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 May 15

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins May 1 (ages 12+)
Join a nature center volunteer for our last walk of spring at Maintz Willdlife Preserve. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Bring water, a snack, and sunscreen (camera and binoculars are optional). Held rain or shine, but canceled due to severe weather. Participants will be called 1 hour prior to leaving if canceled.

Register by May 11

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

What’s next for the Pine Needlers? The answer is: the eighth block to your “prairie” themed quilt featuring the bluestem grass. Prairies are not only about the flowers that decorate the landscape but about the different grasses that act as the backdrop to their color. These grasses are tough, drought resistant and provide valuable forage for grazing animals and seed for a variety of other species. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. To make a reservation, call 888-283-0364 or register on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines. For further information, you can call 573-325-1381.

Register by May 11

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

What’s next for the Pine Needlers? The answer is: the eighth block to your “prairie” themed quilt featuring the bluestem grass. Prairies are not only about the flowers that decorate the landscape but about the different grasses that act as the backdrop to their color. These grasses are tough, drought resistant and provide valuable forage for grazing animals and seed for a variety of other species. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. To make a reservation, call 888-283-0364 or register on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines. For further information, you can call 573-325-1381.

Register by May 15

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins May 1 (ages 18+)
In this the year of the fish, let’s make a couple cards to send to the ones in our lives that love fishing. You can customize the cards to say Happy Fathers’ Day, Happy Birthday, or maybe just Thanks for sharing their love of fishing. Everything will be provided.

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Location: Walter Woods Conservation Area

Birds are busy and noisy this time of year! Fly in to find out why, make a craft, and then go for a short walk to watch our feathered friends.

Register by May 17

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Tom Milligan as Jay N. “Ding” Darling visits and reflects upon his remarkable life journey. From the introduction of the duck stamp to the creation of the National Wildlife Federation, Darling’s influence was felt, not only through his cartoons, but through his actions as well. Considered by many to be one of the most influential members of the modern conservation movement, the impact of his work is still felt today. All ages.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 5:30am to Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Location: Emmenegger Nature Park

**No Registration Required!**

Citizen science is a way for the public to assist in population and distribution monitoring for all species of plants and wildlife. Come join us as species experts from all over the state survey for the plant and wildlife species at Emmenegger Nature Park/Possum Woods Conservation Area. Surveys will include bird mist netting and banding, bat mist netting, moth surveys, spider surveys, plant surveys and more!

Contact Shelly Colatskie at Shelly.colatskie@mdc.mo.gov or 314-301-1506 ex 4222 for more information and be on the lookout for flyers with specific times and events on Saturday, May 18th!

Register by May 17

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 8:00am to 10:00am

Location: Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

Here’s a chance to see migrating warblers. They don’t stay long, so learn to identify these passing birds with staff from the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center. Meet at the nature center’s gazebo for a walk along the creek. Bring field guides and binoculars if you have them.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 9:30am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) will be on site to offer a native plant sale. Grow Native! vendors will be on hand with a wide selection of native flowers, grasses, sedges, shrubs and trees for a variety of growing conditions. Vendors will contribute a percentage of plant sale proceeds to benefit MPF's prairie conservation in Missouri. Visit https://www.moprairie.org, for participating vendors and information about preordering.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

The Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City presents its 2019 Annual Spring Exhibit in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation. The translation of Bonsai simply means pot or tray planted. However, bonsai is one of the oldest forms of 'living' art as trees and plants are grown in containers and artistically designed for the viewers' enjoyment. This formal display will include over 25 plants, from the quite small (under 8 in.) to large (over 24 in.) and potted in specialized ceramic containers. There will be deciduous and evergreen plants representing various genera, plants from different growing environments, as well as natives to our area. Hopefully the spring weather will also be cooperative which will mean several should be in bloom. Stop by the Lewis and Clark rooms to view this unique display and visit with the members of the society or watch ongoing work demonstrations.

Register by May 18

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

ages 7-11
Is it a plant? An animal? Or something else entirely? Come join naturalist and “fun guy” Alex to learn about the mysterious, slimy, and sometimes stinky world of forest mushrooms. Activities will include a mushroom safari hike, lessons about how mushrooms live and grow, and a mushroom craft.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 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.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Lake Remembrance - Gregory O. Grounds Park

Walk-in (all ages)
There are numerous opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature in Blue Springs! The Missouri Department of Conservation partners with Blue Springs Parks and Recreation and Jackson County Parks and Recreation to offer this celebration of the outdoors in our community. The event will be held at Lake Remembrance. Activities include: kayaking, fishing, wild edible plants, birding, outdoor yoga, archery, learning abut the unlovables in nature (snakes, spiders, insects) and so much more! There will be something for all ages. Call 816-228-3766 for more information.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Nature provides incredible inspiration and one-of-a-kind art supplies. Join us as we explore the native habitats at the Discovery Center and gather stems, leaves, berries, nuts, grasses, feathers and other spring treasures. Step back inside to learn how to make uniquely textured paintbrushes and explore your creative side as you create your own unique nature art!

Date: Saturday, May 18, 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, May 18, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Tom Milligan, as Jay N. "Ding" Darling, visits from his 11th floor office at the Des Moines Register, where he worked from 1906-1943. Beginning with his early years in Sioux City, where he became aware of the natural world around him, as well as his developing skills as an editorial cartoonist, he reflects upon his remarkable life journey. His story continues to include two Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoons for the Register and a remarkable career as a nationally know conservationist,. From the introduction of the duck stamp to the creation of the National Wildlife Federation, Darling's influence was felt, not only through his cartoons, but through his actions as well. Considered by many to be one of the most influential members of the modern conservation movement in the first half of the 20th century, the impact of his work is still felt today.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (ages 14+) The translation of Bonsai simply means pot or tray planted. However, Bonsai is one of the oldest forms of 'living' art as trees and plants are grown in containers, artistically designed, but emphasizing its natural habitat qualities for the owners' enjoyment. And whether you have a yard or a small apartment you can enjoy multiple plants in your environment. Any plant, that will produce a woody stem can be used, which of course includes native material and local nursery offerings. This presentation will provide a general overview. Topics discussed will include Chinese and Japanese origins, US Collection in DC and descriptions of Bonsai styles, tools, general horticulture procedures, pot selection and the design process. We will wrap up with a review of the various styles using slides featuring examples of different plants used in this unique art.

Register by May 18

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins May 1 (ages 5+)
Come celebrate your mother (or mother figure) while you sip and nibble on teas and treats made from native plants. We’ll stroll the garden to point out native edibles and make a spring-related craft! Adult supervision required for ages 5-17.

Date: Saturday, May 18, 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.

Register by May 21

Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 9:30am to 11:00am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

(Ages 6-16) Two elegant insects that hunt and eat other insects are the dragonfly and the praying mantis. They have adaptations for totally different hunting strategies, one patrolling the air and the other sitting put until the moment of ambush. Have you seen any? Were you impressed and curious? Come have some fun this morning while learning more about them.

Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a program and short hike (weather permitting) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We will complete a flowery craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6.

Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Everyone loves flowers and spring is a great time to see them. Join us for a program and short hike (weather permitting) as we learn what special jobs flowers do. We will complete a flowery craft to take home. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6.

Register by May 23

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

While the mere thought of a snake may make parents shudder, kids love them. Come to this month’s meeting to learn all the fun facts about Missouri’s most misunderstood reptile. Please no younger siblings and only one adult per group of kids. Ages 7-12.

Register by May 25

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Registration begins April 27 (ages 0–2)
The forest is full of life! Discover the different animals that live among the trees. We will hit the trail to explore the many layers of the forest while looking for the wild creatures that live within.

Register by May 22

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

As the days get longer and the sun warms the air, people come out to enjoy the spring season. But, people are not the only things that “come to life” when spring arrives. Spring plants unfold their leaves and work to bear fruit. The staff at Twin Pines is taking advantage of that bounty with a class on how to prepare foods, such as, wild strawberries and sassafras for your table. Other wild plants will also be used depending upon availability. This program is for ages 16 and up. Under 18 must have a parent or guardian present. To make a reservation, call 888-283-0364 or register on-line at www.mdc.mo.gov/twinpines. For further information, call 573-325-1381.

Pages