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Natural Areas

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Enhancement Fund Recipients Announced

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department awarded five applicants Natural Areas Enhancement funds from the $15,000 available in 2014.  Funds to plant native plants and/or to remove non-native trees and shrubs from certified natural areas managed by HOA’s were received by Landings Community Association ($2,710), Fossil Creek Meadows Homeowners Association ($6,215), Hearthfire Homeowners Association ($1,900), Paragon Estates Community Association ($2,000), and Village Park Homeowners Association ($2,175). Read more >>>

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Eagle Watches

Join City of Fort Collins Master Naturalist volunteers to see and learn about these majestic birds. Bald eagles travel south to Fort Collins during the winter and roost (sleep overnight) in cottonwood trees at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Eagle Watches include a short walk along a paved trail to the viewing area. Drop in anytime between the hours listed. Binoculars and scopes provided.

Saturday, December 20, 3-4:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 21, 3-4:30 p.m.

Friday, December 26, 4-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 27, 3-4:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 28, 3-4:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 1, 3:30-5 p.m.

Friday, January 2, 3:30-5 p.m.

Saturday, January 3, 3:30-5 p.m.

Sunday, January 4, 3:30-5 p.m.

Saturday, January 10, 3:30-5 p.m.

For more dates and times, check the calendar here.

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Historic Effluent Flume and Bridge Gets National Historic Register Designation

The National Park Service listed the Great Western Sugar Company Effluent Flume and Bridge in the National Register of Historic Places recently.  The structure spans the Cache la Poudre River on Kingfisher Point Natural Area.  Ron Sladek, President of Tatanka Historical Associates, Inc. wrote the nomination for the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, stating that “The bridge is a rare example of suspension engineering in Colorado and the flume and bridge together are surviving examples of a historic industrial effluent disposal system.”  Read more >>>

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Skygazing in December

Skygazing at Fossil Creek, Saturday, December 27, 7:30-9:00 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot off Carpenter Road. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on to enjoy viewing the night skies with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. For cancellation updates related to weather, visit the NCAS website at No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

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Become a Volunteer Ranger Assistant!

Volunteer Ranger Assistants serve as a friendly face on the trail to greet visitors, promote safe outdoor recreation and assist rangers with many of their important tasks. Time Commitment: Training sessions are about 20 hours (generally two evenings and a Saturday). Trainings are offered once a year, in the winter. The volunteer schedule is flexible, 20 hours of volunteer service are required within 2 years of training. Read the job description here. Ready to get involved? Apply here. You must create an account on NatureTracker. Read more about the Volunteer Ranger Assistant Program here >>>

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Learn to Give Powerful Presentations: Become a Certified Interpretive Guide (PDF)

Learn to give powerful presentations to any audience. This training is perfect for people who work with the public in settings such as museums, natural areas and parks. The training is ideal for paid staff and volunteers, 16 years old and up. The $360 fee includes instruction, workbook, certification fee and membership in the National Association for Interpretation. Registration required by January 5.  To learn more, contact Sue Kenney, Natural Areas Education Coordinator, 970-224-6118, or read the press release here.


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Controlled Burns

Natural Areas Department to Conduct Prescribed Burns in 2014

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, in coordination with The Nature Conservancy, will be conducting several prescribed fires within many of the City’s natural areas. These natural areas include: Soapstone Prairie, Reservoir Ridge, and Fossil Creek Reservoir. The burns will take place during the fall and winter months of 2014/2015. Learn more >>>

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
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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