MDC Nature Centers: Cool Places to Discover Nature

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, a great place to head indoors when you want to learn more about the outdoors.

You know what they say about Missouri weather: If you don’t like it, wait five minutes. However, it’s a safe bet summer in Missouri will be hot—and this one certainly has been so far.

But here’s one thing you might not have to bet on: You can still spend hours enjoying the Missouri outdoors no matter how hot summer is.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) maintains five conservation nature centers statewide. Nature centers offer Missourians and visitors to the Show-Me State a chance to learn about wildlife through intriguing live exhibits. These centers also allow guests to become better acquainted with their outdoor surroundings through various workshops and classes for children and adults—all in the comfort of air-conditioning!

MDC’s nature centers are spread throughout the state. The Cape Girardeau Nature Center showcases southeast Missouri’s natural resources and cultural history, while southwest Missouri’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center gives an Ozark insider’s look. Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs serves the Kansas City area, while across the state, St. Louisans discover nature at the Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood.

Located in the center of the Show-Me State, Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City offers a look at the outdoor character of each of Missouri’s regions with hiking trails and demonstrations outside, as well as a library, exciting exhibits and an indoor wildlife-viewing area.

For those hardy and adventurous enough to brave the heat, nature centers feature miles of trails perfect for exploring each area’s unique landscape and encountering birds, deer and all kinds of wildlife.

Hot weather is no reason to miss out on how cool nature can be. For more information on Missouri’s nature centers, including driving directions, visit MissouriConservation.org so you can discover nature all summer long.

Written by Rebecca Maples, communications assistant, Missouri Department of Conservation

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