Add an Article Add an Event Edit

Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Springfield Conservation Nature Center
4601 South Nature Center Way
417-888-4237

Something exciting is always happening at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Indoors you'll discover nature through programs, activities and displays. Outdoors, seasonal changes and unpredictable wildlife make each visit an adventure. So come visit our nature center often!

Natural

Surprise a white-tailed deer bedded in a cedar thicket. Smell the fresh scent of the Ozark woods after a rain. Watch an eagle snag a fish from an icy lake. At the Springfield Conservation Nature Center there are trails to walk, exhibits to explore, and videos and programs to enjoy. All year-round, it's the place to experience and learn about the Missouri outdoors.

Nature Center Features:

-Eighty acres of forests, fields and creeks, along with frontage on Lake Springfield.
-Wildlife, including deer, foxes, mink, muskrat, raccoons, squirrels, birds, turtles, frogs, bugs and just about everything else that lives in the Ozarks.
-Nearly three miles of trails, as short as a fifth of a mile, as long as two miles.
-A boardwalk over the marshy shallows of the lake.
-A building containing:
-150-seat auditorium
-classrooms
-restrooms
-exhibits
-information desk
-sales of books, calendars, and fishing and hunting permits
-Regularly scheduled public programs, guided walks and nature films.
-Covered sack lunch area.
-Pull-through bus and RV parking
-Facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.


Recent News

MDC Invites Public to Eagle Days on Jan. 21-22 at Springfield Nature Center

Event is joint effort of MDC, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Springfield/Greene County Park Board. Springfield, Mo – In winter, Missouri is an excellent state to view bald eagles. During this time of year, the state’s small resident eagle…

Read More »

January 14th MDC Virtual Program to Focus on Backyard Biodiversity

Program will discuss the variety of life that can be found around a home. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – People don’t always have to travel to far-away forests and grasslands to find a variety of animal and plant species. There may be more life…

Read More »

Go on a Winter Bird Walk at MDC's Springfield Nature Center on December 27, 2022

Bring binoculars and a field guide and get tips on bird viewing. Springfield, MO – The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a great time to grab a pair of binoculars, head outside, and learn more about the variety of birds that can…

Read More »

Learn Where to go for Day Hikes at Dec. 13 MDC Virtual Program

Get information about good locations for nature treks in the Ozarks. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Whoever said the outdoors go dormant in winter has never walked on an Ozarks trail at this time of year. People can learn about locations where…

Read More »

Learn About Snakes on Dec. 28 at MDC's Springfield Nature Center

Free program will discuss the benefits these reptiles provide to people. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Snakes are among Missouri’s most misunderstood animals. That’s unfortunate because underneath a snake’s frightful reputation is an…

Read More »

Learn About Nature Photography at MDC's Springfield Nature Center on December 2, 2022

Nationally known photographer Tim Ernst will share his tips in two programs. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Nature photography is a pastime everyone can enjoy but using the proper techniques can turn an interesting photo into a picture you’ll…

Read More »

MDC Invites Women to Hike Little Sac Woods Conservation Area on Dec. 3

Guided trek will take hikers over portion of MDC area in northern Greene County. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Early December is a great time to get away from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and enjoy a walk in the woods. With that in…

Read More »

MDC's Springfield Conservation Nature Center Looking for Volunteers

Nov. 30th, meeting is for people interested in volunteering at the Springfield Nature Center. Springfield, MO – Volunteers play valuable roles at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center.…

Read More »

Springfield Nature Center Combines Nature and Music at 'Nature Art: Music of Missouri’s Woods and Water' Program on November 18, 2022

Enjoy songs inspired by the Ozarks outdoors. Springfield, MO -- Music is a beautiful and meaningful method to convey one’s love of the outdoors. People can join local musicians Bo Brown, Marideth Sisco, David Wilson, and George Horne in an…

Read More »

MDC's Springfield Nature Center will Shift to Winter Schedule from Nov. 1, 2022

Trails will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and building will be closed Sundays and Mondays. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – People visiting the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center are reminded that, starting…

Read More »

MDC Invites Women to Hike Fellows Lake Trail on October 8, 2022

Guided five-mile trek will take hikers on north side of reservoir. SPRINGFIELD, MO -- Comfortable temperatures, an abundance of wildlife activity, and the arrival of fall colors make fall an excellent time for a hike. With that in mind,…

Read More »

MDC's Springfield Nature Center Hosts Plant Sale on September 24, 2022

Buy native plants and get information about what works best for your yard. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Planting native plants and wildflowers isn’t just a spring thing. Fall is a great time to plant native plants and make planting plans for…

Read More »

Springfield Nature Center Kids' Program to Focus on Flying Squirrels on Setptember 8, 2022

Program for ages 3-6 will be offered in both English and Spanish. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – On Sept. 8, young children will have a chance to learn about a rodent that is as fascinating as it is secretive – the flying squirrel. …

Read More »

MDC Sept. 8 Virtual Program to Focus on Plants That Provide Habitat Around the Home

Event will discuss native varieties that can be planted in the fall. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – You don’t have to be a biologist or a landscaping expert to plan a yard or flower garden that provides good habitat for insects and local…

Read More »

Learn Why Bird Populations are in Trouble at Aug. 4 MDC Program

Springfield Nature Center event will discuss what can be done to reverse downward trends. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Because birds are frequently seen wildlife, many people would be surprised to learn that many of North America’s bird…

Read More »

Learn About Birds of Prey on July 22 at MDC's Springfield Nature Center

Two afternoon programs will feature live birds from Dickerson Park Zoo. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Hawks, eagles, falcons, and other bird of prey have a number of unique traits that make them skilled hunters. People can learn more about birds…

Read More »

Learn About Snakes on July 12 at MDC's Springfield Nature Center

Free program will discuss the benefits these reptiles provide to people. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Snakes are among Missouri’s most misunderstood animals. That’s unfortunate because underneath a snake’s frightful reputation is…

Read More »

June 30 MDC Virtual Program to Focus on Nature-Oriented Apps

Program will explain how apps can add enjoyment to an outdoors experience. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The phrase “there’s an app for everything” applies to the outdoors, too. If you’re interested in learning more…

Read More »

Go On A Wild Plant Walk at MDC's Springfield Nature Center

Learn more about native plants at this June 10 program. SPRINGFIELD, MO – “What plant is that” is a commonly heard question on hikes, camping trips, and other outdoor outings. Now that spring has greened up the outdoors,…

Read More »

Learn About Missouri's Venomous Snakes at MDC Virtual Program

Dispel myths and get identification tips at online event. SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When it comes to things people are afraid of in the outdoors, venomous snakes top many fright lists. While it’s true people should always give venomous…

Read More »

MDC's Springfield Nature Center Plans Amphibian Hike for Teens

Conservation Teens hike will explore Compton Hollow Conservation Area on May 14. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Amphibians provide several benefits to humans and spring is a great time to observe these fascinating creatures in their early stages of…

Read More »

MDC to Offer Free Virtual Hummingbird Program on May 7, 2022

Springfield Nature Center staff will host online event about these interesting birds. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Hummingbirds fascinate humans for a variety of reasons. The way these tiny birds hover at feeders and dart back and forth makes them a…

Read More »

Learn About Amphibians at MDC Virtual Program on April 20, 2022

Program will include online chat in which participants can submit questions. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Amphibians provide a number of benefits to humans and the croaks and calls that some make add to the enjoyment of spring and summer. …

Read More »

MDC Invites Public to Native Plant Sale on April 2 at Springfield Nature Center

Event will also feature gardening demonstrations from local experts. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Many homeowners are discovering the benefits of landscaping with native plants. Plants that are naturally adapted to their surroundings tend to be less…

Read More »

Learn How to Attract Pollinators at MDC Virtual Program

Learn about the value of variety at March 30 online program. SPRINGFIELD, MO -– Bees and monarch butterflies are the creatures often thought of when pollination is mentioned, but they’re not the only pollinators that can be attracted…

Read More »

Find Plant Solutions for Problem Areas at MDC Virtual Program on March 18, 2022

Learn which native plants will thrive in those hard-to-grow areas. SPRINGFIELD, MO – Some landscapes pose planting challenges. Areas that have excessive shade or hold moisture can make it difficult to have a yard filled with vegetative…

Read More »

Photos