Natural Areas Enews
You are Invited! Grand Opening

Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m.- 12 noon
10:30 a.m. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Southwest corner of E. Vine Drive & 9th St.
Parking available at the Streets building, 625 9th St.

City of Fort Collins invites you to join in celebrating the opening of Sugar Beet Park. Learn about how the sugar beet industry played a part in Fort Collins history and the design of Sugar Beet Park. Also, tour the park to see the pollinator garden (a Nature in the City project), meet park design experts, and play on the giant sugar beet play structure.

Inauguración del parque Sugar Beet Park
21 de septiembre, 2019 | 10 a.m. a 12 del mediodía
10:30 a.m. Ceremonia de Inauguración
Esquina suroeste de E. Vine Dr. y 9th St.
Estacionamiento disponible en el Departamento de Calles, 625 9th St.
La Ciudad de Fort Collins cordialmente le invita a celebrar la inauguración de Sugar Beet Park. Aprenda cómo la industria azucarera y la remolacha de azúcar tuvieron un papel importante en la historia de Fort Collins y el diseño de Sugar Beet Park. Tome un tour del parque para conocer el jardín de los polinizadores, charlar con los expertos del diseño del parque y jugar en la remolacha gigante.

Learn more

Goats for Wildlife Habitat

Goats' role in in improving wildlife habitat might not be obvious at first. But it makes more sense when you know that Fort Collins' high elevation grassland ecosystems can benefit from grazing to ensure plant diversity, nutrient cycling, and for overall health. While mechanical mowing can replicate some of the benefits of grazing, it’s not quite the same. That is why the Natural Areas Department periodically uses herds of goats to graze and breakdown weedy vegetation. They will be grazing along the Poudre River corridor this fall. 

The goats set the stage for future management actions such as planting native seeds, judicious herbicide applications, and controlled burns. Goat grazing is part of the long-term natural areas management strategy called Integrated Pest Management which maximizes habitat improvement and minimizes negative impacts to human and ecosystem health.

Natural Areas for All to Appreciate: Meet Brian Carroll
Our Volunteer of the Month is Brian Carroll. Brian has volunteered for Natural Areas as a Master Naturalist for 13 years. Brian shared, "Volunteering and sharing are synonymous. I think it would be terribly selfish to realize the wonders of our natural areas and not expose others to those wonders. Hopefully once exposed they would also share with others and soon the natural area would become "our" natural areas for all to appreciate." Thanks for all you do for natural areas, Brian!

September Wildflowers
Late summer brings lots of yellow flowers on the shortgrass prairie. Look for rabbitbrush (pictured) and broom snakeweed at Soapstone Prairie and other grassland natural areas. Thanks to Master Naturalist volunteer Lynn Rubright, wildflower identification sheets are published every few weeks so you can track what is blooming at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. 
Soapstone Prairie Wildflowers

Restoration Update | Kingfisher Point Natural Area

The earth-moving phase of restoration work at Kingfisher Point Natural Area is complete. By lowering steep river banks, flows can now nourish the surrounding corridor and bring in native cottonwood seeds. Non-native trees were removed and replaced with natives. Work in the river channel improved fish and aquatic insect habitat. There is now a broader area of wetland and riverside habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife that rely on the river.

Learn more + photos of the restoration

Thank a Ranger!
Did you know that there are 50 natural areas, encompassing 36,650 acres, with over 100 miles of trail? Rangers stay busy patrolling all that ground 7 days a week, ensuring visitors are safe and the natural areas are protected, year-round. Share your appreciation with a ranger next time you see them!

Free Upcoming Activities

Loren Eisley: Scientist, Poet and Time Traveler Saturday, September 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the North Parking Lot. Experience the amazing prose and poetry of naturalist Loren Eiseley and learn about his critical archaeological discovery at the Lindenmeier site. 0.5 miles; easy. Please bring water, sun and wind protection, and closed-toe shoes. Free, registration required at

Forest Therapy Wednesday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, meet at Primrose Studio. Experience the Japanese tradition of Shinrin-Yoku on this guided nature walk. Learn to open your senses to nature’s healing power. Bring water, sun protection, closed-toe shoes and any other comforts you may need. 18+. Free, registration required at

Campfire at the Cabin: Mosquitoes and Bats – You Gotta Love ‘Em! Saturday, September 14, 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., Coyote Ridge Natural Area, meet at the cabin. Spend a cozy evening by the campfire, complete with stories and s’mores! These programs are suitable for all ages. Dress warmly and bring water to drink. This program includes a hike on an unpaved trail to the cabin. Meet your naturalist guide at the cabin and enjoy a campfire and stories on the deck. Please allow 30-40 minutes to reach the cabin. The campfire begins at the time listed. Bring a flashlight for the walk back. 2 miles round-trip; easy. Free, registration required at

Science Behind the Scenery: Black-Footed Ferrets Tuesday, September 24, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Northside Aztlan Community Center, Eagle Rooms 1 and 2 Please NOTE: This location is different than the one advertised in the Explorer! These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Parking is limited - please carpool, bike or walk. Bring a snack if you like. Program Topic: Black-Footed Ferrets. Learn about the conservation of these charismatic creatures and get updates about the population at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Program is accessible and free, registration required at

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 Community Relations 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