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Natural Areas Department Offers Free Activities in May

This news was released 256 days ago and may contain inaccurate information.

Contact Information
Zoë Whyman, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, , 970-221-6311
It is spring, the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy your natural areas with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide during a free educational activity! Details are listed below. To learn more call 970-416-2815 or email

Astronomy at Bobcat Ridge: Wish Upon a Shooting Star
Friday, May 2, 7:30-10:00 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot.
Shooting stars, or meteors, are seen at unexpected moments in the night sky. Later this month will bring views of a special meteor shower. Learn why meteor showers happen and the best time to view them at a brief program, followed by viewing with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. Please arrive on time—the gate closes shortly after the program begins and parking is not allowed on the road outside the gate. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Foothills Geology
Saturday, May 3, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the parking lot on Taft Hill Road.
Discover some of the forces that shaped the Front Range landscape on this adult hike in the foothills. 4 miles, easy to moderate. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Making Connections
Monday, May 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot.
How are a rock, tree, squirrel, and bird connected? Discover the way that nature threads everything together. Bring along a sack supper to eat on the trail. Families welcome. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

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
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 http://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 http://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 to schedule a separate time. Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 1-2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://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 to schedule a separate time. Bring a jacket, good walking shoes, and water. 2 miles, easy. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://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 to schedule a separate time for a program. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

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. Meet at the north parking lot. 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 http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Lindenmeier: Looking Forward by Looking Back
Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area.
Most activities are at the north parking lot.
Celebrate the special history and importance of Soapstone Prairie. This event kicks off a 2014 celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Smithsonian visit to this site, when evidence was found that helped prove humans lived here at least 10,000 years ago. Learn about the past, and look to the future through archaeology programs, history presentations and hands-on activities. For a full schedule, visit NatureTracker.fcgov.com or call 970-416-2815. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://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 http://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 http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Nature Nuggets—Spectacular Spiders
Thursday, May 22, 10-11 a.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area
Meet at the program shelter near the parking lot off Carpenter Road.
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 to schedule a separate time for a program. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Prairie and Foothills Adaptations Hike
Saturday, May 24, 9:00-11:30 a.m., Reservoir Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the parking lot at the west end of Michaud Lane.
Investigate plants that grow in the prairies and foothills and learn about adaptations that help plants and animals survive in an arid climate. 3 miles, easy to moderate. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Nature Nuggets—Tricky Tracks
Thursday, May 29, 10-11 a.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot.
You may not always see wildlife but they leave clues behind! 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 to schedule a separate time for a program. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Natural History of Coyote Ridge
Friday, May 30, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Coyote Ridge Natural Area
Meet at the parking lot on Taft Hill Road.
Discover the wide variety of prairie wildlife and plants, and see how geology connects it all as you ascend into the foothills. 2.5 miles, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Prairie Plant Walk
Saturday, May 31, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area, meet at the Shields St. parking lot.
Take a leisurely stroll and explore interesting plants and flowers of the prairie. ½ mile, easy. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.

Astronomy at Bobcat Ridge: The Show-Off Planets
Saturday, May 31, 8:00-11:00 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.
Meet at the picnic shelter, 1/8 mile from the parking lot.
Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all visible in the evening sky in May. Learn more about the red, robust, and ringed planets in a brief program, followed by viewing with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. Please arrive on time—the gate closes shortly after the program begins and parking is not allowed on the road outside the gate. Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at http://NatureTracker.fcgov.com.