The Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center is now fully open, providing an environmental experience and educational displays for children and adults.
The Center, located at 201 Riviera in Joplin (off Main Street, south of I-44 but north of Redings Mill) is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
It is closed on all state holidays.
In November 2017, the National Audubon Society announced it was pulling out of the facility. When MDC took full ownership of the building in July 2018, it inherited a building that was in need of a structural and educational makeover.
Technicians, designers, architects, and other staff worked on HVAC repair, a leaking aquarium, a leaky roof and other maintenance and exhibit upgrades.
The natural area that surrounds the main center is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
The landscaped native plantings at the front of the Center are derived from the ecosystem of this portion of southwest Missouri.
Inside, staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is available to answer questions, distribute information on programs taught inside and out. A total of 33 acres are included in the Center grounds.
A number of exhibits connect visitors with conservation by offering information about the unique chert glades in the area.
Also, newly formed partnership between MDC and the Wildcat Glades Friends Group offers visitors a redesigned gift shop that will is solely operated by the Friends Group.