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“One of the neatest things to do in Cape Girardeau.”

Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located within Cape Girardeau's North County Park, the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is a place where families can have fun while exploring the rich cultural history and wildlife of Southeast Missouri. Admission is always free at the Nature Center because the nature center is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, a state agency supported by fishing and hunting license revenues and the statewide 1/8-of-one percent "Design for Conservation" sales tax. Inside the Nature Center, visitors will find a 160-seat auditorium, three classrooms, and hands-on exhibits for all ages, a scientific research laboratory, freshwater aquariums, and an indoor wildlife viewing area. Exhibits begin with Paul Corbin's collection of Native American artifacts including primitive tools that were used to harvest plants and animals hundreds of years ago. Interactive exhibits encourage exploration of the forest, marsh, swamp, and big river habitats of Southeast Missouri. Visitors can learn where to go in the region to experience these unique natural features and gain insight into local opportunities for camping, hunting, and fishing. Outside, "White Oak Trace" features two miles of nature trails allowing visitors to traverse rolling river hills with sinkholes, deep hollows, and ravines covered with prominent stands of poplar and oak. Native plants featured in the Nature Center's landscape provide habitat for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife species. These examples of native landscapes make the Nature Center a great place to get ideas for your own landscaping plans. The nature center also has a gift shop, with a wide variety of educational books, videos, and nature-related items. Final sales must be made by 4:30 pm.
Reviewed May 26, 2010

Want to see fish up close, see bees at work in an actual hive, listen to the calls turkeys make, or take a nice stroll through the woods? This nature center on the north side of Cape Girardeau should fit you need.

The center, which charges no admission, has lots of hands-on things to do, such as touching animal furs, learning about nature interactively with computers, crawling into an oversized beaver house, or seeing what kind of lures attract what kinds of fish. There is emphasis on what not to do in nature, as well, and how to best see nature and preserve it for the future.

The center has an open-glass area, complete with supplied binoculars, so that you can birdwatch, or look at butterflies or any other critter that happens up, from the comfort of a chair. There is a video to watch, and groups can have workshops here, plus kids (and kids only) can fish in a lake directly in front of the center.

Overall, I found this place to be very informative and not boring. Some of the exhibits were a bit confusing to work (and one was out of order), but no place will be totally perfect. The nature walk outside can be broken up into certain areas, or in a perimeter walk over a mile in length.

The center is not open on Sunday or Mondays, as is very easy to reach. Get off I-55, at Exit 99, onto U.S. 61 South. The entrance is about 1 mile south on the left.

6  Thank DyersburgTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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