CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Department of Conservation volunteers are a vital part of the conservation community.
Volunteers at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center help maintain the native plant gardens, present nature-focused programs to public audiences, help with animal care and more.
"The great thing about volunteering is that you can participate in whatever element you want," Jamie Koehler, Nature Center assistant manager and volunteer coordinator said.
"It can be as simple as helping children bait their hooks at the kid's fishing pond or you can take it further and be the lead in nature programs for children and adults. We work with our volunteers to help them gain new skills and also play their strengths," Koehler adds.
Volunteers must be 14 years or older and have an appreciation for nature.
Volunteers should contact the Nature Center by April 28 to allow time for applications to be completed before the scheduled volunteer orientation meeting.
"Don't worry if you don't know much about native plants or how to do certain things. We'll teach you along the way," Koehler said. "Learning new things is part of the fun of volunteering."
The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has a visitor center with exhibits, live fish and amphibians and reptiles, an auditorium, two classrooms, a kid's only fishing pond, and hiking trails.
The facility serves school groups, youth organizations and the general public by highlighting the unique natural features of southeast Missouri, such as swamps and the connections between people and the land.
For more information about the center, including a full schedule of nature programs, go online to mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter. To volunteer, call (573)290-5218.