MDC’s Powder Valley Nature Center launches new monthly Creature Feature virtual series starting Feb. 24

MDC Powder Valley Nature Center Spotted Salamander

Photo: A spotted salamander sits on top of a log.

Kids will discover a new native Missouri animal each month with these interactive online programs.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering the chance for kids to meet and learn about some of the Show-Me State’s most fascinating native creatures from the comfort of your own electronic device.

The naturalists at MDC’s Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center are launching a brand new monthly interactive online series for kids called Creature Feature. The first of the series will be Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 11-11:30 a.m. These programs are free and especially tailored to ages 3-7, but all ages are welcome.

“Join us for Creature Feature, a new interactive series about Missouri’s native animals,’ said MDC Naturalist Holly Balassi.   Each month the series will highlight a different native Missouri creature and include a talk about what makes the animal special.

Participants can ask questions using the online chat feature and get up close looks at the featured creature with a little help from technology. Upcoming “animal guests” will include a three-toed box turtle, a western (also known as black) ratsnake, an American toad, a skink, a spotted salamander, and more. Balassi said they may occasionally do live feedings on camera also, to add a little extra excitement.

“We will also read a short storybook and learn a new word associated with the animal of the month, Balassi added. The new series of programs should be both educational and entertaining and encourage children to meet a new animal each month.

While the programs are free, advanced online registration is required to attend. To find out what animal will be the highlight of the Creature Feature kick off Feb. 24, register at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZaR.

These virtual programs will be held through WebEx. Participants will receive an email with a WebEx link approximately 24 hours prior to the program, as well as a reminder email on the day of the program. If the emails do not appear in your inbox, participants should search junk/spam folders. Or contact Holly Balassi at holly.balassi@mdc.mo.gov.

To keep up with and register for future monthly Creature Features, go to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.