Foothills Learning Center

July 21, 2018 - Learning About Our Foothills

Situated in the heart of the Boise foothills, the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center is a unique facility surrounded by native sagebrush steppe ecosystem and a diverse assortment of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. The center provides environmental education opportunities to students of all ages and engages the community in environmental education that connects and ignites interest in the natural resources, science, cultural and ecological history of the Boise Foothills. Annually, the center serves approximately 10,000 children, adults and families. Ambassadors were given an opportunity to experience some of the same environmental education offered through their programs.

Demand and Growth

As Boise grows, the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center is finding more and more interest in environmental education opportunities, and the center is continually working to meet that demand. The increased demand has required a lot of innovation from the team, and changes they have implemented have led to an increased impact by serving more families with existing resources. 

Protecting Open Space and Clean Air

In November of 2015, a resounding majority of Boise voters approved a temporary tax to raise money to preserve open space and improve clean water in Boise. Citizens clearly indicated a strong desire to protect wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities, and enhance clean water for the enjoyment of future generations.

Woman talking to group in classroom
Ambassadors learning about the history and details of the Open Space and Clean Water Levy
Group standing in front of sculpture
Ambassadors and city employees in front of the ‘air’ sculpture Aero Agoseris (2008) by Mark Baltes
Caution Bee Hive sign
Tour of the center’s grounds including the bee apiary and pollinator garden

Service Opportunities

Boise is an engaged and service-oriented community. There is a high community demand for volunteering opportunities that have learning elements – like habitat restoration, fire-wise landscaping, and invasive species management. The education programs offered at the center can be a stepping stone for individuals seeking to engage in conservation efforts within the Ridge to Rivers and open space management programs. The center’s team currently juggles the coordination of these volunteers with many other duties enabling them to accomplish organizational goals with a robust volunteer workforce.


The center’s space is limited in the size of the building both for their team and for program participants. The team has been working to improve the outdoor classroom opportunities– including building a nature play area, a firewise garden, and utilizing the park atmosphere to pilot an year-round, outdoor half-day preschool. Ambassadors took part in some of these outdoor programs as a part of their excursion.

Visit The Foothills Learning Center

To get your own look at the Foothills Learning Center (FLC), visit Boise Environmental Education for more information.


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