Natural Areas Enews
The Natural Areas Department wants to hear from you!
We want to know what you think about natural areas in our community. The Fort Collins Natural Areas Resident Survey is now available and open to all residents. This quick survey will only take 5 to 10 minutes. Your participation is greatly appreciated!
Take the survey

Changes to Gateway Natural Area Passes

Gateway Natural Area, in the Cache La Poudre canyon, is the only City of Fort Collins natural area with a fee. Several changes to the pass purchasing process are underway to benefit visitors:

  • Starting January 1, 2022, annual passes dispense from pay stations at Gateway Natural Area via card- no cash or checks are accepted.

  • Starting January 1, 2022, annual passes expire at the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2022).

  • Hangtag passes issued in 2021 are valid until the expiration date on the pass.  

Two new pay stations at Gateway Natural Area make the pass purchasing process more convenient. Previously, visitors could only purchase an annual pass voucher from the pay station, which had to be exchanged for a physical pass within 14 days. The new pay stations dispense day passes ($7) and annual passes ($40). People with disabilities can purchase annual passes for a discounted rate from an accessible pay station ($15).

Visitors are encouraged to park and then pay to ensure a parking spot, especially during the busy summer months. Annual passes must be permanently affixed to the inside passenger’s side windshield and are non-transferable. Daily passes must be clearly displayed on the passenger’s side of the dashboard. 

Visitors can check out a free Gateway Natural Area annual pass for up to one week from the Poudre River Public Library District. Four passes are available, two at the Old Town location and two passes at the Council Tree location. No holds are available.  

More Information

Coming Soon! Make it Happen: Nature in the City Implementation Grants

Nature in the City helps fund projects that bring natural spaces into your neighborhood and community! Applications for 2022 funds will be available Sept 1, 2021 and will be due Oct 20, 2021. More information coming soon, in the meantime, visit the apply page for general information about applying for Nature in the City grants, check out past projects here, and learn more about our goals in the Nature in the City Strategic plan.

Nature in the City Grant Information

Now Available - 2022 Xeriscape Incentive Program Classes

Thinking about converting your yard to an attractive, water-wise landscape to benefit wildlife and pollinators? Get up to $1,000 in rebates for making the change through the City’s Xeriscape Incentive Program. Sign up for a 2022 Class now!

This informational class is free and will introduce you to the City’s rebate program for landscape conversion. This program is only available for Fort Collins Utilities residential water customers.

Celebrating summer with Fort Collins Boys and Girls Club

For over four years the Natural Areas Department and Fort Collins Boys and Girls Clubs have partnered on Club Outdoors. The club supports connection with nature, self-efficacy, inclusivity, and environmental stewardship for local youth. This summer Club Outdoors served over 160 middle and high schoolers. Weekly programs included habitat games, volunteer stewardship projects, dip netting, and more.   

Four Natural Areas volunteers committed 15 hours per session to support activities and engage with the community, for a total of 60 hours over two months. Both the Harmony and Fort Collins Club Directors continue to express their enthusiasm for the Natural Areas Department’s ongoing commitment to exploring the natural world with club members.  

A summer highlight from this partnership included the first-ever ”Hike and Skygazing Event” at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. After finishing a nature hike, the Club Outdoors members spotted the International Space Station speeding across the evening sky.  This fueled group excitement as club members rotated around the four telescopes shared by volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. As the evening ended, one Club Outdoors member declared, "This was the best night of my life!"  

Free Upcoming Activities
For the Love of Ravens | Thursday, August 5 | 9 AM | Pineridge Natural Area | Registration Required; Ages 16+
Learn more about the magic of ravens as depicted in stories and literature. 3 mile; moderate hike.

Junior Naturalists: Wildfire and Recovery | Thursday, August 12 | 10 AM | Bobcat Ridge Natural Area | Registration Required
Budding Young Naturalists - 8-12 years. What happens when a natural area burns? Come for a walk through the fire’s path and learn how fire works and why it’s important.

Skygazing | Saturday, August 14 | 8:30 PM | Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area | Registration Required
Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Bugs and Blooms Captured in Naturalist's Notebook | Thursday, August 19 | 9 AM | Primrose Studio | Registration Required
Beginners and veterans welcome! Instruction-focused and guided observations along with drawing, painting, and writing deepen your connections to nature.

Poudre River Fest | Saturday, August 21 | 1 PM | New Belgium Brewing
Join us at New Belgium Brewery for a day of education, restoration and celebration of the Poudre River! There will be live music, exhibitor booths, interactive games, food trucks, tasty beer and door prizes! You can also learn about river restoration projects being led by the local non-profits and sign up to volunteer. 

Bison-Archaeology Connection | Saturday, August 28 | 9 AM |  Soapstone Prairie Natural Area | Registration Required; Ages 16+
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.

Yoga in Nature | Sunday, August 29 | 9 AM | Gateway Natural Area | Registration Required; Ages 16+
This vinyasa style class will link poses and breath together while connecting to our natural surroundings. Come as you are and enjoy a mindful flow that is appropriate for all levels. Props available upon request.
View the Event Calendar

Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Charlotte Norville, 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