Runge Interpretive Programs

How do I schedule a field trip or program at Runge?

Call the nature center at (573) 526-5544 or e-mail Runge@mdc.mo.gov to make your reservation.

  • Programs may be scheduled on the hour from 9 - 11 am and 1 - 4 pm Tuesday through Friday.
  • Make your reservation as early as possible. We require a minimum of two-week notice.
  • Twenty-four hour notice of cancellation is required.
  • Even if you are unable to schedule a program your group is welcome to visit anytime during our regular business hours.
  • Runge Nature Center has many resources available, including exhibits, movies, trails, and a library.
  • Programs with outdoor components are limited to 30 participants. Groups up to 60 can
    be split if two naturalists are available.
  • Groups of 61-200 are limited to an indoor program.

School Programs

Amphibians (Grades K-5) Frogs and their family members need water to start their life. Live amphibians along with a variety of props will be used to discuss the characteristics and life cycle of frogs. We will also visit a small pond and look for frogs and tadpoles.

Owls (Grades K-5) These elusive night time predators are fascinating creatures. Learn about their unique adaptations. Owl mounts, sounds, and artifacts will be used to enhance the Missouri Owls presentation.

Reptiles (Grades K-5) Missouri reptiles are a classy group of animals! Props, artifacts, and live animals will be used to familiarize students with the class of animals known as reptiles.

Sensory Exploration (Grades K-5) This is an exploration/observation hike using your senses to discover nature.

Mammals (Grades K-5) Learn about Missouri mammals through their clues. Students will discover the characteristics of mammals by studying furs, tracks, scat, and other signs.

Naturalist Pick (Grades K-5) Can’t decide what topic you’d like to explore? Let the Runge
staff pick one for you. It is sure to be exciting.

Bat Echolocation (Grades 2-5) Missouri bats depend on sound to survive. We will use slides, sounds, activities, and even a bat detector to help students better understand Missouri bats and how they rely on sound.

Predators (Grades 2-5) Predators aren’t mean or vicious–they’re just trying to survive. Students will be introduced to a few Missouri predators and learn about some of their special adaptations through slides, props, and live animals.

Food Chain (Grades 2-5) Starting with the sun, all living organisms are linked together. Various props, activities, and a live animal will help students explore the elements of food chains and how they fit into the larger web of life.

Snakes (Grades 6-8) Snakes depend on color and behavior to survive in the wild. Slides and live snakes will be used to help students better understand the purpose of color and behavior to snake survival.
Seasons: All

Intro to Natural Communities (Grades 6-8) This program focuses on how natural communities are formed and how they can be managed. We will explore Missouri natural communities using taxidermy mounts, slides, and a hike.
Seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall

Ponds (Grades 6-8) The delicate balance of nature is revealed by peering into a pond. Students will examine a small pond using nets and other tools to better understand the interdependence found in this water ecosystem.
Seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall

Discovery Hike (Grades 6-8) Hiking,exploring, and playing in nature leads to discovery. Groups will be led through various observation and awareness activities as they hike one of the nature center trails.
Seasons: All

Grades 9-12: Contact the Nature Center for program topics.

Mixed Ages

Interactive auditorium programs are designed for groups with multi-age participants and are available upon request. The target grade-level range is second through eighth grades. Programs are 50-60 minutes. Seasons: All

Amphibians/Reptiles–These animals are often studied together by scientists called herpetologists. In this program, participants will learn about the similarities and differences of the two classes. Live animals will be used to observe and discover the characteristics.

Owls–These elusive night time predators are fascinating creatures. Learn about their unique adaptations. Owl mounts, sounds, and artifacts will be used to enhance the Missouri Owls presentation.

Snakes–So often, these reptiles are misunderstood and maligned. We will put them in a perspective to help you understand the important role they play in our ecosystems. Live snakes will be used.

Naturalist Pick–Can’t decide what topic you’d like to explore? Let the Runge staff pick one for you. It is sure to be exciting.

Adult Groups

Runge is happy to provide programs for adult groups and will consider topics other than the ones listed. If there is an outdoor component to the program, please dress appropriately.

Mammals–Missouri is home to many species of mammals. This presentation will introduce you to just a few using taxidermy mounts, pelts, slides, and more.

Owls–These elusive night time predators are fascinating creatures. Learn about their unique adaptations. Owl mounts, sounds, and artifacts will be used to enhance the Missouri Owls presentation.

Seasons of Nature–After a brief introduction inside about the specific season, the group will be led on a short walk to explore and discover the richness of the outdoors. This program is offered in the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

Naturalist Pick–Can’t decide what topic you’d like to explore? Let the Runge staff pick one for you. It is sure to be exciting.

In This Section

Preschool Programs

We have preschool programs at the Nature Center or at your school.