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River Restoration Video Released

Restoration that creates a more diverse, resilient and healthy Cache la Poudre river corridor is a lasting conservation legacy for the Fort Collins community, the river and the river's wildlife.  Innovative river restoration projects are underway right now. You are part of this inspirational work! A new 3-minute video produced by Roothouse Studio of Boulder, Colorado, reveals the case for river restoration through real photos, time-lapse photography, and video animation. See the video on the City’s YouTube channel, . Learn more about the projects at North Shields Ponds and McMurry natural areas websites.

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Upcoming Free Activities

Science Behind the Scenery: Birds and Burrows Tuesday, July 7, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 215 N. Mason Community Room, please enter on the north side of the building. These informative talks are designed for adults (ages 16+) to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Join Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory biologist Erin Youngberg as she describes her research at a natural area jewel: Soapstone Prairie. Erin monitored birds that utilize prairie dog colonies and the key role that prairie dogs play in creating ideal habitat conditions for several species of concern. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

Pioneer Life at Bobcat Ridge: Ranch Visit Wednesday, July 8, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Explore early ranching history in Northern Colorado with a walk in and around the historic ranch at Bobcat Ridge. Investigate the calving shed, chicken coop, barn, and more. Please bring water to drink. If you are interested in seeing more, an optional hike will continue from the ranch 1.0 mile (each way) to a pioneer cabin (See below).  Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

Pioneer Life at Bobcat Ridge: Hike to a Pioneer Cabin, Wednesday, July 8, 10:00 a.m. - noon, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Explore pioneer history in Northern Colorado with a hike to a  restored pioneer cabin. Be prepared with water, sun protection, a snack, sturdy footwear, and any other comforts you might need. 2 miles; easy.  If you are interested in seeing more, couple this with a historic ranch exploration from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (see above). Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815

Nature Nuggets: Duck, Duck, Goose, Thursday, July 9, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. - noon, Nix Native Plant Garden at Kingfisher Point Natural Area, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road. Bring your little ones (ages 3-7) to learn about nature with stories and hands-on activities. Parent/guardian must stay with your child; you get to join in the fun! You may bring a picnic lunch or snacks to enjoy afterwards if you like. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Artists’ Day in the Field, Friday, July 10, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. For new and experienced artists: Hike the Towhee Trail and sketch or paint the wildlife and scenery in the footsteps of Edwin Cassedy, the Smithsonian artist for the famous Lindenmeier excavation. Bring plenty of water, food, sun protection, and any other comforts you may need. Wear sturdy footwear and of course, bring your choice of art supplies! Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

Nature Journaling Club: Plants Up Close and Personal, Saturday, July 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Magpie Meander Natural Area, meet a Soft Gold Park, 520 Hickory Street. No art experience required! Nature journaling is a fun way to develop a greater appreciation for nature, more acute observational skills, and a sense of peace and relaxation. Each outing will include a short talk and a short walk of less than one mile to a journaling location. The next hour will be spent working in your journal in whatever way you feel most inspired: painting, drawing, writing, the sky is the limit! The programs are geared for adults but interested children (9+) are welcome to attend. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+). Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

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New Fishing Brochure Published

A new fishing brochure, Let's Go Fishing! is a helpful guide to angling in Fort Collins Natural Areas.  Check it out!

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River Health Assessment Framework

Recognizing the central importance of the Cache la Poudre River to the community, the City has many initiatives underway to support the vitality of the river ecosystem.  The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department and Utilities are collaborating on the creation of an assessment tool for supporting and sustaining the health of the Poudre River. The River Health Assessment Framework articulates the City's vision for a healthy and resilient river by setting recommended ranges and an A-F grading system for the key physical, chemical and biological indicators of the river.  The Framework will be used to create a State of the River Report in 2016 and to evaluate the river health impacts of internal and external projects.

The Open House materials will be posted soon.  Learn more >>

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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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