In 2017, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating 80 years of serving nature and Missouri citizens.

In 2017, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating 80 years of serving nature and Missouri citizens.

MDC was founded by Missourians — concerned by the state’s decimated fish, forests and wildlife — through a constitutional amendment passed in 1936 to create the nation’s first apolitical conservation agency in 1937. Keeping with its tradition of citizen-based conservation, MDC will hold open houses around the state in August through October to share information and gather public feedback.

MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley will be at all open houses to share insights on the Department’s history, conservation priorities, and challenges on the horizon. Each open house will also include remarks by local community leaders.

Attendees are encouraged to give feedback on MDC regulations, infrastructure, strategic priorities and statewide and local conservation issues.

No registration is required. Refreshments will be served. The first 80 attendees at each open house will receive a special gift from MDC.

"Citizen involvement and participation have always been important to the Department of Conservation,” said Pauley. “Whether through gathering input from hunters on deer season regulations, or hikers and birdwatchers on how a conservation area should be managed, we value public input. We want to hear from you."

Watch this video for an invitation from Pauley: youtube.com/watch?v=hQ0khwwQRWc .

Join MDC from 6 – 8 p.m. at the following open houses:

Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the MDC Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive in Cape Girardeau

Thursday, Aug. 10 at the MDC Runge Conservation Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City

Monday, Aug. 14 at the MDC Northeast Regional Office, 3500 S. Baltimore in Kirksville

Thursday, Sept. 7 at the MDC Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood

Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Kemper Recital Hall in Spratt Hall 101 on the Missouri Western State University campus where the MDC Northwest Regional Office is located, 4525 Downs Drive in St. Joseph

Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way in Springfield

Thursday, Oct. 12 at the MDC Twin Pines Conservation Education Center, 20086 Highway 60 in Winona

Thursday, Oct. 26 at the MDC Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave in Kansas City

MDC will also gather public feedback at the following events:

Saturday, July 22 at the Kansas City Public Health and Safety Fair

Thursday, July 27 to Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield

Wednesday, Wednesday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 6 at the Washington Town and Country Fair in Washington

Thursday, Aug. 10 to Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia

Saturday, Sept. 9 to Saturday, Sept. 16 at the SEMO District Fair in Cape Girardeau

Thursday, Sept. 21 to Saturday, Sept. 23 at “Hootin an Hollarin” in Gainesville

Saturday, Sept. 23 at National Hunting and Fishing Day in Hannibal

Saturday, Sept. 30 at the South Farm Showcase in Columbia

Sunday, Oct. 15 at MDC’s Poosey Fall Driving Tour in northwest Livingston County

For more information, contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115, ext. 3350, or Michele.Baumer@mdc.mo.gov .