The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center: Hands on with Idaho’s Wildlife


The western United States sport a very distinct involvement in natural resources, both in conservation and in usage. Tour the small towns sprawled along interstate highways and you’ll likely see at least one weather beaten rancher with a wide brimmed hat and a hard stare that you cannot return. The final frontier and all of its idiosyncrasies, although essentially conquered, still holds a special place in the hearts of Idahoans.  Idaho contains the second largest wilderness area in the lower forty-eight states, the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The only tract of conserved land larger than it is the Death Valley Wilderness in California. In addition to that, Idaho has many beautiful state parks, where you can camp, fish, and recreate. The emphasis on natural resources and wildlife, however, does not stop at the border of Idaho’s capital city, Boise. Idaho Fish and Game has established the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, which is a 4.5 acre piece of land that sits next to Boise’s own Greenbelt and Municipal Park, making it accessible from all Boise houses.


Educating people about the world they live in provides several benefits; they are more informed about decisions they make later on and they gain an appreciation for what they have now. The MK Nature Centerfox_sm_300_01 offers inexpensive educational programs centered on native species in water, on land, and in the air. Tour guides and instructors are available to groups that visit, but if you prefer a solitary walk through a small wildlife haven you are more than welcome. The nature center has both indoor and outdoor components. Kids, and adults who feel so inclined, can dissect owl pellets or learn how to compost in the backyards of their Boise houses in one of the center’s specialized programs. Its signature program, the Streamwalk Program, provides brief classroom instruction followed by a study of the aquatic life in a man made, fish-stocked stream diverted from the Boise River. With nets, viewing boxes, and tall rubber wading boots, the MK Nature Center offers hands on, memorable education.

Access and Features

The MK Nature Center is available to anyone who would like to visit. The grounds are always open to the public, so even if the indoor center is closed for the evening, you can enjoy an undisturbed boardwalk over the river and through the diverse woods. The center is filled with Idaho’s native fish, wildlife, and plant species, each of which is explained on a small plaque posted nearby. Salmon, steelhead, and trout fish are on display in underwater viewing windows and if you are lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of a red fox as it slinks through the trees. And because the Nature Center is right next to the Greenbelt, it is readily available to Boise houses and businesses with access to the Greenbelt. An afternoon picnic at Municipal Park can be capped off with a soothing walk through Idaho’s wildlife.

Boise houses are a great option for homeowners. For nature enthusiast  , Boise provides opportunity for education and hands on experience with Idaho’s finest features. The programs and parks within the city, such as the Greenbelt and the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center establish nature as an integral part of the Boise lifestyle, and the close proximity of some of Idaho’s most outstanding landscapes such as the Sawtooth Mountains and Swan Falls make Boise houses the greatest choice for the cowboy at heart.

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