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Natural Areas Department Offers Free Activities in May

This news was released 556 days ago and may contain inaccurate information.

Contact Information
Zoë Whyman, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, , 970-221-6311
Everyone is invited to discover and celebrate your natural areas with over 20 activities this month! Topics include geology, astronomy, wildlife, the Cache la Poudre River, wildflowers, local history and more. Details are listed below. To learn more call 970-416-2815 or email .

Geology: Walk the Gangplank
Saturday, May 4, 8 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. Free, no registration required.

Skygazing at Fossil Creek
Saturday, May 4, 8:30-10:30 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space
Meet at the parking lot.
Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for viewing the sky, and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly, and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Visit their website for cancellation notices: http://www.ncastro.org. Free, no registration required.

Nature Nuggets—Night Owls & Buggy Bats
Thursday, May 9, 10-11 a.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from parking lot.
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. Free, no registration required.

River Walk
Saturday, May 11, 10-11:30 a.m.
Meet at Lee Martinez Park parking lot.
Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Poudre River trail to observe birds, trees, and plants, and the interaction of the river with landforms along the way. Bring the family. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required.

Wildflowers and Geology of Soapstone Prairie
Saturday, May 11, 10:00-12:30 p.m.
Meet at the south parking lot.
Enjoy a springtime walk and explore the spring flowers and geological history of this magnificent prairie system. Take in the amazing views of undeveloped landscape that showcases the high plains and foothills. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and lunch or snacks. Free, no registration required.

Life of a River
Sunday, May 12, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Meet at Lee Martinez Park parking lot.
Get to know geomorphological and hydrological aspects of the Poudre River and discover how the river has its own life. Gain a newfound respect for the river! 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required.

Stroller Stroll
Tuesday, May 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Ross Natural Area
Meet at the playground at Rolland Moore Park.
Bring your toddler (3 years and under) and explore the natural areas from the ground up. Enjoy a short walk with strollers, and stops along the way to see, feel, and smell natural objects. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Nature Nuggets—Night Owls & Buggy Bats
Thursday, May 16, 10-11 a.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space
Meet at program shelter, next to parking lot.
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. Free, no registration required.

Tell Me More About Planets and Stars
Friday, May 17, 7:45-10 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot.
Enjoy a brief family-friendly astronomy program followed by skygazing with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. Dress warmly, bring water, and a blanket or chair to sit on. Please arrive on time—entrance gate closes after start. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Master Naturalist Assistant Application Deadline
Friday, May 17, 5:00 p.m.
For more than 15 years Master Naturalists have provided educational field trips for school groups, clubs, scouts, seniors, newcomers, and more. Master Naturalist Assistants (MNAs) go along and help out with props, equipment, handouts, and evaluations. The training is free and you must attend both days: May 22 and May 29, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Applications are available at www.fcgov.com/naturalareas

Hike to a Homestead
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area
Meet at south parking lot
Learn about the early history of the settlers who braved this harsh landscape. Visit several homestead ruins and hear stories about the families who lived here. Bring plenty of water, lunch, snacks, and sun protection. 6 miles, moderate-strenuous. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Find Your Way with Map and Compass
Saturday, May 18, 9:00-10:30 a.m., Pineridge Natural Area
Meet at the Dixon Reservoir parking lot, off CR 42C.
Be confident when exploring the outdoors—learn and practice map and compass skills. Instruction and exercises will provide hands-on experience. Bring a good compass if you have one—compasses will also be available to borrow during the class. Free, no registration required.

Morning on the Prairie
Sunday, May 19, 9 a.m.-noon, Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Meet in the parking lot.
Discover the wide variety of wildlife at Coyote Ridge, including prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, coyotes, burrowing owls and more, and appreciate the amazing landscape and geology of this natural area. All ages are welcome. 2.5 miles, easy. Free, no registration required.

Foothills Geology
Tuesday, May 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Meet in the parking lot.
Discover some of the forces that shaped the Front Range landscape in this beginning geology hike. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and a jacket. 4 miles, easy to moderate. Free, no registration required.

Nature Nuggets—It’s a Bug’s Life
Thursday, May 23, 10-11 a.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from parking lot.
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. Free, no registration required.

Natural Area Adult Night Walk
Thursday, May 23, 7:45-9:45 p.m.
Location given at time of registration
Adults and accompanied children 16 and older experience a quiet walk with information about the night, and time for reflection under the moon. Dress warmly, bring water. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10. For information, call 970-416-2815.

Beautiful Brooks Canyon
Friday, May 24, 9 a.m.-noon, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Parking lot
Explore the hidden beauty and learn about the birds and animals that reside in this area usually closed to the public. Bring water, snacks, and binoculars. 2-3 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Natural Area Family Night Walk
Friday, May 24, 7:45-9:45 p.m.
Location given at time of registration
Enjoy a short walk in the moonlight with interactive activities and stories related to nocturnal animals and night senses. Dress warmly, bring water. 1 mile or less, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10. For information, call 970-416-2815.

Clean the Poudre 2013
Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m.-noon
Lee Martinez Park, 600 North Sherwood Street, lower parking lot by the tennis courts
Pitch in and help clean-up the Poudre River corridor! Join Mountain Whitewater Descents and the Natural Areas Department for the 14th annual clean-up. All you need is gloves, sunscreen and the desire to make a difference in our community. Everyone is welcome. Please carpool, bike or walk to reduce congestion. Free, no registration required.

Nature at Noon: Elk in Town
Wednesday, May 29, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Community Room at 215 N. Mason
Enter at north entrance of building.
Ben Kraft, wildlife biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildife, will share an overview of the history, ecology, and current management of the St. Vrain elk herd that migrates down from Estes Park into Loveland and Lyons. Bring a sack lunch. Free, no registration required.

Nature Nuggets—It’s a Bug’s Life
Thursday, May 30, 10-11 a.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space
Meet at program shelter near parking lot.
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. Free, no registration required.

Birds and Wildlife of Cedar Canyon
Friday, May 31, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area
Meet at Nix Farm parking lot, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road.
Visit this little known area to discover the wildlife that live here. Bring plenty of water, food and sunscreen. 2-3 miles, easy. Group will carpool to Soapstone Prairie. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://naturetracker.fcgov.com beginning May 10.

Natural Areas Passport
Now through November 15
Everyone is invited to celebrate 20 years of natural areas with the new Passport to the Natural Areas. It is a checklist of natural areas to visit and free activities. Complete your passport for a prize and to be entered into a drawing for a backpack full of outdoor supplies. The Passport is designed to highlight Fort Collins’ natural areas and the hundreds of free activities offered there. The free Passport brochure is available online at http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas and in natural area trailhead brochure boxes.