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This newsletter was originally sent on May 7, 2013.
MAY 2013
Naturally Yours
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Master Naturalist Assistants Needed

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Get outside and help your community!  Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer experience while enjoying your natural areas? Master Naturalist Assistants help out with field trips on a wide variety of local and regional natural areas. Apply here.  Applications are being accepted until May 17. For questions or to learn more, contact Sue Kenney, skenney@fcgov.com, 970-224-6118.

New Trail at Reservoir Ridge

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You are invited to enjoy a new trailhead and trail at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area.  It's off Overland Trail Road, south of Michaud Lane, at 1425 North Overland Trail.  The trailhead features parking, a picnic area, a kiosk and a vault toilet.  From the new parking lot, visitors may hike, bike, walk leashed dogs or ride horses west for 1.4 miles on the Reservoir Ridge Trail which is flat and easy.  You'll travel along hay fields, across a wetland slough via a boardwalk and over the Pleasant Valley and Lake Canal using a bridge.  If you want to go further, the Reservoir Ridge Trail connects with the 6.8 mile Foothills Trail. 

Also at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, a section of trail is being rerouted starting May 11. No trail closures or detours will be needed to do the work. Learn more >>>

NatureTracker Coming May 10

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Some of the events and activities in Tracks & Trails (your guide to free natural areas activities, May-October) require registration.  New this year, you will use NatureTracker, an easy on-line registration system, to sign-up for updates or participate in offerings where registration is required.  You can also view a handy calendar, and see what is coming up (filtered by your interests) on a dashboard.  Visit http://naturetracker.fcgov.com/ (after May 10) to create an account; all that is required is your name, email and phone number.  If you have trouble, feel free to call us at 970-416-2815 or email naturalareas@fcgov.com . Enjoy the new system!

Mud = Trail Closures

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Northern Colorado's wet spring often creates muddy conditions that result in trail closures at foothills natural areas.  Why are trails closed?  Keeping off trails when wet and muddy protects natural resources, prevents trail widening and saves your taxpayer money by preventing the need to repair trail damage.  And it keeps your shoes clean!  You can check on trail closures at the Natural Areas trail conditions page. It's updated from the field in real time by rangers who work 7 days a week.

Where to go instead? Try the paved trails at Cathy Fromme Prairie, Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space or the Poudre Trail when natural surface trails are muddy.

Upcoming Free Activities

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Nature Nuggets—Night Owls & Buggy Bats, Thursday, May 9, 10-11 a.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from parking lot.  Children ages 3-7 and parents/guardians will enjoy discovering fun facts about wildlife, with hands-on activities. Parents must attend with children. Day care and other groups should schedule a separate time. Free, no registration required.

River Walk, Saturday, May 11, 10-11:30 a.m., meet at Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St, lower parking lot. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Poudre River trail to observe birds, trees, and plants, and the interaction of the river with landforms along the way. Bring the family. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required.

Wildflowers and Geology of Soapstone Prairie, Saturday, May 11, 10:00-12:30 p.m., meet at the south parking lot. Enjoy a springtime walk and explore the spring flowers and geological history of this magnificent prairie system. Take in the amazing views of undeveloped landscape that showcases the high plains and foothills. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and lunch or snacks. Free, no registration required.

Life of a River, Sunday, May 12, 2:00-3:30 p.m., meet at Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St, lower parking lot. Get to know geomorphological and hydrological aspects of the Poudre River and discover how the river has its own life. Gain a newfound respect for the river! 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required.

Stroller Stroll, Tuesday, May 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Ross Natural Area, meet at the playground at Rolland Moore Park. Bring your toddler (3 years and under) and explore the natural areas from the ground up. Enjoy a short walk with strollers, and stops along the way to see, feel, and smell  natural objects. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Trail Maintenance Volunteer Projects, Saturday, May 11, 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Reservoir Ridge, Saturday, May 18, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge, and National Trails Day, Saturday, June 1, 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge. Registration requiredlearn more >>>

Clean the Poudre, Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m.- noon, Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St., lower parking lot.  Join Natural Areas and Mountain Whitewater Descents for the 14th annual clean-up!  All you need is gloves, sunblock and the desire to make a difference.  Everyone is welcome. Free, no registration required.

Lots more is happening in May and beyond!  Check out the Tracks & Trails booklet, and last minute additions at fcgov.com/naturalareas 

Twenty Years of Natural Areas

It has been two decades since the first citizen-initated sales tax that funds natural areas. Voters have approved sales tax funding four more times since then, thank you! Fort Collins has conserved over 40,000 acres with 39 natural areas to explore and over 100 miles of trail. Everyone is invited to help celebrate the 20th anniversary, join the fun!

 

naturalareaslogo.gif Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Zoe Whyman, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or zwhyman@fcgov.com.

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

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