Nature Viewing

Nature viewing in Missouri can be as close as your backyard or neighborhood park, but conservation areas and natural areas are excellent places to spend time in nature. Take a driving tour, hike though a forest or glade, or just sit and listen to the sounds of nature.

In This Section

MRAP

You can access new places across Missouri for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing through the MRAP program.

Nature Watching Events

Date: Friday, March 1, 2019 - 3:00pm to Friday, March 29, 2019 - 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 snakes enjoy their feast every other week. March 1, 15 & 29.

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 3:00pm to Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 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.

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 8:00am to Monday, May 13, 2019 - 8:00am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Trail Tales features a children’s book along the trail. Read, move, and play as you visit and engage in suggested activities at each stop. Both children and adults will love to play in nature this way!

Discover Nature with Trail Tales this month on Broken Ridge Trail (to the right)!

Register by March 25

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (adults)
Let’s kick off this season’s wild edible programs with the basics of plant identification. Learn just what plant taxonomy is and why you should practice it. Weather and plants permitting, this program will include a hike.

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 1:00pm to Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 11:30am

Location: Walter Woods Conservation Area

Opossums are awesome for many reasons! Join us to learn more about this special mammal that's related to the kangaroo.

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Take a musical journey into the lives of Ozark settlers that describes a way of life surrounded by virgin forests, abundant wildlife, and crystal-clear rivers. Michael Fraser, author of “Fiddles and Forests,” is joined by Tenley Hansen as they recreate authentic mountain music while weaving a narrative about living in the Ozarks before the arrival of electricity during the timber boom of the late 1800s.

Date: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Each spring Missouri is visited by a group of very beautiful birds, the warblers. Their bright colors shine through the trees almost as boldly as their beautiful songs ring out. Fly on over to learn more about these brilliant birds, take a short hike to look for them, and make a craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Each spring Missouri is visited by a group of very beautiful birds, the warblers. Their bright colors shine through the trees almost as boldly as their beautiful songs ring out. Fly on over to learn more about these brilliant birds, take a short hike to look for them, and make a craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Register by March 30

Date: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 6:00pm to Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

March 29 • Friday • 6-10 PM and
March 30 • Saturday 8 AM-2 PM
Registration begins March 1 (ages 18+)
Make a beautiful cork decoy to use for waterfowl hunting or as unique art. Learn duck identification, duck ecology and decoy history as you sculpt and paint your own decoy. Cost for materials is $15.
Please bring or send a check to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center made out to MCHF. Please wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty or getting paint on. This is not a good activity for those with asthma or respiratory difficulties.

Register by March 29

Date: Friday, March 29, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Natural History of Missouri Prairie Orchids
Mar 29 • Friday • 7–8:30 p.m.
(All ages welcome)
Reservations begin February 1
The public is invited to hear Dr. David Ashley (Professor Emeritus of Biology, MWSU) discuss the natural history and biology of two state-endangered native wildflowers, the eastern and western white-fringed prairie orchids. He will also discuss population trends and seasonal phenology on the only Missouri prairies where they are still known to exist.

Register by March 30

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins February 23 (Ages 0–2)
Pups, kittens, and ducklings, too. Spring is the season to discover who’s new! There are many wild animal babies born in the spring. Learn about these young, their parents, and why it’s important to let them stay wild.

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center

Join us to learn more about the snakes, turtles and lizards of Missouri. Live animals will be available for up close viewing. Participants will have the opportunity to touch a live non-venomous snake.

Register by March 30

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins February 23 (Ages 0–2)
Pups, kittens, and ducklings, too. Spring is the season to discover who’s new! There are many wild animal babies born in the spring. Learn about these young, their parents, and why it’s important to let them stay wild.

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (families)
Spring has sprung at Burr Oak Woods! Let’s head out on the trails (will be stroller friendly) to explore how creatures great and small wake up when the season changes. From wildflowers blooming to birds singing we are sure to find lots of natural happenings. Dress for the weather. Bring your binoculars or borrow a pair from us.

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

No registration required (ages 5+)
Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, is an invasive small metallic green beetle that is responsible for the loss of millions of ash trees in North America, including Missouri. Join Community Forester Jennifer Behnken to learn more about this insect, how to look out for it, what it means for your ash trees, and what you can do about it.

Register by March 30

Date: Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join photographer Dan Liles as he teaches you how to take photos of different types of wildlife. We will start in the classroom and then hit the trails to take photos, so bring your camera or cell phone. Ages 12-17.

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Bees live a busy life full of home building, dancing, and helping other bees. Buzz by and learn about the importance of bees and complete a craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6.

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Bees live a busy life full of home building, dancing, and helping other bees. Buzz by and learn about the importance of bees and complete a craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6.

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Join us for a celebration of nature as seen through the eyes of area students. View student artwork portraying nature in their different neighborhoods, talk with some of the artists then stick around for the awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

Register by April 1

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Stretch your creative limits and make something special for yourself or a friend using antlers as the base for jewelry. Sara Bradshaw will be the guest presenter for this unique class and will teach you the techniques needed to produce a one-of-a-kind treasure. Materials will be provided. Class size limit of 15. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. To make a reservation, register on-line or call 888-283-0364. For further information, you can call 573-325-1381.

Date: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 4:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages)
Visitors to Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center will have the opportunity to select a seedling (short leaf pine or tulip poplar) to plant in celebration of Missouri Arbor Day. One tree per family or group is available while supplies last.

Register by April 5

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Celebrate the wonders of nature. Join Cindy Bridges and hike the trails at Greer Spring and roam through a variety of Ozark settings while you do some birding and learn about the habits and habitats of the birds you find. You never know what awaits at the next bend in the trail. Hikers will meet at Greer river access at 9:00 a.m. or at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center at 8:00 a.m. to shuttle to Greer. All ages are welcome. For further information, call 573-325-1381.

Register by April 5

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (adults) Experience the health and wellness benefits of Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of experiencing the forest and its health benefits. Commonly know as "forest bathing," this health practice has been growing since the 1980's in Japan and more recently in the U.S. Forest bathing is the immersion into nature by slowing down and being mindful experiencing all of one's senses and the interconnection with natural environment. This relaxing walk around the Discovery Center grounds is approximately 2.5 hrs. and is being offered by Michael Beezhold, certified forest therapy guide. For more information on the practice visit https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org or read the recent article in the February 2019 Missouri Conservationist: Good Medicine from the Great Outdoors. This program will take place rain or shine so wear appropriate clothing, bring a cushion, mat or small tripod stool to sit on and water.

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Whether you’re a new or expert gardener you can learn more about native plants at our annual plant sale and seminar. Stop by to purchase plants and garden related items from a variety of vendors, get growing tips from one of our many exhibitors, and attend our informative programs. All ages. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information or stop by the Nature Center for an event flyer.

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 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.

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