Events

NOTICE: In-Person Events Limited Due to COVID

In-person MDC events and programs at our nature centers, shooting ranges, and other locations around the state are limited due to COVID-19 considerations. MDC is offering new online programs that allow people to attend virtually. Please check our class listings to see what classes are limited, in-person classes or virtual classes.

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Date: Monday, March 22, 2021 - 8:00am to Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 8:00am

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Are you part of a school, camp, scout, or other community group in the St. Louis Region that would like a presentation about Missouri fish, forest, and wildlife? We have Naturalist staff and volunteers that can come to you with programs, or programs are available at our sites. Programs are offered June through August. To request a summer program brochure and application, please e-mail Pat Behle at Pat.Behle@mdc.mo.gov.

Register by May 17

Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021 - 8:00am to Sunday, May 30, 2021 - 3:00pm

Location: Lake City Shooting Range

Have you just bought a new pistol and want to become more familiar with it? Do you need some help getting started as a new shooter or haven’t shot for a while and want to get back into it? Is there a technique that you want to learn or improve upon? This one-on-one instruction is for you! It is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Participants must provide their own pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition. For more information or to make an appointment, call 816-249-3194.

Register by May 5

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 7:30am to 11:00am

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Spring is here! Join us as we visit several spots throughout Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in search for migrating and nesting birds. We will meet at the parking lot next to the visitor’s center, bird around the visitor’s center, then make our way to the confluence point. We will caravan and stop at various habitat locations in search for birds such as bobolink, dickcissels, lesser and greater yellow legs, prothonotary, northern parula, and more. We will end by parking near the confluence trail (parking lot N) and walking the road to the confluence (assuming it is not flooded). *Some areas may not be accessible if the rivers are high, so we may not be able to go as far as intended. Bring binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them. We can provide binoculars and guidebooks if you need one to borrow. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing that may get muddy. All ages welcome. Please register each individual attending as spaces will be limited to 30 individuals. Social distancing will be practiced and please bring a mask.

Register by May 5

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:30am

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Let’s spend a beautiful late spring morning hiking the 2.2-mile Rock Quarry Trail. There will be many native wildflowers and ferns to identify along the way. You will learn some of the amazing history of Rockwoods as we pass scars of man’s presence in the past. For the safety of participants and our staff, MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet from others. St. Louis County ordinances requiring face masks will be observed where applicable. Effort = Moderate. Must be able to hike 2.2 miles with a 150 foot elevation gain.

Register by May 6

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Join us as we learn the basics of shooting a pellet rifle. Learn how to load, aim, and make the best shot, all while staying safe. Meet at the Runge outdoor pavilion.. This program will take place at Runge's outdoor range which is not ADA accessible. Masks required. Registration required. Ages 12 and up.

Register by May 4

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Location: James Youth Center

Lesson 1: Learn the parts and function of a spincast fishing rod and reel. How to cast safely and and successfully. How to fasten basic tackle to a fishing line. Learn techniques to catch fish and handle it properly.

Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure bait on hooks.

Participants will be able to take what they learned and go fishing.

Fishing equipment, instructors/coaches and bait/lures will be provided.

Participants will be asked to maintain safe social distance from staff and other participants who are not their family members during this program.

Each participant must register for this program individually.

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: Virtual

While many insects give people the creeps, most people agree that butterflies and moths fill our world with joy. They come in a dazzling array of colors and shapes and learning a “buckeye” from an “admiral” can be a real challenge. Join MDC naturalists to learn tricks to identify some of Missouri’s most beautiful creatures. After this program you’ll be the star of the picnic as you proudly point out the “checkerspot” sitting on your lemonade!

Date: Friday, May 7, 2021 - 10:00am to 3:30pm

Location: Lake City Shooting Range

What is 5-Stand? It’s a great way to improve on your shotgun shooting skills! This combination of trap, skeet, and sporting clays affords the challenge of all three games but with less walking. Bring your friends and your favorite shotgun and experience the fun of this game. No registration required. WEATHER PERMITTING!

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lessons 1 & 2 MUST be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing Lessons.
Lesson 3: Participants will learn about aquatic habitats, food webs, and the basic biology of common Missouri fish species.
Lesson 4: Participants will learn about various fishing lures techniques, as well as identify and understand Missouri fishing regulations.
All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing and closed-toe shoes suitable for outdoor and water conditions. Face masks are required for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 9:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Join us to create a 5" x 7" nature journal. All supplies including stickers and embellishments provided. Masks required. Registration required. Ages 18 and up.

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Runge Nature Center Staff Volunteers are somewhere along the trails ready to explore a seasonal nature topic with you! Trail station locations and topics are different every Saturday as nature always has something new to offer. Visit the Runge building to get a trail map and hints about where the volunteers may be found. This is not a formal program; stop by anytime between the designated exploration station hours. Masks required. No registration required. All ages.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Watch primitive skills specialist Don Brink transform simple rocks into artistic and functional points similar to the ones used by early man. Learn the basics and try your hand at this age-old skill. Please remember to wear a mask and social distance. All ages.

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

The ancient atlatl is a tool used on nearly every continent going back over 20,000 years! Made up of a spear and a throwing tool this weapon was even used to bring down the mighty woolly mammoth! Come learn the skills needed to hunt alongside our ice age ancestors in a well-controlled safe environment. Registration is required. Students will meet on the lawn in front of the nature center for instruction and hands on fun! Please bring a bottle of water and dress for the weather. The use of facemasks is strongly encouraged and hand sanitizer will be provided.

Register by May 7

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:30pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Start Mother's Day weekend hiking through the woods looking for and enjoying wildflowers provided by Mother Nature. Hike the full 3.5 mile loop or turn back at overlook. The trail difficulty is moderate. Please wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and other essentials to enjoy the hike. Please meet at the Glassberg parking lot.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (adults) Missouri is home to 167 species of native trees and over 50 of them are represented right here in the Discovery Center's native landscape gardens. Join us for a treemendous tour of the grounds where we will collect leaves of your favorites and use them to create a wearable work of art using recycled tee shirts and fabric ink.

Register by May 7

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 10:30am to 2:30pm

Location: Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center’s Naturalists need your help to uncover more about Missouri wildlife. Inside a room filled with puzzles and games, your group will have 30 minutes to solve clues to learn about amazing Missouri creatures and their unique characteristics. If your group beats the clock, a prize awaits at the finish. Are you up for the challenge? Recommended for families, teens, and adults. Registration is required with a valid email address to receive time slot availability. Limited slots available and group size limited to 6 individuals. All participants must register for this program separately. Please remember to wear a mask and social distance.

Register by May 6

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:30pm

Location: Tower Grove Park-New Comfort Station

(Ages 7-16)
Celebrate Migratory Bird Day by learning all about some of Missouri’s different birds. We will learn how to ID some of our common visitors, take a look at adaptations, and see if we can survive the Great Migration Challenge! After the program, test your new skills in the bird garden.

For the safety of participants and our staff, participants will be asked to maintain social distance from staff and other participants, and follow St. Louis City mask mandates. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child/ren during this program.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (adults) Missouri is home to 167 species of native trees and over 50 of them are represented right here in the Discovery Center's native landscape gardens. Join us for a treemendous tour of the grounds where we will collect leaves of your favorites and use them to create a wearable work of art using recycled tee shirts and fabric ink.

Register by May 7

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

A key to successful vegetable gardening is pest control and pollination, and beneficial native insects do both! In this class you will learn about common garden pests, their beneficial bug counterparts, the native garden food chain, and companion planting. Attendees with receive a potted plant to take home.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Registration required (ages 8+) Missouri is home to 167 species of native trees and over 50 of them are represented right here in the Discovery Center's native landscape gardens. Join us for a treemendous tour of the grounds where we will collect leaves of your favorites and use them to create a wearable work of art using recycled tee shirts and fabric ink.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: Blue Spring Branch CA

Hike through one of our regions amazing natural areas at Blue Springs Branch Conservation Area. We will delve into the history of this area and take a look at its unique topography. This area is home to a large variety of plants including some beautiful spring ephemerals. We will learn some tips and tricks on how to identify these pretty wildflowers along the way. This trail is very steep and difficult in some areas and is slick in recent rain. Please wear sturdy hiking shoes with a good tread. Masks are required during the van ride.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Join us to create a 5" x 7" nature journal. All supplies including stickers and embellishments provided. Masks required. Registration required. Ages 18 and up.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Our natural world surrounds us, and with the weather getting nice it is basically begging to be explored! Join Discover Nature-Fishing instructor Colt Wahl as we visit the Wood Duck Swamp wetland area at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center to search for water insects and invertebrates, amphibians, and even some reptiles. Field microscopes will be provided to study our tiny natural neighbors and to learn more about the wetland ecosystem. This program is open to anyone, but will be more appropriate for ages 3-10 and their families. Keep in mind that the trail leading to Wood Duck Swamp is gravel and is steep in some places. We will meet in front of the Nature Center in the garden at 1:00 PM and will then walk down to the swamp. The program may be cancelled due to bad weather.

Register by May 6

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (families)
Global Big Day is an opportunity to observe and share what birds live around you. Your observations help us better understand global bird populations. Join us and be a part of a global citizen science project. Binoculars and smart phone or mobile device is recommended.

Register by May 8

Date: Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Join Naturalist Jordi Raos as we scour the Nature Center trails to learn more about wild edible plants growing in our area. We will point out which plants are good to eat, when best to harvest, and give the basics on how they can be used. Comfortable shoes, insect repellant, and sunscreen are recommended as we will walk over a mile on hilly trails. Please remember to wear a mask and social distance. Recommended for ages 10-adult.

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