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City of Fort Collins Welcomes Endangered Black-footed Ferrets Home

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The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, Fort Collins Utilities and several partners have received City Council approval and are reintroducing endangered black-footed ferrets to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Meadow Springs Ranch. Everyone is invited to a ceremony celebrating the release, Wednesday, September 3, 4-7 p.m. at Soapstone Prairie’s south parking lot. Speeches in the south parking lot will be followed by a 1 mile hike to the release site. Participants will witness the first ferret release by a municipality from a viewing point about ¼ mile away.  There will be very limited photography opportunities. Free, no registration is required, but a reminder and updates are available by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com . Learn more >>>

Free Upcoming Activities

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Nature Nuggets—Frisky Squirrel’s Treasure Hunt, Thursday, September 4, 10-11 a.m., Pineridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot at Dixon Reservoir, off CR 42C. Many squirrels don’t hibernate—learn how they prepare for the cold winter. Interactive program with fun facts, activities, and crafts for children ages 3-7 and parents. Parent must stay with child during the program. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Restoration Along the River, Friday, September 5, 10:00 a.m.-12 noon, McMurry Natural Area, meet at the parking lot at the west end of Hemlock St. A Natural Areas Department environmental planner will share information about restoration work being done along the Poudre River and the importance of the floodplain. View some of the spring plantings that have had a chance to grow, giving the river corridor new life. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Family Night Walk, Saturday, September 6, 7:00-9:00 p.m., SW of Fort Collins. Explore a natural area after dark. Discover how animals use their night senses and how we can be more aware of our own senses. Learn to appreciate the night and nocturnal wildlife through activities and demonstrations along the way. This walk is designed for families. Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com. Location given at registration.

Adult Night Walk, Sunday, September 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m., SW of Fort Collins. Explore a natural area after dark. Discover how animals use their night senses and how we can be more aware of our own senses. Enjoy the sounds of night, as well as the quiet. This walk is designed for adults. Children 16 and older may attend, but only when accompanied by an adult.  Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com. Location given at registration.

See more upcoming events at https://naturetracker.fcgov.com/Calendar

Help Preserve Open Spaces

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Larimer County’s Help Preserve Open Spaces sales tax funds approximately 38% of the Natural Areas Department’s operations.  It expires in 2018.  The renewal of the tax was referred to the November ballot by the Larimer County Commissioners on July 29, 2014.  Learn more >>>

Lindenmeier: Ancient Lives, Ancient Dreams

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This unique symposium brings together world renowned
archeologists, for the first time, to share their knowledge about this National Historic Landmark and its significance. Keynote speaker is Dr. Ed Wilmsen, author of publications summarizing the findings of the Smithsonian excavation in the 1930s. Other featured experts:Dr. Jason LaBelle, Dr. Fredrick Sallet, Dr. Margaret Jodry, Dr. Dennis Stanford. Sponsored by the Natural Areas Department and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Registration is $175.  Space is limited. Learn more >>>

Soapstone Then and Now: A Special Series of Events 2014

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Eighty years ago, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution arrived at what is now Soapstone Prairie and validated one of the most amazing discoveries of the time. Their research provided proof that people lived in this area at least 11,000 years ago and possibly longer. In 2014, you are invited to celebrate the importance of Soapstone Prairie Natural Area to people of the past, as well as the significance of this unique site today and into the future.

Soapstone Surprise, Sunday, September 14, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot.  Discover amazing archaelogical and natural secrets and find out why this site is so important to conserve.  Bring water and sunscreen.  1/2 to 3 miles, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates at naturetracker.fcgov.com .

Hike to a Homestead, Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the south parking lot.  Visit several homestead ruins and hear stories about pioneer families.  Bring plenty of water, food and sunscreen. 6 miles, moderate-strenuous.  REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com .

Folsom Hunter's Guide, Sunday, September 21, 10-11 a.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot.  Learn about the legacies of ancient predators and grazers and what the well-prepared Soapstone dweller used to garnish her bison steak.  1/2 mile on paved trail, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates at naturetracker.fcgov.com .

Natural Areas

Physical Address: 1745 Hoffman Mill Road, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Mailing Address: PO Box 580, Ft. Collins, CO 80522-0580
Phone: (970) 416-2815
Fax: (970) 416-2211
Email: naturalareas@fcgov.com
Normal Business Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Directions: From Lemay (the part of Lemay between Riverside and Mulberry), turn east onto Poudre River Drive. Follow Poudre River Drive as it curves, changes names to Hoffman Mill Road and eventually dead-ends at Nix Natural Area and the Natural Areas Department's offices.

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Yours to Explore
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Yours to Treasure: Volunteering and Stewardship