Learning about Missouri’s black bear population and getting tips for your next canoe trip are among the topics people can learn about in July at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Some nature center programs require registration in advance so it’s important for nature center guests to familiarize themselves with MDC’s event website at mdc.mo.gov/southwestevents or call 417-888-4237.

On July 9, learn more about black bears in Missouri at a Black Bear Open House. No registration is required for this event, which is from 6-8 p.m. MDC Furbearer Biologist Laura Conlee will provide an update on bears in Missouri and the public will also have an opportunity to provide feedback. This event is for ages 10-adult. Call 417-888-4237 for details.

On July 20, people can get paddling tips at Canoeing: An Introduction for Adults. This program will be 8:30-11 a.m. and is for ages 18-adult. Participants will meet at Lake Springfield’s Southwood Access. Dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get wet. People can register for this program at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167832.

On July 27, the nature center’s Conservation TEENS will take a float trip on a nearby stream. This program is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and for ages 12-17. Wear shoes that can get wet (no flip-flops). Drinks and transportation will be provided. Participants should bring a change of clothes and a sack lunch. Register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167845.

Other July programs at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center include:

Primitive Skills: Making Cordage, July 7, 1-3 p.m., all ages, no registration required

Invasive Species: Plants, July 9, 9-11 a.m., ages 12-adult, ages-12 adult, no registration required

Little Acorns: Let’s Go Camping, July 13, 11:15 a.m.-noon, ages 3-6 (no organized groups please), no registration required

Nature Art: With a Chinese Brushstroke, July 13, 1-2:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m.; ages 8-adult, register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167825.

Little Acorns: Let’s Go Camping, July 16, 10-10:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-noon, ages 3-6, no registration required

Discover Nature: Family Explorers, July 17, 9 a.m.-noon; participants will hike the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area in Christian County, meet at Busiek’s east parking lot, ages 8-adult, register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167826.

Conservation Kids: Acro-bats, July 18, 6:30-7:45 p.m., ages 7-12, no younger siblings and only one adult per group of kids, register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167827.

Wildlife: Snakes of Missouri, July 20, 2-3 p.m.; all ages; no registration required

Little Acorns: Slithery Snakes, July 25, 10-10:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-noon; ages 3-6, no registration required

Nature Art: Junior Duck Stamp Painting, July 24, 1-4 p.m., ages 8-12, register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167841.

Hiking: Busiek State Forest, July 27, 8:15 a.m.-noon; group will hike the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area in Christian County; meet in the nature center parking lot and carpool from there, bring sack lunch and water, register at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/167844.

Springfield Conservation Nature Center guests can conveniently manage program registration online at mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents. The first step to registering for a program is creating a profile. Once that is accomplished, it is easier to sign up for future programs.

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting the words “MDC Springfield” to 468311.Sign-up for e-mail updates is available at mdc.mo.gov/Events by selecting “Sign Up” under “Stay in touch with MDC.” Updates specific to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center are available under the category “Events and Facility Reminders.”

Find information about monthly programs at mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents. The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located in southeast Springfield at 4601 S. Nature Center Way. People can call for more information about the facility or any of the programs listed above at 417-888-4237.

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