The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced it will close its nature centers, visitor centers, and education centers around the state to visitors effective Thursday, March 19, to help protect the public amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. The indoor facilities will be closed to the public through April 15 and MDC will reassess the situation at that point. Nature center trails remain open.
Closed MDC facilities include:
- Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs;
- Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center in Cape Girardeau;
- Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City;
- Lost Valley Fish Hatchery in Benton County;
- Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood;
- Rockwoods Reservation in St. Louis County;
- Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City;
- Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery near Branson;
- Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin;
- Springfield Conservation Nature Center in Springfield; and
- Twin Pines Conservation Education Center near Winona.
All conservation areas, area trails, and boat accesses remain open to the public. MDC offices and shooting ranges also remain open under normal operating hours. Hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons continue as scheduled. MDC managed hunts and mentored spring turkey hunts continue as planned.
SPECIAL NOTICE: While the nature center buildings will be closed to visitors, the outdoor native plant sales scheduled at Runge Nature Center on March 28 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and at Springfield Nature Center on April 4 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. will continue as scheduled, but related workshops have been cancelled.
Earlier this week, MDC cancelled other public events and programs around the state until April 15. The cancellations include scheduled hunter education classes, other nature center programs and events, shooting range programs and events, and landowner workshops.
People can contact their local MDC office with questions on specific events or programs. Find MDC contact information at mdc.mo.gov/regional-contacts?county=All.