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Foothills to Plains Native Plant Master Program   arrow

plains landscape photo

The Foothills to Plains Native Plant Master program offers different ways to engage and learn about native plants, local ecosystems, and natural resources with courses geared for novice to advanced learners.

Classes, Training and Certification

Classes and Training

If you are new to learning about native plants, consider signing up for a one-day class. Topics may include: introduction to native plants, botany and common plant families, keying practicums, soil chemistry and watershed health, weed walks, and build your own native plant and pollinator garden.

To develop a deeper understanding of native plants, we offer full 12-hour Native Plant Master (NPM) courses that may be counted towards the NPM volunteer program or a Colorado Flora Certificate.

Native Plant Master (NPM) courses are offered at various open spaces, state parks, and other public natural areas. Each NPM course is a 12-hour commitment made up of three, four-hour sessions that meet weekly. NPM courses are taught in the field using living examples of the native flora in Colorado. Each course offers a perspective on the local ecosystem and plant life. Topics for each course 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.


Native Plant Master Volunteer
To become certified as a Native Plant Master volunteer, complete 36 hours of field training in three NPM courses. Classes may be taken in any county. After training, you’ll need to educate at least 60 people about Colorado plants within a two-year period. Upon successfully completing the training and the volunteer educator commitment, participants are awarded the Native Plant Master certification. Maintain the certification by teaching at least 60 people each year about native plants and reporting the number of contacts. Educating people about native plants can include formal class settings, or informal settings (e.g. having conversations on a trail about plants). Continuing education is also required. Please click on the button below to apply as a volunteer.

Colorado Flora Certificate

Receive a Colorado Flora certificate after completion of 36 hours of training (3 NPM field classes). A volunteer commitment is not required.

NPM Class Enrollment

Already a Native Plant Master volunteer and need to report contacts?

If you have questions, please email or call 303-730-1920.