Natural Areas Enews
Cameron Peak Fire at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Update

Bobcat Ridge was burned in the Cameron Peak fire so it is closed for your safety and for the recovery of the natural area. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2021 and it may reopen in phases.  

Initial assessments show that prior to reopening Bobcat Ridge to visitors, fallen and burnt trees need to be cleared from trails, trails and other infrastructure must be repaired and several trail bridges need to be replaced. The area used as the ranch dump (previous to City of Fort Collins ownership) was disturbed and needs to be remediated. The recovery is being planned and implemented in coordination with the larger Cameron Peak Fire recovery efforts. Ecological restoration will begin in the spring, however visitors should know that the restoration process takes time. 

The timeline for reopening accounts for other priority trail projects, winter weather, coordination with the US Forest Service, COVID-19, the Natural Areas Department’s seasonal workforce, and other factors. 

The Natural Areas Department will keep you updated in this newsletter and Bobcat Ridge's website through the process of rebuilding and restoring Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. 

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area

Trail Skills for Dogs and Their Guardians
Four new videos featuring local dog trainer Amber Quann share:
  • Why visit a natural area with your dog?
  • Know the regulations and learn about the BARK Principles
  • How to teach your dog trail skills
  • Safety precautions and what to bring
The videos are all under 3 minutes and star adorable fur babies.
Trail Savvy Dog Video Series

Vols of the Month Share Restorative Nature Activities

In the times of the coronoa virus pandemic, people have been turning to nature for respite and mental recharging. So this month, special gratitude goes to volunteers such as Madeline and Maria who lead Wellness Walks and other restorative nature activities for Fort Collins residents. 

"We live in beautiful Fort Collins with wonderful Natural Areas. I really enjoy taking people on Wellness Walks. A walk in Nature walks the Soul back Home."- Madeline Marchell

“My aim as a NAD volunteer is to spark awe, wonder, reflection, and fascination with the beauty of our natural world. I believe creating deep nature-connection wellness programs, as a volunteer, helps us establish nature as a space where both families and individuals can boost community well-being and promote stewardship toward the more-than-human-world we are interconnected with. The greatest asset of a nation is the health of its people.”- Maria Fenty

Thank you, Madeline and Maria, for all that you do to support the community! (photo of Forest Bathing activity, taken before the pandemic).

Nature Via Video
A new webpage collects short, free videos from the Natural Areas Department staff and volunteers, organized by topics such as how to help the environment, local wildlife, skygazing, and northern Colorado history.
Natural Areas Videos

Nature Lovers' Holiday List

Nature in the City brings nature closer to home in a variety of ways. A natural holiday gift idea for nature lovers might be some native plant seeds, a good gardening book, or a bird feeder and identification guide. These “Zen Curtains” from American Bird Conservancy or window decals prevent home windows from becoming a spot for bird collisions. Since cats that roam outdoors have serious consequences for wild birds, give the cat guardian in your life a cat leash or toys for indoors.

Learn more about local wildlife

Free Upcoming Activities

Virtual Eagle Watch: Are They Here Yet? Friday, December 11 | 3- 3:30 PM | Free, online

Every year, wintering eagles return to Fossil Creek Reservoir. Where do they come from and why come here? Tune in virtually to hear the answers from a volunteer naturalist - and maybe see some eagles!

Winter Nature Walks - Winter on the River  Saturday, December 12 | 9- 10:30 AM at North Shields Ponds Natural Area and Friday, December 18, 3-4:30 PM at Coyote Ridge Natural Area | Free, Registration Required

Discover a special Poudre River natural area right in town. The wetland and forest habitat supports a variety of plant and animal life. Take a winter walk along the river! Please dress for the weather, including shoes that can get muddy. 1.5 miles; easy (2-2.5 miles, easy, in shortgrass prairie and foothills ecosystems at Coyote Ridge Natural Area).

Virtual Fireside Chat: Geese!  Friday, December 18 | 6:30 PM | Free, Online

Tune in for a virtual fireside chat all about Canada geese. Why do we have so many geese in Fort Collins? What are they REALLY up to? A volunteer naturalist will clue you in. The 15 minute program will be on Facebook Live. Free, registration is not required for this activity, but you can sign up for a reminder and updates about the activity.

Skygazing  Saturday, December 19, 2020 | 7:00 PM |  Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area | Free, Registration Required

In a small group, have an opportunity to look at multiple objects as seen through the telescope via video monitor to allow for distancing. A short overview of visible constellations will also be given. Free, registration required.

Winter Nature Walks - First Day Hike!  Friday, January 1, 2021 | 1:30 PM |  Pineridge Natural Area |  Free, Registration Required

Join a naturalist for a winter adventure and first day hike at Pineridge Natural Area. Learn about winter wildlife and the timberline. Please dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get muddy. Free, Registration Required.

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 zshark@fcgov.com. 

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