Natural Areas Enews
Latino Conservation Week
Latino Conservation Week is July 16-24! Celebrate Latino Conservation Week with Fort Collins Natural Areas. Join us for a Campfire at Nix on Saturday, July 23, 7-8:30 p.m. This program, partially offered in Spanish, will celebrate the stories and contributions of Latinos to conservation and the outdoors. Explore the many ways to connect to nature in northern Colorado.
Semana de Conservación Latina - Este programa se ofrecerá parcialmente en español. Celebre las historias y contribuciones de los latinos a la conservación y la naturaleza. Explore la variedad de maneras en que puede conectarse a la naturaleza en el norte de Colorado.
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Public Engagement Update
Thank you to everyone who shared feedback about Kestrel Fields and Soapstone Prairie natural areas and the 21 natural areas along the Poudre River. Over 330 people participated in onsite drop-in events, online feedback opportunities, and presentations.
The feedback is being processed and will influence the trail alignment at Kestrel Fields, and how Soapstone Prairie and the Poudre River natural areas are managed.
Kestrel Fields Natural Area
  • The feedback is informing exploration of an updated trail alignment. There will not be access from the Greyrock Commons private property.
  • The entry sign will feature mountains in the background and a grasshopper in the kestrel's beak.
  • Further updates will be available by the fall.
Soapstone Prairie/Mountains to Plains Zone Update
  • Further engagement is underway (see feedback opportunity below) to respond to comments that its hard to tell when you have arrived at Soapstone Prairie and that the trail signage is confusing.
  • Minor changes are being made to the Zone Update document and a final draft is expected in the fall.
Poudre River Natural Areas
  • The feedback will inform the upcoming draft Zone Update.
Feedback Opportunities

Feedback Opportunity
In the Mountains to Plains Zone Update process, community members shared that it is hard to tell when you have arrived at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and that the trail signage is confusing. A new entrance feature at the south boundary and new trail signage is being considered.

Please rank your preferences for several options on this feedback form by September 2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Feedback Opportunities

Just Be Yoga Series
Join Reneca and Duan of InnatelyU for meditation and light yoga practice at sunrise and sunset for all levels of yoga practitioners. We want to build community and experience nature together with you in hopes to help us all live well and healthy! Register for each yoga session below. 

Session 1 (Sunrise): Sunday, July 10 | 5:15 a.m. - 6 a.m. | Red Fox Meadows

Session 2 (Sunset): Tuesday, July 26 | 7:45 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Red Fox Meadows

Session 3 (Sunrise): Tuesday, August 2 | 5:30 a.m. - 6:15 a.m. | Fossil Creek Reservoir

Bring Your Own Water

Harmful algae blooms (HAB's) are colonies of algae that grow out of control and can be harmful to humans, pets, fish, and wildlife. HAB's are in local ponds and can occur from mid-summer to early fall. 

Follow these tips to limit your exposure:  

  • Only swim and recreate in areas where water quality is monitored and managed.
    • The City does not monitor water bodies in parks and natural areas for harmful algal blooms or cyanotoxins.
  • Keep pets out of water and bring clean water for them to drink.
  • Avoid boating so you can prevent contacting the water or accidentally drinking it.
  • Never drink water from outdoor water bodies such as ponds, lakes, rivers, or streams.
  • If you touch the water, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands with soap when available.
Learn More

Take a self-guided garden tour in Fort Collins
Tour beautiful xeriscape or native landscapes and get ideas and inspiration to make your landscape more resilient in Fort Collins. Compared to the traditional turf landscape, these landscapes are more likely to thrive on our natural climate and precipitation. You can learn more about the gardens and find their location at:
Learn More

Volunteers of the Month: Wellness Volunteers
The volunteers of the month are Natural Area volunteers who lead Wellness Programs in the Explorer. Volunteers lead programs such as Qi Gong, yoga, meditation, and forest bathing. These practices help to promote mindfulness, health, healing, and community in nature. Thank you volunteers for making such a positive impact.

Free Upcoming Activities
Smithsonian at Lindenmeier | Saturday, July 9 | 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Soapstone Prairie Natural Area | Registration Required
Travel back in time to learn how Paleoindians survived the high plains and how Smithsonian Institution archaeologists uncovered their story in the 1930s.

Out and About with Natural Areas: River Restoration – Is It For the Birds? | Thursday, July 14 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Shields St River Access | Registration Required
Discover how biologists, botanists, and restoration staff work together to create healthier plant and animal communities.

Skygazing | Saturday, July 16 | 9:30-11:30 p.m. | Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area 
Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Raptors and Nature: Explore and Share | Thursday, July 21 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area | Registration Required 
Learn about the amazing raptors that populate Colorado's Front Range and how we can help conserve them. Observe live raptors up close with a visit from special guest, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program. Then enjoy a short hike with a naturalist to further explore the local environment. Hike is 1-2 miles, easy.

Qi Gong in Nature | Sunday, July 24 | 9-10:30 a.m. | Riverbend Ponds Natural Area | Registration Required 
Take a short hike to a soothing spot in nature. Enjoy the natural areas and nourish yourself with Qi Gong. Beginners and experienced are welcome.

Sights and Sounds of McMurry | Friday, July 29 | 10 a.m.-noon | McMurry Natural Area | Registration Required 
Discover a special Poudre River Natural Area right in town. We'll look for important plant and insect resources and watch for active animals. After our short walk we'll find a shady spot to play short audio and video clips of resident wildlife.
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 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