Skip to main content

Nature in the City

Contact Information

What's New

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


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.

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 Projects

  • 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.
  • 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 will be available.
  • Pilot Projects

  • Tree planting in targeted neighborhoods
  • A nature play feature at Southwest Community Park.
  • A Habitat Hero Garden in partnership with Audubon Rockies at Manhattan Townhomes.
  • An experimental 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

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.

Video Overview

Contact Us

Justin Scharton, Program Manager
Senior Environmental Planner
Natural Areas Department

Rebecca Everette
Senior Environmental Planner
Community Development & Neighborhood Services