Hannibal Parks and Recreation unveils new shelter at Sodalis Nature Preserve

sodalis shelter

The shelter, which is 30 feet wide and 40 feet long, has six picnic tables and a grill. The cost to rent the shelter is $15 for half a day and $20 for all day. Shelter rentals are available online at www.hannibalparks.org. | Photo courtesy of Hannibal Parks and Recreation

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Sodalis Nature Preserve now offers a shelter house to have reunions, picnics and other events.

Sodalis Nature Preserve was acquired by the city of Hannibal in 2016, the result of work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, The Conservation Fund and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to conserve the abandoned mine that serves as home for more than 200,000 endangered bats. Access to inside the mine is restricted for research and monitoring purposes only, but visitors are encouraged to enjoy the park’s paved and wooded trails.

Mary Lynne Richards, recreation supervisor with Hannibal Parks and Recreation, says Hannibal residents use Sodalis extensively due to its pedestrian-only trails. Sodalis also is the site of several events such as the Boo Bash, Pancreatic Cancer Walk and Thanksgiving Walk. The Hannibal Parks and Recreation nature interpreter, along with volunteers with the Missouri Master Naturalists, leads night hikes several times a year to educate others about the bats, wildlife and plants in Sodalis.

In a press release, Richards said, “This shelter will be used a lot. Sodalis grows in popularity every year. The shelter not only provides a place for events, but it might just be a spot to relax before you venture on the trail.”

The shelter is 30 feet wide by 40 feet long, has six picnic tables and a grill. The cost to rent the shelter is $15 for half a day and $20 for all day.

The $175,000 shelter was built by Bleigh Construction and funded in part with a $100,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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