Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center is offering the following activities for the month of December. The Nature Center is located at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. All activities are free, but registration is required, unless otherwise noted. Call 816-228-3766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• What’s for Dinner, for all ages, 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Discover what’s for dinner at Burr Oak Woods as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their. The snakes will be fed Dec. 9 and 23. Walk-ins welcome, no registration required.
• Holiday Nature Crafts: Smokey Bear Photos, for all ages, Dec. 3. Craft up some fun using nature-made materials Come anytime between 9 a.m. and noon to complete two on-your-own crafts. Pose with Smokey Bear for a holiday photo and we'll print one free for you (one per household.) Walk-ins welcome.
• Recycled Bird House, for all ages, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Create a twig-embellished bird house from recycled materials for some feathered friends (wrens, chickadees, etc.) and learn how they raise their little flyers.
• Wreath Making, for adults, 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Celebrate the season by crafting a natural artisan wreath! Evergreens, pine cones and many other natural trimmings will be provided. Learn how to assemble and take home your creation.
• Missouri River Eagle Day, for all ages, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10, LaBenite Park in Sugar Creek, just east of Missouri 291 bridge. Join in on the fun as we bundle up on a pontoon boat and launch onto the Missouri River for the chance to view bald eagles in their own habitat. Your family will love to visit the discovery stations as you wait your turn on the river to learn more about one of America’s greatest natural wonders and these magnificent raptors that call it home. Walk-ins are welcome for the Live Eagle Program and Eagle Discovery Stations, but reservations are required for the pontoon boat ride.
• Winter Dendrology Workshop, for adults, 8:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 14. Any outdoorsman can ID trees with their leaves on, but bonafide tree nerds can even identify them in the winter. Join Community Forester Chuck Conner as he teaches how to identify trees when they’re “naked.” Participants will learn the basics of tree identification, including leaf shapes, arrangements, buds, twig, fruit, bark, form, position in the landscape and other characteristics used to identify trees. Students will learn how to use reference books and keys to help identify trees in both a classroom setting and in the field. Special emphasis will be given to the identification of native deciduous trees in their “leaf-off” or dormant condition using species specific characteristics and keys.
• Little Acorns: Big Black Bears, for ages 3 to 5 with an adult, 10 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2 p.m. Dec. 14; or 10 to 11 a.m. Dec. 15 or 16. We're “Goin’ on a bear hunt” but not like you think! We are hunting for Missouri black bear knowledge.
• Conservation Kids Club: Night Prowl, for age 7 to 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14. Learn about nocturnal adaptations and strategies for coping in this dark and mysterious world.
• Nature Film Festival, for all ages, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Join us once again for an end of the year film festival! This year we are featuring the wonderful fish, forests and wildlife found right here in Missouri. We'll also be showing other nature movies and short documentaries throughout the day. No registration required.
• Leaf Print Art, for all ages, 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 31. Splash some color into your winter by making a unique leafy print! Using rubber leaves and printing ink, acrylic, or tempura paints finger painters to skilled artists will create a frame-worthy leaf print to take home. Play games to discover what trees do for you and wildlife. Walk-ins welcome.
• Rockin’ & Readin’ Nature Tales, for ages 2 and older, 11 a.m. to noon Dec. 31. Join us for a story hour as we lead you on fantastic nature adventures! Our imaginations are the only limits. Walk-ins welcome.
– Jillayne Ritchie