Near the center of the bustling city of Boise lies the unexpectedly quiet and serene Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. The 4.6 acre park offers environmental and outdoor education for visitors of all ages. The Visitor Center hosts classes and workshops and the outdoor Stream Walk is always available for those who prefer a self-guided tour and taking in the scenery at their own pace.
Opened in 1990, the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, nicknamed the MK Nature Center for short, is owned and operated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The MK Nature Center boasts walking paths and trails, a picturesque pond and waterfall, and multiple fish viewing stations right on the stream. Numerous interpretive signs are set up along the trail and visitors can even see replica petroglyphs near the stream.
Those interested in the various fish species living at the MK Nature Center will enjoy the fish viewing stations located at different points along the stream. Seating is even available in the form of benches and several educational displays serve to teach visitors about the different fish. Adults and kids alike will enjoy spying on fish in their natural habitat. Although beavers don’t typically live at the MK Nature Center, an impressive beaver dam is on site. A wide variety of waterfowl and other wildlife frequent the MK Nature Center, making it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts.
The MK Nature Center offers a variety of formal guided tours, lectures, and classes. Classes cover a wide range of topics including Idaho wildlife and habitat, owl pellets, native plants, aquatic life, and insects, just to name a few. School field trips are often hosted, and smaller groups are also welcome. Customized courses can also be arranged for students of any age.
Visiting the MK Nature Center is free of charge, with free parking as well. Classes and guided tours have a small fee and donations are accepted. The nonprofit organization, Friends of MK Nature Center, formed in 2015 to raise funds to support and enhance the MK Nature Center and help as it continues to be an important part of the Boise community.♦