Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MDC seeks public input on Runge Nature Center

Attend open house March 15 for discussion on management of the area.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants public input on the Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City. MDC is in the multi-year process of updating management plans for almost 1,000 conservation areas throughout the state, and invites public comments.
MDC invites public comment at the Runge Nature Center to aid staff in developing a 10-year management plan for the area. Interested persons or groups are invited to stop by and bring their ideas to an open house between 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, at the Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City. MDC welcomes input on the plan from recreational users, neighboring landowners, conservation groups, elected officials and government agencies.
The public is welcome to share ideas, compliments or suggestions with MDC staff at the open house. This draft plan focuses on the grounds of the nature center and not the facility or educational programs.  Staff will answer questions about management practices at Runge or about conservation in general. Visitors will also be able to fill out comment sheets.
“No matter your age or ability, Runge is a great place to explore and discover nature,” said 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.”
Stop by for refreshments and some good discussion on various topics, including deer/wildlife issues, habitat management, and trails.  The draft area plan will also be available online for public comment,March 1-31, at mdc.mo.gov/areaplans
Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them are based on the property’s purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional and statewide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.  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. 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 a half-mile north of Hwy 50. Building hours are 8 a.m. – 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. – 9 p.m. daily.