Master Naturalist

Sagebrush Steppe Chapter – Idaho Master Naturalists 

The Foothills Learning Center is one of three founding groups supporting and coordinating the Boise Sagebrush Steppe Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalist program established in 2008. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s MK Nature Center and the Idaho Botanical Garden are also founding groups. The City of Boise joined as a new group in 2013.

Modeled after the national Master Gardener program, the Idaho Master Naturalist Program aims to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to actively work toward stewardship of and education about Idaho’s natural environment. Any adult who enjoys nature and is interested in learning more can become a Master Naturalist.

Master Naturalists receive 40 hours of education and earn certification by volunteering 40 hours of their time over the course of a year. Idaho Master Naturalists who volunteer at Foothills Learning Center* and with partner agencies have many opportunities including:

  • Leading hands-on activities at monthly Saturday family programs*
  • Leading the Story Trail Adventure Program for preschoolers*
  • Helping teach lessons when we have large school groups visiting for fieldtrips*
  • Initiating and managing special projects*
  • Participating in citizen scientist monitoring projects
  • Assisting in city parks.
  • Leading public tours
  • Collecting native seed and planting
  • Helping with signage
  • Building birdhouses
  • Collecting data for biologists
  • Monitoring wildlife
  • Educating the public
  • Assisting with projects on public lands, and many other conservation and education efforts.

The best part of becoming a Sagebrush Steppe Master Naturalist is joining a statewide network of dedicated, trained volunteers who work to educate citizens about conservation and Idaho’s natural resources. It is a great way to further your education and interest in nature and give back to your community. For more information, please contact Sara Focht via e-mail: or at (208) 287-2906. 

The program for 2016

The 2016 session will begin Monday, January 4, 2016 and run through early May. Most sessions are held on Monday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Meeting locations will rotate between partner agencies.

To learn more about the Sagebrush Steppe Master Naturalist program, read and complete the participant agreement and application forms. These forms must be returned with your payment to the Idaho Botanical Garden to guarantee a place in the class.

  • Refunds will be given to a participant if they drop the class before the second class.
  • Credit cards can be taken by calling the Idaho Botanical Garden or in person.
  • Two ways to register:

Attn: Elizabeth Dickey
Idaho Botanical Garden
2355 Old Penitentiary Rd
Boise, ID 83712

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