JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has reopened exhibits at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City. Renovations to the main exhibit area feature new displays and an interactive design focused on forest habitat and ecology.
Upgrades to the forest habitat exhibits at Runge Nature Center include pathways through replica woods, a tree house designed specifically for children, and artistic detail with educational opportunities built into the surroundings. Plants and wildlife of all shapes, sizes, and colors appear around every turn, and are accompanied by interactive sounds, informational panels that appear to grow right out of the woods, and even a smelling station to discover Missouri’s aromatic trees.
The final exhibit touches still in progress include new aquariums and terrariums, additional accent lighting, and expansion of landscape murals. However, after a brief closure for the first major renovation in the nature center’s 24-year history, the exhibits are now open for enjoyment by visitors of all ages.
“These exhibit renovations offer visitors new opportunities to discover nature by learning about the plants and animals that inhabit Missouri forest ecosystems,” said Runge Conservation Nature Center Manager Kathy Cavender. “By keeping our interactive learning environment fresh and up to date, we hope to continue our decades-long tradition of educating and inspiring new generations of Missourians to discover nature and care for our state’s natural ecosystems.”
Runge Conservation Nature Center, located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City, is free and open for visitors Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Trails on the property are open seven days a week, 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
For more information or to receive a free bimonthly newsletter announcing events and programs at the nature center, call (573) 526-5544, or visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/runge-conservation-nature-center. To sign up for Runge updates via text message, text “MDC Runge” to 468311.