The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City has a full schedule of programs planned for December. 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 short.mdc.mo.gov/ZPf.
Unless otherwise noted, registration opens Dec. 1 for all programs.
December programs at the nature center will include:
• Discover Nature: Pellet Rifles
Friday, Dec. 6, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – ages 8+
Learn the basics of shooting a pellet rifle: how to load, aim, and take your best shot, all while staying safe. This program will take place at Runge’s outdoor range which is not ADA accessible.
Registration required at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/170241.
• Conservation Families: Night Hike & Fireside Stories
Friday, Dec. 13, 7 – 9 p.m. – all ages
Bundle up and join us for a naturalist-led hike followed by hot chocolate and stories by the fire. MDC will provide headlamps and flashlights. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.
Registration required at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/170243.
• Cedar Wreath Making
Thursday, Dec. 19, 5 – 7 p.m. – ages 7-12
Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – all ages
Celebrate the holidays and help Runge make use of invasive red cedar trees removed from the nature center grounds. Learn to build your own cedar wreath to take home this season.
Registration required at:
• Holiday Happenings: Call of the Wild
Friday, Dec. 27 – Saturday, Dec. 28, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – all ages
Take a wild adventure and explore the curious ways Missouri animals communicate through activities, games, naturalist-led walks, and displays. This annual open house also features live music, refreshments, crafts, and more.
No registration required.
More information at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/170933
Nature center guests can conveniently manage program registration online at mdc.mo.gov/centralevents. 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 mdc.mo.gov/GovDelivery.
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. The nature center will be closed on Dec. 25 for Christmas, though trails will remain open.
For more information about events at Runge Conservation Nature Center, visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/runge-nature-center, or call the nature center at (573) 526-5544.