MDC Runge Nature Center hosting volunteer open house

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Love the outdoors and helping others discover nature? Then join the volunteer team at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Runge Nature Center. The nature center is hosting a volunteer open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15. Interested individuals will have the opportunity to meet current volunteers and learn more about the overall program.

"The volunteer program at Runge began in 1992, before the nature center even opened," said Runge Nature Center Assistant Manager and Naturalist Robin Grumm. "Our volunteers are crucial to our success and help make a difference in people's lives when they come to Runge to discover nature."

Potential volunteers will be interviewed soon after the open house and individuals are chosen based on the current needs of the nature center. Chosen volunteers will be required to attend a 30-hour training program over the course of seven weeks. Upon graduation from the training course, volunteers are required to work a minimum of 12 hours each month. Youth volunteers (14-18 years) are required to work a minimum of six hours each month.

Volunteers at Runge are involved in many day-to-day activities. Various duties include providing information to the public on the forest, fish, and wildlife resources of Missouri; presenting interpretive programs to the public; organizing and staffing interpretive exhibits; greeting the public; helping with the implementation of special interpretive events; developing temporary exhibits and much more.

Runge Nature Center is located on Hwy 179 in Jefferson City approximately one-half mile north of Hwy 50. Building hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The building is closed on Sunday and Monday. The outdoor trails are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

For more information about the volunteer open house, call 573-526-5544.