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.

Nature Watching Events

Register by July 17

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Not everyone likes fried fish, but everyone loves cookies. We will be learning some basic fish identification, then celebrating fish and fishing by decorating cookies. Program is free.

Register by July 13

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Tenth in the series, this month features the coyote. Called the “song dog” by Native Americans, the coyote is known for its ability to adapt to a wide variety of environments. Learn more about this prairie native and complete the next quilt block in the series. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. Attendees under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Reservations can be made by calling 888-283-0364 or on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines . For further information, call Twin Pines CEC at 573-325-1381.

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Ever wonder what it takes to keep all 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. Program is free.

Register by July 13

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Tenth in the series, this month features the coyote. Called the “song dog” by Native Americans, the coyote is known for its ability to adapt to a wide variety of environments. Learn more about this prairie native and complete the next quilt block in the series. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. Attendees under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Reservations can be made by calling 888-283-0364 or on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines . For further information, call Twin Pines CEC at 573-325-1381.

Register by July 18

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

While we usually think of bats only at Halloween, warm spring and summer nights provide some of the best bat viewing. During this program we’ll take a closer look at these acrobatic flying mammals and find out why they’re so important to our daily lives. Please no younger siblings, and only one adult per group of children. Ages 7-12. Register online at mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents or call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Entomology and Herpetology: Creepy Crawly Investigation

All Ages

Explore animals that crawl, creep, and slither through investigations and observations. Observe and touch LIVE reptiles. Discover hidden worlds of insects and other friends of the forest.

Families, Scout, and camp groups are welcome. All activities will be both indoors and outdoors. For groups of more than 20, please call for your reservations.

Date: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 3:00pm to 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.

Register by July 19

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 12–18)
Insects play an important role in science but are often overlooked. We will take a closer look into the science of studying insects through hands-on activities including making an insect collection. Plus, you will get to take your collection and supplies home!

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Caterpillars, colors, creeks and creativity are the stars of the show today. Start inside where you will pick up your scavenger hunt sheet then head outside to take photos of the items you find. Some items will be very specific while others will take a little creativity. Find at least half of the items to receive an instant prize. Find them all and be entered for a nature lovers prize pack!

Date: Saturday, July 20, 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.

Register by July 19

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Leaves fall, animals die, and logs pile up. Without the help of forest invertebrates, we would be knee deep in garbage! Join the nature center staff for a deep-down look at the spineless critters that clean up all the forest waste. Explore the creatures of a compost bin, see how animals decompose with the help of insects, and participate in many other hands-on activities. Program is free.

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 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, July 20, 2019 - 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, July 20, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Sometimes they startle us, but snakes always fascinate us. Learn about this often-misunderstood reptile, see snakes up close, and even have the opportunity to touch one! All ages. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

No registration required
Join Rockwoods Naturalists for a nocturnal nature party and explore the fascinating world of the many moth species of Missouri. This event will feature an outdoor ID station, crafts, food truck, and other activities. Bring your own headphones and music for the silent dance party. Lights in the area will be out, so bring your own flashlight or headlamp.

Register by July 22

Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (adults)
Summer is a time of plenty for people and nature! Discover how to share in the bounty by learning to make jellies and how to pickle summer’s wild harvest.

Register by July 23

Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 9–11)
Whether you live in the country or the city, bugs are never far away. Join us as we take a closer look into the life of insects and other creepy crawlies and how they help in our everyday lives. Dress to be outside, use insect repellant and sun screen and bring a water bottle.

Register by July 24

Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Accomplished art instructor Greg Chappell helps participants paint waterfowl. Greg will build your skills in the foundations of drawing, anatomy, and composition. Skills learned in the class will help you paint for a Junior Duck Stamp entry. Ages 6-17. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Slither in and get up close with nature’s most misunderstood reptile. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Slither in and get up close with nature’s most misunderstood reptile. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Register by July 20

Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

This program starts just before dark at Twin Pines, which is the best time to explore the “night shift” of nature. What is the “night shift?” It is more than owls and bats. Many animals are active only at night. Learn what you can expect to see and hear, then we will head out on the trail to enjoy the Missouri Ozarks after dark. Suitable shoes are recommended. This program is suitable for all ages. To make a reservation, call 888-283-0364 or go on line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines . For further information, please call 573-325-1381.

Register by July 27

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 8:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Hike at Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area with Volunteer Naturalist Brian Conry. Meet at the Nature Center and carpool. Bring a sack lunch and water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Hike is four miles and rated moderate in difficulty. Ages 18-adult. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Register by July 27

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Insects live in every Missouri habitat! Discover what it takes to be an insect, meet some live insects, and play some insect games. Program is free.

Register by July 27

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Insects live in every Missouri habitat! Discover what it takes to be an insect, meet some live insects, and play some insect games. Program is free.

Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

No registration required (all ages) The Discovery Center's backyard is a six-acre urban oasis for native plants and wildlife. Join the naturalist for a one-hour interpretive walk around our trails. We'll meet the wild and native trees, flowers and animals that make a living right here in the middle of Kansas City!

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