PRESS RELEASE: (Missouri Department of Conservation) — Summer brings a chance to head outdoors for adventures at rivers, lakes, forests and prairies. But knowing what gear and skills are needed for activities such as fishing or backpacking adds fun to the adventure. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs is offering several free events or workshops during May and June that will help people get started in outdoor adventures.

Photo: Missouri Department of Conservation

For example, the Burr Oak Woods staff has three separate workshops that also involve trying out new skills or gear on Saturday, May 11.

A Family Fishing event will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at a pond on the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area. MDC staff will teach basic fishing skills. After instruction, MDC will provide gear and bait and participants will go fishing. They will gain the skills to go fishing on their own.

Lisa Richter, an experienced Appalachian Trail hiker and MDC Naturalist, will teach a session on backpacking in Missouri from 10 to 11 a.m. Participants will learn where to go, what to take, and what keeps a hiker happily moving down the trail.

The Burr Oak Woods staff will also teach water skills for kayaks and canoes from 12:30 to 2 p.m. This session will give participants a chance to try these sports on an area pond with instructors present to lend a hand.

All these sessions are free but advance registration is required. For more information and to register, visit MDC’s online events registration page, https://mdc.mo.gov/events-s3. The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center is at 1401 N.W. Park Road. For information about the center, call 816-228-3766 or visit http://mdc.mo.gov/burroakwoods.