Natural Areas Enews
Weave Nature into the Urban Landscape

You can get funding to plan your community’s project to improve habitat and connect people to nature. From outdoor classrooms to community gardens, nature play areas to pollinator pathways, Nature in the City has funding to help you plan your own inspired project.  

Planning grants for up to $5,000 are available. Applications open September 15th and all application materials are due by November 2nd.  

Explore past projects and learn how to apply at .

Join the virtual Q&A session on Wednesday, September 30, 5:30 p.m. Friendly Nature in the City staff will be available to answer your questions. 

More about Nature in the City Grants

Flow Restoration Project

This month, the City of Fort Collins, in partnership with Colorado State University, will begin repairing a damaged diversion structure at the Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center (ELC) to keep water flowing through a small side channel of the Cache la Poudre River. This work is critical for maintaining a water right that keeps flows in the Poudre River for fish, wildlife, and recreation at the ELC.

The ELC Remains Open During Construction
The ELC will remain open for all users to enjoy during repair work. During the initial repair work on September 8-11, 2020 please avoid areas with "CAUTION: HEAVY EQUIPMENT" signs. 
Learn more

National Public Lands Day

Everyone is invited to celebrate and appreciate public lands with the City of Fort Collins, September 21-26.

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Normally, the Natural Areas Department hosts volunteer projects on the fourth Saturday in September. This year, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, Parks, Recreation, and Utilities departments are joining forces on social media to host a virtual celebration including a photo contest.  

Visit Natural Areas' facebook and twitter pages, and search the hashtag #NPLDFoCo (National Public Lands Day Fort Collins) on September 21-26.

BARK Principles for Dogs, Nature & People
A new video series helps nature, dogs and humans using a simple acronym, BARK.

B-Bag your pet's waste (and take it with you instead of leaving on the trail for later)
A- Always wear a leash
R- Respect wildlife
K- Know where you can go

Visiting a City of Fort Collins Natural Area with your dog can be a rewarding experience. Watch this 2 min. video (the first in a four-part series) to learn how to get the most out of it for you and your canine bestie.

In the second video (5 min.), join Natural Areas Ranger Kara Jacob to learn how regulations create a better experience for your dog, wildlife, and you! You'll learn more about the BARK principles and why should you follow them.

Watch for the third and fourth videos soon!

Remote Learning Resources: NoCo BEET

NOCO BEET (Building Environmental Education Together) is a collaborative of environmental education organizations working together to further the impact and quality of environmental education in northern Colorado. Members include public, private and non-profit partners who are all responding to the recent changes in school programming and environmental education. City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is part of NOCO BEET.

Learn more about this work and access resources for your learning at 
Environmental Education Resources

How Do Trails Happen?

Colorado’s trails and open spaces are busier than ever as more people look for ways to spend time outside and enjoy our beautiful state. Todd Juhasz, with City of Fort Collins Natural Areas focuses on Trails and Visitor Use Research. So it is only natural that his expertise was featured in the newsletter of Keep It Colorado, a nonprofit coalition of conservation organizations working to protect the lands and waters that define Colorado (City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is a member).

Read the article to answer answers questions such as:
"Who decides where a trail goes?"
"How are trails built differently for different users, such as bikers, hikers and horseback riders?"
"What if a trail doesn’t go where I want to go? What's the harm in wandering off trail?"

Check it out!

Trail Maintenance Explained Website

August Volunteer Duo (or is it a trio?)
"I love nature & enjoy sharing my adventurous passion for Colorado's outdoor beauty with those I meet on the trails." Rita & Enya the dog

"The entire outdoor experience brings me joy & I am grateful for the opportunity to work as an Volunteer Naturalist & Volunteer Ranger Assistant." - Corinne

Thank you to this terrific trio of volunteers and congratulations on being the Volunteers of the Month!
Volunteer Opportunities

Free Upcoming Activities
Stewardship Behind the Scenery - The Incredible Journey: 20 Years of Restoration Thursday, 9/3/2020  |  6:30-8 PM| Free, Registration Required

These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research in natural areas and how their unique and valuable natural resources are stewarded.
This month's topic: Ecosystems aren’t built in a day and restoring them takes time. Learn how resource managers plan for the long term health of the natural areas in Fort Collins.This program will take place via Zoom. The link and password for the Zoom meeting will be sent out the day before the program to those registered.

Bison-Archaeology Connection Friday 9/4/2020  |  9- 11:30 AM  Soapstone Prairie Natural Area  |  Free, Registration Required

Learn about the acquisition of Soapstone Prairie, the history of the American bison, and the treasures uncovered at the Lindenmeier archaeological site. Hike of 0.25 miles, easy. Meet at the south parking lot, approximately one hour drive time from Fort Collins.

Stewardship Behind the Scenery - River Restoration: Is it for the Birds? Tuesday, 9/8/2020  | 6:30 - 8 PM Shields St River Access  |  Free, Registration Required

These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research in natural areas and how their unique and valuable natural resources are stewarded. In this activity, discover how biologists, botanists and restoration staff work together to create healthier plant and animal communities. 

Virtual Campfire at Nix - Crepuscular Critters Saturday, 9/12/2020  |  7 - 7:30 PM Free, No Registration Required

Tonight you'll learn which animals like it best at sunrise and sunset. Find out what flies, crawls or hunts at these dusky times of day. Tonight's program will focus on those mysterious, menacing mosquitos! This program will be broadcast on Facebook Live. A Facebook account is not required to participate. Go to at the scheduled date and time to watch!

Calendar of free activities

Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Zoe Shark, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Public Engagement Manager, 970-221-6311 or 

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department
PO Box 580, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road
Fort Collins, CO 80522