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Nature in the City

Contact Information

Seeking Project Partnerships

The Nature in the City program is looking for ideas that would make a positive difference for nature in your neighborhood! Project partnerships are sought that protect and restore important wildlife habitat, give all residents of Fort Collins access to nature within a ten minute walk, or shift neighborhood landscapes to more diverse forms. Funding and planning support is available for local projects; examples might include pollinator gardens, wildlife habitat restoration efforts, construction of trails to better connect a neighborhood to nearby nature, or other ideas. Projects don't have to be big to be impactful -- small, creative, and unique projects are encouraged to apply. Unlike a typical grant-funding program, Nature in the City wants to partner with you in your neighborhood to make the greatest impact. A link to the application will be here soon. Applications are due November 18.


City of Fort Collins Image Nature in the City is a new approach to conservation in Fort Collins. The program seeks to increase people's connection to nature while enhancing wildlife habitat. To achieve this, Nature in the City activates innovative partnerships, policies, and projects.

This video highlights Nature in the City as an innovative project in Fort Collins!

Nature in the City is housed within the Natural Areas Department and is guided by it's Strategic Plan, adopted in 2015.

Vision and Goals

Nature in the City's vision is "a connected open space network accessible to the entire community that provides a variety of experiences and functional habitat for people, plants, and wildlife."


  • Easy access to nature- Ensure every resident is within a ten minute walk to nature from their home or workplace.
  • High quality natural spaces- Conserve, create, and enhance natural spaces to provide diverse social and ecological opportunities.
  • Land stewardship- Shift landscape aesthetics to more diverse forms that support healthy environments for people and wildlife.

Current Efforts

  • Regulation and Policy

  • Updating the City's Land Use and Building Codes to encourage new development to incorporate Nature in the City goals and concepts.
  • Participating in the City's Night Sky team
  • Integrate Nature in the City principles into efforts such as the Water Efficiency Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Larimer County's GOCO Inspire Grant planning process.
  • Educational Resources

  • Design Guidelines and other resources are being created to support homeowners, home owner associations, community groups and contractors implement Nature in the City on their properties.
  • Monitoring

  • Citizen Science volunteers are learning about urban wildlife and exploring Fort Collins' natural spaces as they conduct scientific surveys for birds and butterflies. Learn more >>>
  • Maps and connectivity analysis of a ten minute walk to nature have been completed.
  • Pilot Projects

  • Tree planting in targeted neighborhoods
  • A nature play feature at Twin Silos Community Park (aka Southeast Community Park).
  • An experimental urban living wall on the City of Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building as a way to integrate nature into the built environment and mitigate the effects of urbanization.
  • Collaborations with CSU classes on research.

Nature in the City Photos

Submit YOUR Nature in the City photos by emailing Justin Scharton, anNjaGFydG9uQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==

Strategic Plan

Nature in the City Strategic Plan Executive Summary
Nature in the City Strategic Plan, with appendices
Nature in the City Strategic Plan, without appendices

Stay Up To Date

Sign up for Natural Areas Enews, a monthly electronic newsletter which includes Nature in the City updates.

Contact Us

Justin Scharton, Program Manager
Senior Environmental Planner
Natural Areas Department

Rebecca Everette
Senior Environmental Planner
Community Development & Neighborhood Services