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Foothills to Plains Native Plant Master Program   arrow

plains landscape photo

Are you interested in enhancing your outdoor experience with environmental education at local open spaces?

The Foothills to Plains Native Plant Master Group offers different ways to engage and learn about local ecosystems and natural resources.

Our Explore Native Plants Series of classes can be taken together or separately. These classes will provide an overview of plants “in the field,” “in the garden,” and “in conversation.” A class on impacts to the watershed will also be included. These classes will be offered at different locations in Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert Counties. Registration information will be available by the end of March 2021.

Our Explore Native Plants Series for Youth are a series of classes specifically for ages 10-12. They can be taken together or separately. The classes will provide young students with an overview of the importance of native plants in our ecosystems and in our gardens. They will have the opportunity to explore various open spaces while on a guided walk.  Classes will be offered at different locations in Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert Counties. Registration information will be available by the end of March 2021.

Our Nature Walk Series of classes can be taken together or separately. These monthly classes will provide an introduction to nature journaling while observing native plants, birds and insects in the field. Registration information will be available by the end of March 2021.

Our Focus classes are taken separately. Topics include an introduction to native plants, a class on weeds, and a class on grasses. Registration for these classes will be available by the end of March 2021.

Training and Certification in Native Plants

Interested in expanding your knowledge and expertise?

Training
Native Plant Master (NPM) courses are offered at various open space parks, State parks and other public lands. A few courses have pre-requisites. Each 12-hour NPM credit course is made up of three, four-hour sessions taught on mornings in May through September. Native Plant Master credit courses are taught in the field using living examples of the native flora in Colorado. Credit course topics for the three sessions include:

  • Session 1: Plant identification with an emphasis on scientific names, families and use of a botanical key.
  • Session 2: Ecological relationships, including non-native plants.
  • Session 3: Landscape, food and other human uses.

Participants do not need to take all three courses in one year. The NPM courses are now open for registration.

Certification

Native Plant Master Volunteer
To become certified as a Native Plant Master Volunteer, you must complete the application and undergo a background check (see application button below), as well as complete 36 hours of field training in 3 NPM courses in different life zones. Classes may be taken in any county. Additionally, you must educate at least 60 people about Colorado plants within twelve months of completing your final training class. You must report the number of public educational contacts made to the program coordinator. After successfully completing three courses and the educational contact requirement, participants are awarded the Native Plant Master certification. Certification may be maintained by teaching at least 60 people per year about native plants and reporting contacts annually.

Colorado Flora Certificate

Students who wish to take the Native Plant Master classes but do not want to participate as a volunteer educator will receive a Colorado Flora Certificate after completion of the 36 hours of field training in 3 NPM courses.

Class Enrollment

Already a NPM and need to report contacts?


If you have any questions, please contact Lucinda Greene: Lgreene@arapahoegov.com or 303-730-1920

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.