Volunteer job at nature center comes full circle

Robin Grumm, assistant manager of Runge Nature Center, poses for a photograph on the center’s grounds in Jefferson City.

Robin Grumm, assistant manager of Runge Nature Center, poses for a photograph on the center’s grounds in Jefferson City. Photo by Julie Smith.

Robin Grumm had just moved to Jefferson City from St. Louis and wanted to be more involved in the community when she decided to volunteer at the newly constructed Runge Nature Center.

“It was a large group, that first volunteer class,” she recalled. “There are four of five of us left.”

That was 20 years ago. Since then, she has translated her experiences as a volunteer into a part-time job, and in 2000, she accepted a full-time position. Today, she serves as assistant manager, supervising other naturalists, and volunteer coordinator, overseeing the center’s many programs.

“It’s kind of come full circle for me,” she said.

As a girl growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, outdoor careers for women weren’t obvious. Although she considered becoming ....

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