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

Register by August 14

Date: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Did you know there are over 400 species of bees living in Missouri? Most of these bees don’t store honey or live in a hive. We’ll talk about what kinds of homes native bees prefer, discuss some bee benefits, and provide pointers on how to build your own hotel for bees! Place your bee hotel in your garden, and it’ll be buzzing with visitors in no time!
(all ages) Registration ends 2 hours before program starts.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Register by August 14

Date: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Have you ever wondered if Missouri has strange, possibly mythological creatures roaming the state? Here at the Missouri Department of Conservation, we receive many calls about strange animals being spotted. Included are animals such as a wolf, a black panther, and even a swamp ape! Are these strange creatures real, or is it just a trick of the eye? Join the naturalists at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center for a virtual program on cryptids and Strange Missouri Critters. In this program, we will learn about native Missouri animals that have been mistaken for non-native and cryptid creatures, as well as strange Missouri animals that should be cryptids.

This program will be held on Friday, August 14, 2020 from 6-7 p.m. and is designed for all ages. Please register each person attending. This is a free WebEx Event, and you will receive the invitation by email from WebEx by noon the day of the program.

Register by August 14

Date: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Experience the nature center at night in a short hike on Paw Paw Valley trail. We will use our senses as we discover the amazing ways nocturnal animals survive in the night.

To ensure the safety of all, this program requires participants to observe social distancing and for anyone over the age of 9 to wear a face covering. To help us have an accurate count, please register each family member that plans to attend.

Register by August 15

Date: Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Hummingbirds are tiny travelers. Their fall migration to the south is an amazing journey. Learn how they do it and other interesting hummer information.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Register by August 17

Date: Monday, August 17, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Missouri is home to a beautiful variety of bees, birds, and butterflies that help pollinate the plants of this great state. Pollinators are essential for creating a healthy landscape, and their work allows us to have an abundance of foods to eat as well as many beautiful flowers to enjoy. In this virtual program, you will learn how these native pollinators have been helping us in our daily lives, and in return, you will also learn how you can help them!

This is a virtual program, and you will receive a WebEx invitation around noon on the day of the program. The invite will be from WebEx. Register each individual separately.

Register by August 18

Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

“Shell-ebrate” turtles virtually and learn more about these funky reptiles and what makes them special. Ages 3-6. When registering, please provide an active email address in your profile as you will receive a link one day prior to the program. Call 417-888-4237 for more information. Select the blue "Register" button in the top right corner to register.

Register by August 18

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 9:30am to 10:30am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (all ages)
Native pollinators are amazing and vital parts of nature! Join a naturalist to search for these cool critters around the nature center, play a game to learn the 3 key parts of great bee habitat and take a native plant home (1 per household).

Register by August 18

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (all ages)
Native pollinators are amazing and vital parts of nature! Join a naturalist to search for these cool critters around the nature center, play a game to learn the 3 key parts of great bee habitat and take a native plant home (1 per household).

Register by August 19

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 1:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

During the month of August, migratory waterfowl begin to return to Missouri. These birds use our waterways as a stopover point to rest and refuel before continuing their southward trek. This virtual program will help you identify waterfowl in late summer and autumn. When registering, please provide an active email address in your profile as you will receive a link one day prior to the program. Recommended for all ages. Call 417-888-4237 for more information. Select the blue "Register" button in the top right corner to register.

Register by August 20

Date: Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Leaves are important to trees and humans for many reasons. We will discuss these functions and the many shapes of leaves. Afterward, we will use actual leaves to create some painted art.

Social distancing will be practiced and masks are required, and everyone will only touch their own creation.

Register by August 21

Date: Friday, August 21, 2020 - 8:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Beat the midday heat by hiking early with one of our knowledgeable naturalists! There is no telling what treasures we will find blooming, crawling, and flying through the forest at the nature center. This leisurely walk will take roughly 1.5 hours and cover about 1.5 miles some of which is hilly.
To ensure the safety of all, this program requires participants to observe social distancing and wear a face covering. Please meet near the front door of the Nature Center.(all ages)
Registration ends 2 hours before program starts.

Register by August 22

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Butterflies seem almost magical with their ability to turn from caterpillar to adult. Our puppet friend will help us explore the beauty of their metamorphosis, discover how they are unique, and how they survive. (ages 0-6)
Registration ends 2 hours before program begins.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Mother Nature weaves some spectacular sights for us. Stop by the front lawn of the nature center and try your hand at nature weaving. You will make your own loom from sticks, then take it our on the trail with you. You can hunt for leaves, sticks grass, and flowers to create a unique and colorful masterpiece. (ages 1-10)

Social distancing will be practiced and everyone will only touch their own creation.

Register by August 22

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) The ability to make rope or cordage from plant fibers is an ancient skill essential to surviving in the wilds. We will learn to make simple cordage using the same plants Native Americans harvested from Missouri wild prairies to make bowstrings, fishing nets and clothing. Presented outdoors for proper social distancing. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the pavilion on the south side of the Discovery Center. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Register by August 21

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (all ages)
While working in your gardens, have you ever seen something disappear into the grass or scurry beneath your mulch pile? More than likely, it was a member of the backyard buster squad - a multitude of 100% all-natural pest controllers. Come on in and learn who’s who.

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Kick back and enjoy the day with the family under the shade of the pines surrounding the pond at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center. No reservations or fishing license is needed at this “catch and release” event. Food and drinks will be served. This program is for all ages, so get out of the house and come and enjoy the fun. For further information call 573-325-1381.

Register by August 22

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) The ability to make rope or cordage from plant fibers is an ancient skill essential to surviving in the wilds. We will learn to make simple cordage using the same plants Native Americans harvested from Missouri wild prairies to make bowstrings, fishing nets and clothing. Presented outdoors for proper social distancing. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the pavilion on the south side of the Discovery Center. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Register by August 22

Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) The ability to make rope or cordage from plant fibers is an ancient skill essential to surviving in the wilds. We will learn to make simple cordage using the same plants Native Americans harvested from Missouri wild prairies to make bowstrings, fishing nets and clothing. Presented outdoors for proper social distancing. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the pavilion on the south side of the Discovery Center. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Register by August 24

Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Hummingbirds are tiny travelers. Their fall migration to the south is an amazing journey. Learn how they do it and other interesting hummer information.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Registration ends the day before the program.

Register by August 25

Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join us for a new regular virtual program series where you can ask the naturalist questions about nature topics. Learn about toads with Naturalist Alan Reed followed by a “toadally” awesome Q&A session. When registering, please provide an active email address in your profile as you will receive a link one day prior to the program. Recommended for all ages. Call 417-888-4237 for more information. Select the blue "Register" button in the top right corner to register.

Register by August 26

Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 9:30am to 10:30am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) Tagging monarchs is a large-scale citizen science effort that began in 1992 across North America to understand the dynamics of the fall migration. You will have the opportunity to join the 2020 tagging effort at the Discovery Center. Participants will learn about the value of tagging and use nets to capture, tag and release monarchs. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the pavilion on the south side of the Discovery Center.

Register by August 28

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (all ages)
Predators are natural and necessary to have in the wild. Join us in learning about what predators are native to Missouri past and present and what to expect in the future. The native animals of Missouri exist in harmony and balance when all components are involved.

Register by August 29

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) Pollinator activity is at its peak and not all of them fly. Join a naturalist to learn about the various types of pollinators. Then go on a pollinator hunt by using nets to capture local butterflies, bees, beetles, ants, flies... We will identify those we catch. All insects will be released at the end of our experience. This program will be outside. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the front door to the Discovery Center. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Register by August 29

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) Pollinator activity is at its peak and not all of them fly. Join a naturalist to learn about the various types of pollinators. Then go on a pollinator hunt by using nets to capture local butterflies, bees, beetles, ants, flies... We will identify those we catch. All insects will be released at the end of our experience. This program will be outside. Participants, please meet the naturalist at the front door to the Discovery Center. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

Register by August 29

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (all ages) Take a peek behind the scenes. Join us as we care for our turtles, amphibians and fish. See what these animals eat and get your questions answered by our naturalist. Face coverings are strongly encouraged.

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