Getting Outside with the Conservation Nature Center

Nature center hiking trailThe warming weather means it’s time to get outside to enjoy nature. The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is celebrating the change of season by hosting free, family-friendly activities and programs.


Located in Cape County Park North, the Conservation Nature Center is right next to a deep forest full of hiking trails, ponds, and gorgeous views, perfect for enjoying the spring weather. If things get too hot or rainy patrons can enter the nature center to see the live animals on display, including the famous two-headed snake. There are also plenty of interactive activities and learning stations for children to enjoy.

“We have a wide range of things. There’s stuff for the individual, for families, anyone of any age,” says assistant manager Jamie Koehler, “There’s the garden, the trails, we provide programs . . . We’ve got something here for everybody.”

The Conservation Nature Center has a full schedule created for children and adults to make the most of the summer months. TheyTwo-headed black rat snake even offer clubs for younger children: ‘Tadpoles’ are for infants to two-year-olds offering activities through story-telling, puppet shows, and camping practice. For ages three to six there is ‘Mudpuppies’ where kids participate in outdoor activities to learn about animals, plants, and bugs. Seven to eleven year olds can join ‘Snappers,’ this club provides more advanced activities with nature-themed craft projects, outdoor exploration, and skill-building.

The nature center offers several activities for older, non-club members as well. You can take a hike during the Wednesday Wildflower Walk, or attend one of the many classes on local wildlife. More leisurely activities include crafts such as flower-pressing and scrapbooking. For family experiences you can learn out to use a dutch oven, go flyfishing, or learn how to canoe.  

Jamie says, “We help get people outside, there’s a fishing pond for kids where they can enjoy nature and get some sunshine. People can hike the woods and go into the trees. We help connect people to nature and wildlife, and in a way we connect them to history.”

You don’t have to leave town to get close to nature: go on an adventure with the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Visit them at 2289 County Park Drive, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, or call for more information at 573-290-5218. To see their schedule of events click here. They also hire volunteers.

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