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This newsletter was originally sent on Jun 4, 2013.
JUNE 2013
Naturally Yours
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River Projects Open House

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Did you know that over 25 city-sponsored projects will be happening along the Cache La Poudre River corridor in the next few years?  The projects include construction, trail closures, habitat restoration, drought and fire work, flood mitigation and planning.  Everyone is invited to come learn about the projects, and give input at an open house.  Educational kids' activities, snacks and cash bar provided.

Wednesday, June 26, 4-7 p.m., The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins

Drop-in anytime, short overview presentations at 4:45, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m., free, no registration required.

Learn more at fcgov.com/RiverProjects

Newly Conserved Lands and Water

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The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is excited to announce the conservation of three small but very important parcels of land along the Cache la Poudre River.  The purchases add 27 acres of river corridor to the 1,400 acres of land already conserved along the Poudre. Specifically, seventeen acres on the north side of the Poudre River were added to Kingfisher Point Natural Area that will provide a future Poudre River Trail connection to Mulberry Street between Lemay Avenue and Timberline Road and ten acres were added to Magpie Meander Natural Area, which is on the north side of the river at the west end of Hickory Street.

The Natural Areas Department also recently acquired a 40% interest in the Coy Ditch and its associated water rights for environmental enhancement, bringing the city’s total interest in the Coy Ditch to 50%. The remaining 50% is owned by a municipal water provider. The City is particularly excited and gratified to announce that New Belgium Brewery contributed $100,000 towards the $700,000 purchase price. The City’s recent acquisition consists of water that formerly irrigated the Link-N-Greens golf course where Woodward’s new corporate headquarters are to be located. The Natural Areas Department plans to use the acquired water to enhance environmental values in and near the Cache la Poudre River.

Happy Land Conservation Appreciation Week

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Land Conservation Appreciation Week is a state-wide celebration of natural areas, open spaces, conservation easements and other conserved lands, June 3-9, 2013. You can celebrate by exploring a trail, enjoying a conserved area or attending a special event:

Nature at Noon: Bears on the Move, Wednesday, June 5, Noon-1:00 p.m. Community Room, 215 N. Mason St.; enter through the north entrance. Joe Halseth, wildlife biology technician with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will share information about current Front Range black bear research and management. Bring a sack lunch. No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Nature Nuggets—Prairie Dogs: It Takes a Village, Thursday, June 6, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Pineridge Natural Area, meet at Dixon Reservoir parking lot off CR 42C. 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. No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Plant Walk, Saturday, June 8, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, meet at the Shields St. parking lot. Take a leisurely stroll and explore interesting plants and flowers of the prairie. ½ mile, easy. No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Bobcat Ridge Basics, Saturday, June 8, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet in the parking lot. Bring your family to see how the natural world collides with history. Visit homestead buildings, learn about pioneer history, and the amazing diversity of wildlife, captured in photos by motion-triggered cameras. Bring water to drink, lunch, and sunscreen. 3-4 miles, easy to moderate. No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Geology: Walking the Gangplank, Sunday, June 9, 8:00 a.m.-noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at north parking lot.
Hike to the landform known as the gangplank and discover geological secrets of this beautiful landscape. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and a jacket. 5-6 miles, moderate. No registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com.

Hey kids, you can become a Junior Naturalist!

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If you are 5-16 years old (or older!) you can earn a Junior Naturalist certificate and pin.  Complete a few simple activities and turn in your form (the form is page 18 in Tracks & Trails).  You'll need to attend three activities listed in Tracks & Trails, attend a volunteer service project at a natural area or visit the Natural Areas Visitors Center in the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and visit a natural area that is new to you and write about it.  Thank you for caring for caring for natural areas by becoming a Junior Naturalist!

Wildflower Alert

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It is already shaping up to be an awesome wildflower year!  Natural Areas Botanist Crystal Strouse reports: I was just on the south side of Pineridge Natural Area by Spring Canyon Community Park and was blown away by the sidebells penstemon (Penstemon secundiflorus), blue flax (Linum lewisii var. lewisii), wild onion (Allium textile), white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea) and Howard’s evening primrose (Oenothera howardii).  Cathy Fromme Prairie is also amazing right now, so make sure you check out these Natural Areas if you want to see some gorgeous native plants!

- Crystal Strouse, Natural Areas Department Botanist/Technician

Interested in wildflower identification? Check out the bulletin boards at Cathy Fromme Prairie and Soapstone Prairie natural areas for regular updates on what is blooming by Master Naturalist, Lynn Rubright!  The postings are also available online.

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!

Now-November Tracks & Trails (Your Guide to Free Activities and Events on Natural Areas)  features an outstanding season of outdoor fun, service and learning! A junior naturalist booklet and the Natural Areas Passport will be included too. Activities will also be announced here and at fcgov.com/naturalareas.

 Get Your Hands Dirty- Volunteer

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Foothills Trail Reroute

Saturday, June 15, 8:30 a.m. -1 p.m. at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, Michaud Lane trailhead.  Pitch in an help create a new section of trail.  With the help of Overland Mountain Bike Club, the Natural Areas Department is building about 3/4 mile of sustainable, flowing single-track trail; you are invited to join the fun!  Lunch, tools, and gloves are provided.  Please carpool, parking is limited.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED at http://www.overlandmtb.org/node/420

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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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