Kids can discover nature in wetlands at annual family fun day

St. Charles, Mo. — Special places that help clean water, reduce flooding, and provide home to fascinating plants and animals are worth celebrating. They can be a lot of fun too.

That’s the idea behind the annual Wetlands for Kids Day event. It’s happening this year on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. Wetlands for Kids Day is hosted by MDC, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The event, supported by grants from the Enterprise Foundation and the Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Association, is free for both kids and adults.

Wetlands for Kids Day helps families discover nature by learning more about and appreciating wetlands through enjoyable activities that relate fun with these vital habitats.

Activities include more than 20 stations where visitors can learn about wetland creatures first hand. There will be a chance to see real birds of prey, thanks to the World Bird Sanctuary. A live reptile and amphibian station will allow a close up look at these wetland inhabitants. Kids can explore the Duck Wing Maze while learning to identify ducks by wings and plumage along the way. They can also crawl through a simulated beaver den.

Retriever demonstrations are popular with visitors who enjoy watching the dogs perform on land and water. Other stations include free fish tasting, air rifle shooting, and a rod-and-reel casting.

Each child who attends gets a free subscription to MDC's Xplor nature magazine for kids. They will also receive a Ducks Unlimited Greenwing membership and a subscription to Puddler Magazine. All kids who come to the event will also receive a free tree seedling from MDC.

In keeping with its watery theme, Wetlands for Kids Day will go on rain or shine. In the event of wet weather, the event will be moved indoors. Food will also be available for purchase during the event.

To learn more about Wetlands for Kids Day, call 636-441-4554.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located in St. Charles on Route D, about two miles west of Highway 94.

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