MDC’s Runge Nature Center announces July programs

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City has a full schedule of programs planned for July. Some programs require registration in advance, so MDC Nature Center Assistant Manager Becky Matney encourages guests to familiarize themselves with MDC’s event website for the nature center at  

Unless otherwise noted, registration opens July 1 for all programs.

July programs at the nature center will include:

  • Kids for Conservation: Explore the Outdoors
    Fridays in July, 9 - 11:30 a.m. – ages 7 - 12
    Every Friday will offer a different exploration theme. Sign up for one or all. Bring a water bottle and appropriate clothing and shoes (no flip-flops).
    Registration required via links below:
    July 5 – Radical Reptiles -
    July 12 – Archery is Awesome! -
    July 19 – Fishing Fun -
    July 26 – Can you Canoe? -
  • Saturdays @ Runge: Creek Crawl
    Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. – all ages
    Just below a river rock lies a whole miniature world of activity. Come in to see live aquatic insects, create creek critter crafts, and go on a creek exploration hike. Wear shoes to get wet.
    Activities from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hikes leaving at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    No registration required.
    More information at
  • Teens for Conservation: Let’s Go Kayaking
    Monday, July 15, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. – ages 13 - 17
    Spend the day with us as we paddle, float, and explore the Gasconade River. Runge will provide round-trip transportation from the nature center, kayaks, paddles, and personal floatation devices. Pack a lunch and personal items in a dry bag. Participants must complete a permission form, available from the nature center.
    Registration required at
  • Saturdays @ Runge: Darting Dragons
    Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. – all ages
    Hot summer days are the perfect time to discover some of Missouri’s very own magical creatures! Darting and dashing above the pond are the colorful “damsels and dragons” of nature. Explore the mysterious world of damselflies and dragonflies. Experience the magic and beauty of Missouri “dragons” through discovery tables, trail stations, and fun games.
    No registration required.
    More information at

Nature center guests can conveniently manage program registration online at The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile, then signing up for future programs is simple. Once someone creates a profile and registers for an event, they will receive details about programs they’ve registered for.

Sign up for email and/or text updates from Runge Nature Center and other conservation news at

Events at Runge Nature Center are free, thanks to the one-eighth of 1 percent conservation sales tax. Runge Nature Center, located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Thursday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Trails at the nature center are open every day, 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. 

Runge Nature Center will be closed on July 4, but trails will remain open.

For more information about events at Runge Conservation Nature Center, visit, or call the nature center at (573) 526-5544.