On Sunday, April 9, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery will be hosting its 20th annual Open House from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

“The event is part of the Neosho Chamber of Commerce’s Dogwood Tour and people will have the chance to receive free trees from the Missouri Department of Conservation,” said Bruce Hallman, educational specialist for the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

Six different species of trees will be handed out including dogwood trees and redbud trees.

There will be several informational booths at the hatchery such as the USDA, Eastern Shawnee Tribe, Wildcat Glades and Audubon Center, George Washington Carver National Monument, and many more.

“Frank Martinez will also be here with his snakes and lizards to show,” said Hallman.

There will be a lunch served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. of hot dogs, chips, cookies, drinks, and dessert.

“In addition to lunch, there will also be a book signing inside the visitor center and we will also be having a few bands playing throughout the day,” said Hallman.

The bands performing will be the Kufara Marimba Band and the Hairy Vtech Band.

“We started this event in 1997 and we started handing out trees two years after that, so this will be the 18th year we have handed out trees,” said Hallman.

Last year there were an estimated 500 visitors at the open house, and the hatchery is hoping that with the weather forecast to be nice they will draw in several more visitors this year.

“We would really love if you made this one of your stops on Sunday. It’s really more of a social event and that’s what we want. It’s a great place to take a break and enjoy the day and mingle,” said Rodrick May, hatchery manager.

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