September 2015
Naturally Yours
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Nature's Harvest Fest


Celebrate and explore adventures in NoCo’s big backyard! The Nature Festival is combining with the Harvest Festival to make a special day of fun and learning for the whole family that includes live animals, a butterfly release (at 11 am), interactive activities with prizes, live music, food, vendors (including chili roasting, art, books), presentations (including Edible Bugs, Bee Hive Tours, Kids in the Kitchen, Storytelling, Urban Raptors and more!), giveaways, and fun extra surprises!

Saturday, September 12, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Gardens on Spring Creek.

Learn more and see the whole line-up at

Funds for Enhancing Your Natural Area Available


The Natural Areas Department encourages stewardship of all natural areas so financial assistance is available for projects to enhance or restore private or public natural areas in Fort Collins. The Natural Areas Department is appropriating $15,000 from the citizen-initiated Open Space Yes! sales tax for the Enhancement Fund in 2015.  Examples of projects might include native tree and shrub plantings, removal of exotic pest trees, wetland restoration, or native grassland revegetation. Property must be 1/4 acre or larger. Applications are due on November 6.  Learn more >>>

Cattail Chorus: A Hidden Gem


Cattail Chorus Natural Area is a small urban natural area located near the junction of Spring Creek Trail and the Poudre Trail.  It is a great destination for families! A new gate, and signs that have nature jokes welcome visitors of all ages.  There is an overlook that you can reach from the short spur trail, which is officially named the Chicka-dee-dee Trail! It's a great September destination via foot (try parking at Prospect Ponds) or bike.

Grant For Flume & Bridge at Kingfisher Point Natural Area


The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department has been awarded a grant of $10,000 from the History Colorado State Historical Fund.  The grant will be used to fund a Historic Structure Assessment of the Great Western Sugar Company Effluent Flume and Bridge, which spans the Cache la Poudre River on Kingfisher Point Natural Area.  After 60 years of being out of use and only minimally maintained, the flume and bridge are in need of attention to ensure that they will be here for today’s visitors and future generations. The Historic Structure Assessment will be performed by an engineering firm with experience in restoration of historic structures and will take approximately 6 months to complete. Read more >>>

August Fire at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area


Wildfire is a key component of the ponderosa pine foothills ecosystem here in Northern Colorado. These forests are adapted to low intensity fires that happen every few years.  That is why prescribed burns are a key part of taking care of natural areas.  But when wildfires happen near homes, they must be put out. A lightning strike at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area on August 13 started a wildfire that was controlled in a few hours by local firefighting agencies and Natural Areas rangers.  Even though the fire was in steep terrain, it only burned 7 acres due to a quick response and lack of fuel due to the 2000 Bobcat fire. Bobcat Ridge reopened a few days after the fire. Thank you fire crews!

Upcoming Free Activities


Ferrets First Festival, Saturday, September 5, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Court. One year ago, a group of endangered black-footed ferrets were released at Soapstone Prairie, a landscape they once inhabited. Join Natural Areas and the Museum of Discovery to celebrate the anniversary of the ferrets’ return home! Events include talks with scientists, a live black-footed ferret, and more! See the schedule at  Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815. Museum admission is required for the main exhibit hall.

Pioneer Life at Bobcat Ridge: Ranch Visit, Saturday, September 19, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Explore early ranching history in Northern Colorado with a walk in and around the historic ranch at Bobcat Ridge. Investigate the calving shed, chicken coop, barn, and more. Please bring water to drink. If you are interested in seeing more, an optional hike will continue from the ranch 1.0 mile (each way) to a pioneer cabin (See below).  Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

Pioneer Life at Bobcat Ridge: Hike to a Pioneer Cabin Saturday, September 19, 10:00 a.m. - noon Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Explore pioneer history in Northern Colorado with a hike to a restored pioneer cabin. Be prepared with water, sun protection, a snack, sturdy footwear, and any other comforts you might need. 2 miles; easy.  If you are interested in seeing more, couple this with a historic ranch exploration from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (see above). Free, REGISTRATION REQUIRED at or call 970-416-2815.

National Public Lands Day: River Clean-up, Saturday, September 26, 9:00 a.m.- 12 noon, Lee Martinez Park, meet at the lower parking lot by the tennis courts, 600 N. Sherwood Street. Celebrate public lands by pitching in to clean-up the Cache la Poudre River! Natural Areas will supply gloves, garbage bags and yummy snacks. Family friendly and volunteers under the age of 16 must be with an adult 18+. This project is sponsored by REI and Odell Brewing Company, thank you! Free, registration required at or call 970-416-2815.

Skygazing: Lunar Eclipse, Sunday, September 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet in the parking lot off Carpenter Road. Enjoy viewing the night sky with telescopes and knowledgeable volunteers provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at For weather updates and cancellations, visit the NCAS website at

Bison Welcome Home- Sunday, November, 1 save the date!  Bison are being reintroduced to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space. A ceremony at CSU's Foothills Campus will be followed by an optional bus trip to the pasture and toast to the project with a Prairie Thunder beer. Details will be announced in October.  Learn more here.

This is not a complete list!  Use the NatureTracker calendar (no login required) to see all the activities.


naturalareaslogo.gif 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.

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