Share ideas about the management of MDC’s Runge Nature Center grounds

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to know what Missourians think about its nearly 1,000 conservation areas around the state. Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City is among the areas under review.

MDC is inviting the public to provide comments about the Runge Nature Center to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the nature center grounds. Interested persons or groups— including recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies—can share ideas online July 1-31 at People can also stop by Runge in July to pick up a comment card.

"No matter your age or ability, Runge is a great place to explore and discover nature," said MDC Runge Nature Center Manager Kathy Cavender. "The public input and planning process we have underway will help ensure that Runge will continue to meet the diverse interests of Missouri citizens who utilize the area today and in the future. Although we won't be able to advance all ideas, we greatly appreciate feedback and will give all comments careful consideration."

MDC staff will review comments as they develop a draft Runge Nature Center management plan for the nature center's grounds later this summer. Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them will be based on the property's purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional and state-wide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.

The plan will be posted online this fall for an additional comment period and will be available for viewing at After considering all public comments, the final plan will be drafted, approved, and posted online.

Runge Nature Center occupies 112 acres and includes a 27,000 square-foot nature center building. Visitors can explore more than 3,000 square feet of exhibits that lead a person through an assortment of Missouri's natural habitats and learn about how MDC manages them for forest, fish and wildlife resources. Venture outside to explore the five different hiking trails that wind through savanna, prairie, marsh, wetland, and woodland habitats.

Runge Nature Center is located on Hwy 179 in Jefferson City approximately .5 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.