you curious about the outside world? Come see if you have what it takes to be a naturalist! We’ll explore the plants and animals of Missouri as we do fun outdoor activities. Join us for a nature adventure and hone your naturalist skills!

Register by June 26

Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. Ages 0-2 years. These beautiful orange butterflies make a long and dangerous journey as they migrate across North America. Fly in to learn what makes the monarch butterfly so loved and so marvelous! Reservations required. 573.526.5544

Register by June 28

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 9:00am to Friday, June 29, 2018 - 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Early registration begins May 15 (ages 7-11) Registration will be -ONLINE-
Child must attend both days.
Are you curious about the outside world? Come see if you have what it takes to be a naturalist! We’ll explore the plants and animals of Missouri as we do fun outdoor activities. Join us for a nature adventure and hone your naturalist skills!

Register by June 28

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Call to register. For this program, you need one child in the 0-2 years age range AND one child in the 3-6 years age range. These beautiful orange butterflies make a long and dangerous journey as they migrate North America. Fly in to learn what makes the monarch butterfly so loved and so marvelous! Reservations required. 573.526.5544

Register by June 28

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 8:00pm to 9:15pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Online registration begins June 1. Ages 7-12. Those tiny specks of light that spark our imagination every summer are back! Bring your flashlight for some games and join the action for a special look at nature’s own “festival of lights” with Volunteer Naturalist Nancy Ryan. Please, no younger siblings and only one adult per group of kids.

Date: Friday, June 29, 2018 - 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Groups of ten or more please call (314) 301-1500 to reserve a place for your group.
Participants will visit the different stations at their own pace. Indoor and outdoor activities are available.
After a morning of fun, cool off from the summer heat while enjoying a nature film at 1pm.

Register by June 29

Date: Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required. Adults. Please call to register. Join our volunteer-led program designed to provide opportunities for people to hike Missouri trails and learn about our plants, animals, and natural communities. Meet at the nature center, drive to Spring Creek Conservation Area in Maries County, and hike one of two of the best trails. Some transportation is provided, but carpooling may be necessary. Bring lunch, water, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and come dressed for the weather. Trail Length: 5 miles. Terrain: Moderate inclines and/or occasional rocks/roots. 573.526.5544

Date: Saturday, June 30, 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.

Register by June 29

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

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (all ages) Trotlines, jug lines, bows and gigs have been used to catch fish in Missouri throughout the generations. But what are they and how do you use them? Join us as we explore some of these different methods of catching fish. We will learn how to set and run checks on lines that have been set in the education pond. I wonder what we will catch. Program participants: arrive at the Nature Center 10 minutes prior to the program start time to get checked in.

Register by June 30

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

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Insects can fly and hover on amazing wings. After discovering how these wings help with flight and identification of species, we will create a piece of jewelry by imbedding a wing in resin. Due to curing time you will have to return to pick up your piece later and finish it at home with instructions.

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