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Natural Areas

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Core Natural Areas Management Plan Open House

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department manages 43 natural areas ranging in size from the 1-acre Williams Natural Area to the 22,258-acre Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. The Core Natural Areas are small, urban sites:

A draft management plan has been written for these sites and the public is invited to share their thoughts at an Open House on Thursday, August 13, 4-7 p.m. at the Nix Farm Natural Areas Offices, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road. Learn more here.  Comments will be accepted until September 15.

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Wetland Planting

Wetland Planting Volunteer Project, Thursday, August 6, 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., Springer Natural Area. Dig in to help restore the Poudre River corridor! Volunteers will be greening up Springer Natural Area by planting small wetland plants.  Free, family-friendly (youth under 16 must be with an adult), registration required at .


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Upcoming Free Activities

Cameras and Creatures, Tuesday, August 4, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the picnic shelter 0.1 miles from the parking lot. Cougars, bobcats, skunks, oh my! Join us for a talk in the picnic shelter at Bobcat Ridge. See incredible photos of animals captured by wildlife cameras and view skulls and pelts of the same animals. Less than 0.5 miles; easy. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Science Behind the Scenery: Breeding Birds in Natural Areas: Stories and Significance, Tuesday, August 4, 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 (16+) to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Fort Collins Natural Areas Department biologist Aran Meyer describes his annual breeding bird survey and what it means for local resource management. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

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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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Natural Areas is on Facebook and Twitter

Get all the latest news from the Natural Areas Department, like us on Facebook (FCNaturalAreas) and follow us on Twitter (@FCNaturalAreas)!

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Public Notice of Water Rights Claims

The City of Fort Collins, through its Natural Areas Department, has several water rights claims in pending Case No. 2014CW3176 before the District Court for Water Division 1. Learn more here >>>


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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Yours to Explore
Naturally Yours: About Us
Yours to Treasure: Volunteering and Stewardship