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Natural Areas Newsletter

Skygazing Canceled 5.27

Spotlight image: Skygazing Canceled 5.27

Skygazing is canceled for Friday, May 27 due to cloudy skies.

Each month volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Saturday, June 11, 9-11 p.m. Meet at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, parking lot.

Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on.  Free, no registration required. For weather updates, visit the NCAS website

Tracks & Trails Booklet Available!

Spotlight image: Tracks & Trails Booklet Available!

Each year, the season of free activities offered by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department are presented in Tracks & Trails, a booklet guide.  The pdf version of the booklet is here!  Printed copies are be available at trailheads and local buisnesses. Use the NatureTracker calendar to sign up (you must login or create a profile in order to register).

Upcoming Free Activities

Spotlight image: Upcoming Free Activities

Poudre River Clean-up, Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m.-12 noon, Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St. Pitch in and help clean-up the Cache la Poudre River corridor! Join Mountain Whitewater Descents, Save the Poudre, and the Natural Areas Department for the annual spring clean-up. All you need is gloves, sunscreen and the desire to make a difference. No registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at Please carpool, bike or walk to reduce congestion. When you arrive sign-in at the check-in table prior to the clean-up.

Nature Nuggets- Hurry Scurry! Thursday, June 2 and 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Magpie Meander Natural Area, meet at Soft Gold Park, 520 Hickory St. Often unseen but all around us, mice and squirrels are vital to the natural food web. Bring your little ones (ages 3-7 years) to learn about nature with stories and hands-on activities. Parents/guardians must be present at all times. Free, registration required at

Hike to a Homestead, Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the south parking lot.
Learn about the early history of the settlers of Soapstone Prairie. Visit several homestead ruins and hear stories about pioneer families. Options for moderate 3-mile or moderate to strenuous 6-mile hike. Free, registration required at

Geology Exploration: From Shore to Ocean Depths
Tuesday, June 7, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Coyote Ridge Natural Area, meet in the parking lot. Hike with a friendly and fun geologist to uncover the secrets of how the landscape formed. Examine the Cretaceous Seaway and learn how these sediments deposited, uplifted, and eroded. Bring sun protection, lunch, water, sturdy shoes, and rain gear. 4 miles; moderate. Free, registration required at

Archaeological Dig Site Tours
June 7, 9, 14, 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Location provided at time of registration.
Witness Anthropologist Dr. Jason LaBelle and his team of CSU students conduct an archaeological dig to uncover artifacts from over 1,200 years ago. Discover what life may have been like for the ancient inhabitants of the plains. 0.5 miles, easy. Free, space is limited. Registration required at

Birding for Beginners
Wednesday, June 8, 9-11 a.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd.
Bring your smart phone and learn to bird using apps and the web! We’ll head outside discover what’s in the area. Bring binoculars or borrow from us. Family-friendly. 1 mile; easy. Free, registration required at

Stroller Stroll
Wednesday, June 8, 10-11 a.m. Ross Natural Area, meet at the playground at Rolland Moore Park. Head off on adventure toddler style! Bring your child (under 3 years old), stroller, and snacks to explore from the ground up in a kid-friendly natural area. Free, registration required at

Nature Nuggets- Song Dogs of the Prairie
Thursday, June 9 and 23, 9:30-10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Learn about one of the smartest animals in Fort Collins––the coyote! Bring your little ones (ages 3-7 years) to learn about nature with stories and hands-on activities. Parents/guardians must be present at all times. Free, registration required at

Bobcat Ridge History Celebration
Friday, June 10, 3-6 p.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Celebrate the pioneers of Bobcat Ridge! Tour newly restored buildings complete with artifacts, tools, and furnishings. Discover the lives of the families that made this place their home. The restoration project was made possible by contributions from the Pulliam Family Charitable Trust and State Historical Fund of History Colorado. Free; No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Campfire at the Cabin- Nighttime Migrations
Friday, June 10, 8-9:30p.m. Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Spend an evening cozy by a campfire complete with stories and s’mores! Discover birds, bugs, and other animals that travel long distances while we sleep. These programs are suitable for all ages. Campfires at Coyote Ridge include a hike on a marked trail to the cabin. Please allow 30-40 minutes for the hike. The campfire begins at the time listed. Bring a flashlight for the walk back. 2 miles; easy. Free, registration required at

Family Nature Club
Saturday, June 11, 9-11a.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. Calling all families with children 12 and under! Kids who spend more time outside have greater attention spans, are more creative, and tend to be healthier, but it can be difficult to get them out there! In the Family Nature Club, you’ll meet others with similar interests and challenges. Monthly commitment encouraged but not required. Plan to be outside in all weather, get dirty, and have fun! Parents must actively participate in all sessions. Free, registration required at

Get Up and Go Outside (PDF)

Spotlight image: Get Up and Go Outside

The Healthy Kids Club newsletter featured an article by Sue Schafer, Education Coordinator about the benefits of nature play. Read the article >>>

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