MISSOURI — Missouri is home to a wide array of natural habitats and the animals that call them home.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC’s) Discover Nature Program helps connect Missourians with the state’s wildlife.

KMZU’s Dan Watson chatted with Trish Yasger, a Fisheries Management Biologist with the MDC, to find out more about the Discover Nature Program as a whole, the different types of events the program puts on and what volunteer opportunities there are available.

Click below to listen to their conversation, which aired


According to Yasger, the Discover Nature Program is composed of different subprograms that teach different aspects of nature.

“Its kind of a broad category, but we have a Discover Nature Schools program that also includes our National Archery in the Schools and it includes programs at the  nature centers and ranges and interpretive centers.”

There is also a Discover Nature fishing program available for both inexperienced and seasoned anglers. Yasger works closely with the Discover Nature fishing program to encourage fishermen to cast a line in Missouri waters.

While a large portion of the events occur at MDC nature and interpretive centers, there are some that take place elsewhere in Missouri.

“There also offered at other sites around the state,” Yasger said, “there’s things like fishing, birding, backpacking, kayak, some of the shooting sports, archery, nature art.”

Most of the Discover Nature programs are free to attend, but some may require a refundable registration fee. The Missouri Department of Conservation will supply the necessary equipment for an event such as a fishing class.

For those interested in volunteering, there are plenty of opportunities.

“There are a lot of volunteer programs,” Yasger explained, “I know for Discover Nature Fishing, we use volunteers to help teach the class or they can teach the class on their own if they don’t want to just be an assistant.”

To learn more about the Discover Nature Program, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.