Grand Opening for State Education Center in April 19

The grand opening celebration for the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona is 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. April 19. The public is invited.

A variety of demonstrations will run throughout the day, including bow making, tie hacking, spinning, archery, fishing, steam engines, making turkey calls and wild edibles. Seminars on Ozarks traditions, hunting with kids, turkey calling, Pioneer Forest and fire in the pines will be at various times in the classroom. There will be a short ceremony with Director John Hoskins and Missouri Department of Conservation Commissioner Chip McGeehan at 11 a.m., followed by an old-fashioned fish fry.

The outdoor exhibits include an 1840s furnished log cabin, a 1922 Case Steam Engine, a tie mill, a 1910 one-room school house and an early 1800s sash saw. Fishing tackle is available on loan for those who want to take their kids fishing in the Mule Camp Pond, a two-acre fishing lake stocked with bluegill, bass and catfish. Although the weather has delayed completion of the hiking trail around the 456-acre conservation area, it should be open by the April 19 celebration. There will be hikes offered during the day for those interested in bird watching, wild edibles and medicinals.

Open since Jan. 2, Twin Pines has already hosted events such as Eagle Days and Goin’ Frog Wild for the public, as well as field trips for area schools. The facility offers programming for all grade levels in alignment with the Missouri Grade Level Expectations. Outdoor skills field trips are also available, including archery, fishing, hiking and backpacking, camping, map and compass. A focus for the facility is the forest heritage of the Ozarks, including the changes in forest use and management from the late 1800s to the present day. The land surrounding Twin Pines is managed and offers the opportunity for patrons to see the various types of land management techniques available to Ozarks landowners. Here the public can attend a workshop on timber stand improvement and tour a demonstration area of such techniques and see the results firsthand.

The Twin Pines Conservation Education Center is on U.S. 60, 1.3 miles east of the intersection with North Highway 19 in Winona. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. For additional information or a schedule of the day’s activities, call 573-325-1381.

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