There is something for all ages in the January nature programs provided by Hannibal Parks & Recreation.

The weather may be cold, but that makes it a good time to discover how nature changes in winter. All nature programs sponsored by Hannibal Parks & Recreation are free. Gale Rublee, interpreter guide for Hannibal Parks & Recreation, leads the programs.

  • Nature Tales with Gale 10:30-11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 3 at the Hannibal Free Public Library. This is a new program for preschoolers ages 3-5 that will be the first Friday of the month in partnership with the Hannibal Free Public Library. “Join us for stories about all sorts of critters and discover where they live, what they do, and how important they are,” Rublee said. “Using our imaginations we’ll act out the story or go outside to search for signs of animals.”
  • Nature in Winter 11-11:45 Friday, Jan. 3 at Hannibal Free Public Library for children in grades K-2. “Why is winter so different from other times of year? Where do all the critters go? Join us for stories about animals and plants in winter. Using our imaginations we’ll act out a story or go outside to search for clues of what’s happening in winter,” Rublee said.
  • Feed the Birds 6-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at Admiral Coontz Recreation Center, ages 5 and up. Feeding our feathered friends when it’s cold helps them survive the winter plus allows us to observe them close to home. Learn about Missouri’s winter birds and make a special treat for them to hang in your yard.
  • Robinson Trail Hike 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at Sodalis Nature Preserve.  Explore the Robinson Cemetery trail with seasonal nature observations along the way. Participants will start at the Sodalis parking lot, head up to the Pirate Ridge trail via the Amphitheater, and end at the Patchen Street entrance of the Bear Creek trail. There will be some rugged terrain. Sturdy shoes and walking sticks are recommended.


Reservations for the nature programs, especially for the Feed the Birds program, are recommended by calling 573-221-0154 or emailing

Rublee has more than 25 years of experience as a nature educator. She is a founding member of the Mississippi Hills Master Naturalists chapter in Hannibal and is coordinator and teacher for the Bluff City Theater Youth Education in Theater Initiative.