Natural Areas Enews
Letter from Interim Director- Bobcat Ridge Burned in Cameron Peak Fire

As you may know, Bobcat Ridge Natural Area was burned in the Cameron Peak fire on October 17th. I want to let you all know what happened that day and offer some words of hope for the future of this treasured natural area.

Luckily, thankfully, everyone is safe and no homes in the immediate area were lost. Thank you for the community outpouring of support including the offers of volunteer time and encouraging words.

We respectfully ask the community to be patient as it takes time to fully understand the fire impacts and make plans for how to move forward. In the meantime, Bobcat Ridge will remain closed until further notice.

Read the letter from the Interim Director

Celebrate Five Years of the Bison Herd

Bison Herd Open House  Sunday, November 8 |   10:00 AM |  Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

See the Laramie Foothills Conservation Herd at Soapstone Prairie and hear about their reintroduction from Dr. Jennifer Barfield and Natural Areas Staff, Matt Sampson. Registration is not required for this event, Matt and Jennifer will be available for questions from approximately 10 am-noon. Scavenger hunts and self-guided tour brochures will be available online and at Soapstone Prairie. Register if desired to receive updates about the event and have the scavenger hunt and self-guided tour e-mailed to you in advance.

Stewardship Behind the Scenery - The Making of a Herd  Sunday, November 8 |  6:00 PM |  Registration Required

Restoring bison to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area requires a lot of teamwork. Hear from different organizations and individuals involved in the reintroduction and management of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd. Join online for a virtual panel that will be broadcast simultaneously on Zoom and via the herd's Facebook Live.

Panelists include:
Dr. Jennifer Barfield, CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Ty Smith, Director, CSU Native American Cultural Center
Matt Sampson, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas
Meegan Flenniken, Larimer County Natural Resources
Liba Pejchar, CSU Warner College of Natural Resources
Jack Rhyan, National Wildlife Research Center, US Department of Agriculture

More about Bison Days

Maxwell Natural Area Closure for Trail Work
Maxwell Natural Area will be closed in late November for approximately 3 days (weekdays) for trail work.
You can check the status at:

Upcycle your Pumpkins

To attract more nature to your yard, Nature in the City recommends this easy and fun pumpkin feeder idea from the National Audubon Society.
The local chapter, Fort Collins Audubon Society, produces this Birds of Larimer County Checklist so you can keep track of who visits your feeder.

Birds of Larimer County Checklist

Gardening Volunteer Trio Honored This Month

Thank you Volunteer Gardeners at Nix Native Plant Garden, the Volunteers of the Month! Even though our offices are slow these days with almost half of our staff working from home, we are thankful for the gardeners who come in two mornings a week to maintain the beautiful grounds. We featured the other half of the crew last month. Here's what a few said about why they volunteer for the Natural Areas Department.

"For me, I volunteer to hopefully do some good and I love what I'm doing. Too, I work with a very good crew who just happen to be great people."- David T.

“I have always been an amateur gardener and love being outdoors anywhere!  I have the time and energy, always enjoy whatever it is that we do, even the bindweed. I also enjoy the company of our team, miss them when our days are cancelled.  Being part of the community is such a satisfaction. So happy that I am able to do my part..” - Evelyn M.

Thank you, Gardeners! 


Recommended Doses of Nature

Remember the importance of getting outside for your daily dose of nature and the outdoors, especially as the days get shorter!  We may have to work harder to motivate ourselves to get out even in the cold, but “nearby nature” is there for you!
There are over 50 natural areas locally and regionally, check out this pdf map to find one close to you. Check for closures and view webcam images of popular parking lots at

Natural Areas Finder webpage

Wild is curious. Wild is innovative. Wild is resilient.

Wild can happen in your own backyard or on your front porch, across towns and cities, plains and mountains. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what neighborhood you live in. Kids grow better outside, and there’s always a way to be wild.

There are a million fun things to do outside when you’re a kid. Maybe more. But where do you start? How about a list of 100 things every kid absolutely has to do before they’re 12?!

P.S.- Kids ages 1 to 99 will like this list. Wilder (pictured above) might look like a cross between a mountain goat and bigfoot, but he’s going to be your new best friend!
Learn more about Generation Wild

Free Upcoming Activities
Virtual Fireside Chats - Winter is Coming...  Friday, November 6 |  5:00 PM

Tune in for a virtual fireside chat featuring all the ways to enjoy natural areas in the winter. What are the best natural areas to visit in the winter and what can you do there? A volunteer naturalist will give you all kinds of fun ideas for individuals and families. The program will be on Facebook Live and will last 10-15 minutes with time for questions. To watch the program, go to

Skygazing  Saturday, December 19 |   7:00 PM |  Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area

Volunteers from Northern Colorado Astronomical Society will be available with large telescopes and lots of information about the night sky. Dress for cold temperatures. You are welcome to bring blankets and chairs.Registration is not required, but you can sign up to receive a reminder and updates.

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