Free public programs include outdoor and virtual events to ensure public safety.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City remains closed to visitors, at least through the end of January. However, the nature center will continue to offer free public programs in January, in outdoor and virtual settings, in order to continue to serve the community in accordance with public health guidelines. In order to ensure public safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, all participants must wear masks covering mouth and nose at all in-person events.

The nature center has released its program schedule for the month of January at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZPf. Most programs require registration in advance, and space is limited.

January programs at the nature center will include:

Nature Art: Relaxing Drawing – Winter Blooms — Virtual Program
Saturday, Jan. 9, 10–11 a.m — ages 14+
Relax and enjoy nature from the warmth of your own home in this interactive online wildflower drawing. Learn about the Ozark Witch Hazel, our winter blooming tree, while drawing a decorative patterned motif of the flower.
Registration required at: mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175537.  

Outdoor Skills: Coyote Calling — Virtual Program
Friday, Jan. 15, 4–4:45 p.m. — all ages
January is one of the best months to learn about and hunt coyotes. Join us virtually to learn coyote calling and tips for your hunting season. Registrants will receive a link to attend by the day of the program.
Registration required at: mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175479.  

Fishing Skills: Fly Tying 101 — Virtual Program
Saturday, Jan. 16, 10–11:30 a.m. — ages 6+
Tying flies is easy, creative, and fun! Learn the basics in a live, virtual program. Instructors will ship tying materials to each participant’s address prior to the program. Additional tools or vises will be available for pick-up at Runge Nature Center through the free loaner program to ensure each participant has all the necessary hardware to tie flies. Registrants will receive a link to attend prior to the program.
Registration required at: mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175389.

Discover Nature: Archery Through the Ages — Outdoor Programs
Thursday, Jan. 21, 3–5 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m.–noon — ages 12+
From the longbow to the crossbow, archery has evolved over time, but some things have stayed the same. Connect with your ancestors, and your inner-hunter, as you learn and practice archery through the ages. Dress for the weather. The Runge archery range is not ADA-accessible and seating is not provided. All participants must wear masks covering mouth and nose.
Registration required for Jan. 21 at: mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175390.
Registration required for Jan. 22 at: mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175405.

Birds: Eagle Explore at Marion Access — Outdoor Programs
Saturday, Jan. 23, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon. — all ages
Venture over to Marion River Access, north of Jefferson City, to get a chance to view Bald Eagles and learn about their conservation success story. Runge will provide spotting scopes and binoculars. Space is limited, masks are required, and each participant must register for only one timeslot. Participants will receive directions to the location prior to the program.
Registration required (select timeslot) at: short.mdc.mo.gov/ZPf.

Visitors 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 registrants create a profile and register for events, they will receive details about those specific programs.

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, remains closed, at least through the month of January, in response to the worsening coronavirus health crisis. Trails on the area remain open every day, 6 a.m.–9 p.m., but visitors must practice physical distancing and wear masks covering mouth and nose when distancing is not feasible.

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.