Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s the name of that bug?” “What species of tree is that?” “Is that a brown-eyed or black-eyed Susan?” The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center has an event that will introduce visitors to a powerful nature discovery tool you may already have in your hand.
Join Powder Valley for the iNaturalist Family Festival Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and learn about a free mobile app that can unlock an incredible body of nature knowledge for you. The free iNaturalist app can identify plants and animals around you using your smartphone’s camera, internet connection, and a comprehensive, world-wide base of expert knowledge. It also enables users to contribute valuable citizen science to its expanding database for themselves. MDC staff will conduct training sessions on using this potent app during the event.
There’s still plenty to do even if you don’t have a smartphone because this free family festival will also feature many non-electronic ways to connect with nature.
See live animals and explore the nature center’s wooded trails on guided nature hikes. Activities will include bug safaris, bird banding demonstrations, nature crafts and games for kids, nature discovery stations and locally-sourced honey tasting. Free hot dogs and other snacks will be available.
Visit with other conservation partners hosting educational tables and kid-friendly activities, like Missouri Master Naturalists, Missouri State Parks, Missouri Wildflower Nursery, Pheasants Forever, Inc., and Quail Forever, Pure Air Natives, St. Charles County Parks and Recreation, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Wild Ones, Webster Groves Nature Study Society, and World Bird Sanctuary.
No reservations are needed to attend the iNaturalist Family Festival and the event is open to all ages. Bring the whole family to spend an hour, or a whole day, exploring nature and come away with an incredible resource to help you learn even more. Those planning to attend the iNaturalist training session should download the free iNaturalist and Seek by iNaturalist apps, available for Android and iOS devices at iNaturalist.org, before the event.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-44 and I-270.
For more information on the iNaturalist Family Festival, call the nature center at 314-301-1500.