Events for Families

The Conservation Department invites you to discover nature with a series of outdoor preparedness classes in Columbia. There will be a classroom session 6 to 8 p.m. on April 11 at the MDC Central Regional Office. Additional field dates will occur from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 1 and May 22. This program is open to families and youth age 11 years and up with a parent or adult mentor.

The series of classes will cover basic outdoor skills such as how to build a campfire, finding wild edible foods in the woods, how to purify water, how to build a shelter and much more. Whether a person wants to be more prepared when venturing outdoors on a nature hike, or to learn new skills to use on a hunting or camping trip, this series of classes will prepare you for your next outdoor adventure.

“Outdoor preparedness begins with the right mental attitude and then builds upon several key skills,” said Conservation Department Outdoor Skills Specialist Brian Flowers. “With a backpack containing several key items, outdoor enthusiasts can feel better prepared to take on most outdoor emergency situations.”

To register, or for more information, contact Flowers at Brian.Flowers@mdc.mo.gov or 573-815-7901, ext. 3388.

The E. Sydney Stephens Central Regional Office and Conservation Research Center is conveniently located off of US Highway 63 just west of the Discovery Parkway exit on the south side of East Gans Road. —Joanie Straub

Other Events Around the State

For more information about these and other Discover Nature programs, visit mdc.mo.gov/events.

  • Springfield: Spring Wildflower Hike at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, April 17 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Take a stroll with us on the trails for a close look at spring wildflowers. Ages 7 and up. Registration is required and begins April 2, call 417-888-4237.
  • Blue Springs: Owl Prowl at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, April 20 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Bring your family to learn about owls and discover the important role they play. We will dissect real owl pellets and search for these nocturnal predators. We will learn how to identify Missouri owls by sound. Ages 7 and up. Registration is required and begins April 2, call 816-228-3766.
  • Cape Girardeau: Spring Bird Walk at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, April 20 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Spring is a great time to view and listen to songbirds. While some nest in this area, others are migrating through to areas much further north. Join expert birders along the nature center trails as they help find and identify these magnificent birds. Ages 5 and up. Registration is required and begins April 2, call 573-290-5218.
  • North St. Louis County: Full Moon Wetland Walk at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. Take an evening walk and discover nature through the sights and sounds abounding in the wetland. Dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get muddy. We may walk up to 3 miles. Meet at the visitor center to car pool to the hike site. Ages 10 and up. Registration is required and begins April 12, call 314-877-6014.