Fish Hatchery to Be Replaced with New Nature Center

Branson’s decade-old Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery visitor center is on track for a major upgrade and will soon be replaced with a much larger nature center for tourists to enjoy.

I just visited the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery a few weeks ago and spent the afternoon exploring the visitor center and the trout hatchery. But according to reports from the Springfield News-Leader and several other news outlets in the area, the Missouri Conservation Commission has now approved a $1.16 million contract for a new nature center.

The current building is more than 30 years old and features 2,500 square feet of educational exhibits. Although it still serves a great purpose in the Branson area, the number of visitors that tour the place during the summer months is overwhelming for the amount of space. The new nature center will be much bigger and similar to the nature center in Springfield, Mo. which is more than 15,000 square feet and features a 150-seat auditorium, wildlife viewing decks and interactive exhibits.

When I stopped by the fish hatchery’s visitor center a couple weeks ago, I stopped to chat with an older gentleman sitting in the lobby making lures at a table. He told me that he is frequently spends his time at the visitor center mingling with guests and making his lures, but he can’t do that during the summertime because the center is just too busy and congested with visitors.

I can imagine the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery would be incredibly busy during the summer because it’s a free and fun activity that the entire family can enjoy. So I’m excited to see what will come of this new nature center! I think it will be a great addition for the Branson community and visitors to enjoy.

The new nature center is estimated to be finished by the summer of 2017 so we’ve got a few years to go but it will be worth the wait!

For more details, read this article published by the Springfield News-Leader.

What do you think about the new nature center?

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