Tag Archives: burr oak woods conservation center

Review: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Center

After attending their “Slithering Snakes” presentation, my family decided to tour the rest of the Burr Oak Woods Facility.

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I have to admit, even though it is a small building, it is packed with child-oriented activities from which my babies did not want to be taken!

They have the usual indoor play areas, like a nature themed slide and clubhouse (check out that acorn-shaped balcony), and an activity area with nature themed books and coloring pages.

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This facility also features an all-season room next to the outdoor wild-bird habitat. This room contains a small flip-chart field guide to local birds, as well as a few actual field guides (not to be removed from the facility).

Im guessing some of the outdoor-events are sponsored in this room, because there is a sink right next to the door that I spotted right as I was exiting.

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Their hummingbird feeders were much frequented, but I wasn’t able to focus my iPhone camera on the fast moving hummingbirds. However, they were certainly there! I found myself quite jealous-we just put ours up and have yet to attract anything other than disappointment.

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They also have quite a few Vivariums (Terrariums designed to mimic the occupants natural environment) that house local snakes (both venomous and non-venomous) as well as other reptiles.

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Overall, if you were to rate this facility based on fun activities centered on nature education, I give it a 5 out of 5, easily. My kids never once told me they were bored, and they did not want to leave. Even though we last went a month ago, they are still asking me to take them (baby girl is almost here, thats the only reason we haven’t gone again).

As you walk through the door, the “closer look” display has a close-up picture of an animal or plant (you have to guess what is described), which you then turn to reveal the identity of the object in question.

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To the right of the entrance is a wall of literature for those interested, hosting a variety of topics including “best camping, best fishing, best foraging sites,” etc, “how to attract hummingbirds (apparently I don’t have any because my feeder wasn’t out during mating season), as well as a comprehensive guide for “fishing prospects” that is updated yearly based on ongoing research and data, among other things (by comprehensive, I mean it felt like a book).

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You can also hike the nature trails nearby, where you will certainly not be disappointed by the variety of wild-life that live in this 2,000 acre conservation site.

So if you are looking for something to do this summer, check out the Burr Oaks conservation center, there is something there for everyone!

 

Burr Oak Woods presents “Slithering Snakes”

This was actually about a month ago, but still worth knowing about since they have ongoing educational classes for both children and adults, most of which are completely free.

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I had been told that Missouri offered free fishing classes for residents, and during my “event and activity” search on their website, the Missouri Dept of Conservation, I happened upon this educational class, “Slithering snakes” held in the auditorium of the Burr Oaks Conservation Center in Blue Springs.

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Dragon boy loves snakes, and while my six year old can sit through one of the libraries free summer events (most of which are science related), the three year old is just not interested.

Not so with “Slithering Snakes!” My little boy was riveted! The presentation was casual and child friendly-no venomous snakes were presented (for obvious reasons), and at the end they were able to watch the snakes getting fed so they could observe the incredibly elastic snake jaws ingest much larger prey.

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Fifty minutes in, and he’s still excited!

The educational material was light, but informative, so that both the three and six year old came home with “new” information about local snakes and basic snake facts. For example, did you know that snakes never stop growing? Approximate length is based on approximate age at time of death, but snakes that live longer will continue to grow longer. I had no idea!

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Rattlesnake rattles were handed out and passed down, along with snake-skins-careful, they are very brittle! Little man was so gentle with these, but he had a hard time relinquishing them to the next kid!

The cornsnake was the only one allowed to slither along the floor. The presenter informed us that he was “a very shy, but gentle snake,” and before letting him loose we were advised to “sit still, don’t get up, and if he moves in your direction, don’t try to stomp him!”

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He was actually quite afraid, and wouldn’t even climb on the walls, let alone come near the audience. That was probably for the best-one of the grandma’s in the back, who had brought her grandkids, was visibly freaked out the entire time we were there.

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Overall, it was a great presentation, with a lot of tangible, snake related items for tactile exploration and fun. I think we will be going again.

I also learned that the King snake would be a great gift for a child . . . I think we will wait on that one. I don’t want a surprise in my bed because a three year old forgot to keep the lid on the terrarium!