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This newsletter was originally sent on May 6, 2014.
May 2014
Naturally Yours
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Lindenmeier: Looking Forward by Looking Back

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Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution's visit to the Lindenmeier archaeological site at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Connect to our history!

  • Visit a 1930s archaeologist's tent
  • See a Folsom point being created
  • Throw an atlatl spear
  • Makecommemorative flag
  • Kids Dig for replica artifacts
  • Hear about Soapstone Prairie's past and future at hourly presentations

Saturday May 17 and Sunday May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates at NatureTracker.fcgov.comFull schedule here >>>

Sketching Lindenmeier Landscapes, Saturday, May 17, 9:00 a.m.-noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot by 8:45 a.m. Follow in the tradition of Edwin G. Cassedy, the Smithsonian artist who sketched the terrain at Lindenmeier during the Smithsonian visit to the site 80 years ago. Hike the Towhee Trail for great views. Bring sketching pads and hiking boots.. 2-3 miles, moderate. Bring water, snacks, and lunch. Taught by Gary Raham, natural science writer and illustrator. Afterwards, join in the celebration of Soapstone Prairie--"Looking Forward by Looking Back," featuring lots of presentations and activities on site. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at NatureTracker.fcgov.com

Read more about the Lindenmeier Site in a Legacy Magazine article >>>

McMurry Natural Area Opens

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The trails at McMurry Natural Area opened on May 1 after being closed for an ecological restoration project. The project improved riverside habitat by removing unnaturally steep river banks in order to reconnect the river with its floodplain. The Natural Areas Department removed more than 5 old cars buried in the river bank (see photo) and added about 2 acres of wetlands and 4 acres of native cottonwood forest to support wildlife habitat values. Fish habitat was enhanced by dredging portions of the site’s two ponds. Public fishing access was improved through the creation of designated access areas. Everyone is invited to come see the newly restored McMurry Natural Area. Please stay on the trail so that freshly planted areas have the best chance of becoming established.  Learn more >>>

Prescribed Burn Featured on TV

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Reporter David Mitchell from Denver's Fox 31 covered the prescribed burn at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area (formerly Regional Open Space) in this short video clip.

Gateway Bridge Update

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Gateway Natural Area is open but all bridge access and river accesses to Seaman Reservoir, the North Fork, and the Black Powder Trail are CLOSED. The first bridge across the Poudre River that provides access to these locations was damaged by the floods of September and is now under construction. The bridge is expected to be finished and open by the end of May. Please stay away from all construction equipment and observe all signage. All wading is prohibited (including anglers) due to unsafe high water conditions.

Adopt a Natural Area Volunteer Goes Further

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A natural area "adopter" volunteer recently sent us a sweet story of going the extra mile.  He wrote, "While at Fossil Creek Wetlands this afternoon, I came across a number of school papers that had been graded.  Amongst the shattered papers was a certificate of appreciation (Star Student-Reach for the Stars!) congratulating the Werner grade school student for his achievements and scoring 100% in citizenship. It was dated yesterday.  I thinking this award probably didn't make it home or it wouldn't be blowing in the wind with the prairie dogs. Having had two of my own 'graduate' from Werner, these type of recognition cherished and safely tucked away in fat scrap books.  Anyway, I thought I would take the award by Werner tomorrow and drop it off for the teacher to check with student to see if it made it home for the proud parents."  Thank you!

Upcoming Free Activities

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Tracks & Trails, Your Guide to Free Activities in Natural Areas will soon be published! Subscribers to this newsletter will get a special notification when printed copies are available (expected at the end of May). In the meantime, here are some upcoming activities:

Nature at Noon: Candid Critters—Using Cameras for Research and Outreach, Thursday, May 8, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Community Room at 215 N. Mason Street, enter on the north side of the building. Learn about a cooperative project between Wildlife Society undergraduates at Colorado State and sixth graders from Boltz Middle School utilizing motion-triggered cameras at Pineridge Natural Area. CSU students worked with the sixth graders to demonstrate the differences and diversity in local wildlife and their habitats, allowing Boltz students to draw real-life connections to their ecology curriculum. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Skygazing at Fossil Creek, Friday, May 9, 8:30-10:00 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot off Carpenter Road. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on to enjoy viewing the night skies with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. For cancellation updates related to weather, visit the NCAS website at ncastro.org. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Family Night Walk, Saturday, May 10, 7:30-9:30 p.m., SE side of Fort Collins. Explore a natural area after dark. Discover how animals use their night senses and how we can be more aware of our own senses. Learn to appreciate the night and nocturnal wildlife through activities and demonstrations along the way. This walk is designed for families. Groups should contact dprice@fcgov.com to schedule a separate time. Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at NatureTracker.fcgov.com. Location given at registration.

Adult Night Walk, Monday, May 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m., SE side of Fort Collins. Explore a natural area after dark. Discover how animals use their night senses and how we can be more aware of our own senses. Enjoy the sounds of night, as well as the quiet. This walk is designed for adults. Children 16 and older may attend, but only when accompanied by an adult. Groups should contact dprice@fcgov.com to schedule a separate time. Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at NatureTracker.fcgov.com. Location given at registration.

Nature Nuggets—Spectacular Spiders, Thursday, May 15, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot. Small or large--spiders have an important role in the animal kingdom. Interactive program with stories, fun facts, activities, and crafts for children ages 3-7 and parents. Parent must stay with child during the program. You may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards if you like. Groups or day care centers should contact dprice@fcgov.com to schedule a separate time for a program. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Poudre River Walk, Saturday, May 17, 9:30-11:00 a.m., Lee Martinez Park, meet at the parking lot by the tennis courts. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Poudre River trail to observe the relationships between the river and the birds, trees, and animals found in the river environment. Families welcome. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

 Bobcat Ridge Wildflowers through the Seasons, Wednesday, May 21, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet in the parking lot. Depending on the seasons, different wildflowers are blooming. Come every third Wednesday through September to see current flowers in bloom and learn about native plants. 1-2 miles, easy.  Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Calendar of upcoming Natural Areas Activities >>>

 

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.

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