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This newsletter was originally sent on Apr 1, 2014.
April 2014
Naturally Yours
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Restoration Corps Volunteers Needed

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Volunteers like you are needed to assist with restoration of Poudre River natural areas.  Restoration Corps members get to visit areas closed to the public, work on a team and learn restoration techniques.  Work includes weeding, planting, mulching, watering, seeding and fence maintenance.  Projects are offered once a week on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  A mandatory training will be Saturday, April 26.  Restoration Corps members are asked to commit to at least two projects over the summer.  Apply by April 24 at fcgov.com/naturalareas

Free April Activities

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The weather is warming up and it is a great time to enjoy and learn about your natural areas! 

Wildlife Birthday Party, Wednesday, April 2, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.  Celebrate Fort Collins' 150th birthday with a wildlife themed party.  Hike to the Pioneer Cabin at 10:30 a.m., bring a lunch.  Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates at naturetracker.fcgov.com .

The Beauty of Birds, Thursday, April 3, 10-11 a.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area (formerly Regional Open Space). Join a Master Naturalist for fun activities about birds.  Free, REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com

"Give a Yip" for Prairie Dogs, Friday, April 4, 10-11 a.m. at Pineridge Natural Area. Learn about the fascinating behavior of prairie dogs.  Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com .

SkyGazing, Saturday, April 5, 7:30-10 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area.  Join volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society to view the spring skies with telescopes.  No registration required.  Check ncastro.org for weather updates.

View the Total Lunar Eclipse, Monday, April 14, 11:30 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Join Northern Colorado Astronomical Society volunteers to view the lunar eclipse (1:07-2:25 a.m.), free, no registration required, check ncastro.org for weather updates.

The Whole Eclipse, Saturday, April 19, 7:15-10 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.  Learn about eclipses and when to see the next one. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Tracks & Trails, the Natural Areas Department's booklet guide to free activities will be released in mid-May; activities start in June. Suscribers to this enewsletter will get a special edition of enews when Tracks & Trails is available!

Prescribed Burns This Spring

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Prescribed burns reduce hazardous fuel build-up, improve weed control, restore native flora, create the structure needed by native wildlife, and maintain the role of fire as a natural disturbance. Burns are planned at Reservoir Ridge, Soapstone Prairie and Fossil Creek Reservoir natural areas between April 7 and May 15.  The site will be closed the day of the burn.  Check the trail conditions webpage for updates.

Earth Day Volunteer Project

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Everyone is invited to show their love for natural areas by helping out with mulching, weeding and planting along the Poudre River! Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m. to noon.  No experience necessary.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Annual Report Shares Accomplishments

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The year 2013 was a busy one for the Natural Areas Department.  Did you know that state endangered fish were reintroduced to a creek in Soapstone Prairie or that Bobcat Ridge served as an emergency evacuation route? Learn how the Natural Areas Department works for things you care about like land conservation and trails in a colorful and brief summary format, read the report here.

Stewardship Tip

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You can plant flowers, trees and shrubs that are native to the shortgrass prairie and the foothills in your garden!  Not only do these plants require less water than plants adapted to other areas, but you will be supporting native wildlife, insects and creating habitat.  The Natural Areas Department has free native wildflower seeds to give away, packaged by volunteers!  Stop by our office at 1745 Hoffman Mill Road (M-F, 8-5) to pick up a packet for yourself.  April is the perfect time to plant native wildflower seeds!  Learn more from our native plants website and the extensive native plant brochure.

 

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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