Conservation Education

Nature Activity: Vulture Venture

Program: 12th Annual Vulture Venture

Where: Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, 6 miles southwest of Branson off Highway 165, near Table Rock Dam

When: Saturday, Feb. 16 from noon to 6 p.m.

For more information: (417) 334-4865, ext. 0

Since 1996, the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson has hosted Missouri’s award-winning Vulture Venture program. Our 12th annual event will be Saturday, Feb. 16, from noon to 6 p.m. Vulture Venture focuses on one of Missouri’s most often misunderstood and highly beneficial birds.

Inside the hatchery, you’ll see a live vulture from the Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield and enjoy a vulture video, games, stickers and crafts. Outside, you can view one of Missouri’s largest vulture wintering roosts, including a rare opportunity to see both black and turkey vultures in the same location. As the sun begins to set, you’ll get an up-close view of vulture “kettling”—a circling swarm of birds swooping in to roost for the night. Vulture Venture is free and requires no reservations.

Grow Native! Workshop

Feb. 22 and 23 “Landscape Design With Missouri in Mind”

Winter is a great time to plan native-plant landscaping projects. To help you succeed, the Department’s Grow Native! program has scheduled a workshop about using native plants successfully. At the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Feb. 22 and 23, St. Louis author Dave Tylka will start the program with “Native Landscaping—A Natural Way to Spice up Life.” Other topics include “Know the Lay of Your Land,” “Put Plants in the Right Place,” “First Hand Experience,“ “Reconstructing Prairie,” “Native Trees for Landscapes Large and Small” and “Putting it All Together.”

Topics are the same for both days, with slight variations for landscape professionals on Friday, and home gardeners and small acreage owners on Saturday. Registration is $35 and includes a copy of Tried and True: Native Plants for Your Yard. To register, visit www.MissouriConservation.org/16263, or call LuAnn Cadden at (816) 271-3100, ext. 235.

Find an Activity Near You

Online calendar lists nature events around the state.

Whether you’re an avid hunter or casual nature observer, you’ll find your favorite outdoor pursuit represented in the Department’s Calendar of Events. Designed for every age, interest and ability, this online resource includes events and programs offered at your local nature center, conservation area or range and outdoor education center. Families will find nature activities for kids, hikers will find organized hikes, and hunters and anglers will find programs and clinics. Department events are a great way to reconnect with nature and get involved with conservation efforts.