Legend of Conservation Ding Darling visits MDC Runge Nature Center Oct. 27

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — This weekend at the Runge Conservation Nature Center, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) welcomes Ding Darling interpreter Tom Milligan for a special Legends of Conservation event.

One of the early founders and influencers of the American conservation movement in the early twentieth century, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling spent a 50-year career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Sioux City Journal, the Des Moines Register and Leader, the New York Globe, and the New York Herald Tribune. His syndicated cartoons appeared in 130 daily newspapers across the nation where he commented on his passions of hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation.

In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Darling to head the U.S. Biological Survey, which would later become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Here, Darling fought for investment of resources in conservation. He established the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and National Wildlife Federation, initiated the Federal Duck Stamp Program, and worked to bring hunters and conservationists together to work toward mutual benefit. Considered one of the most influential members of the modern conservation movement in the first half of the 20th century, the impact of Darling’s work is still felt today.

“’We feel the effects of Ding Darling’s work today,” said Runge Conservation Nature Center Manager Kevin Lohraff. “We all enjoy green space, preserved space, and conservation because of these early founders of the conservation movement in Missouri and the nation.”

The FREE event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 is part of a partnership with Legends of Conservation which has already brought Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir interpreters to the nature center, and next spring will feature Rachel Carson.

An exhibit at the nature center will feature Ding’s cartoons, artwork, and photographs, and Darling, himself (portrayed by Milligan) will present in the auditorium. Darling will visit from his 11th floor office at the Des Moines Register, where he will reflect on his remarkable life journey and career as both a cartoonist and conservationist.

Runge Conservation Nature Center is located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City. For more information about this and other events or opportunities to discover nature at Runge Nature Center, call (573) 526-5544, or visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/runge-nature-center.  Watch a video about this event at youtu.be/iEgzjE2NBb8