Natural Areas Enews
Final Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan Released
The management plan that applies to Coyote RidgePineridgeMaxwell and Reservoir Ridge natural areas and the Foothills Trail has been updated and finalized.
Supporting documents, public feedback summaries and Visitor Use Impact and Decision Framework (IDF) summaries are available at https://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/foothills-plan
Foothills Natural Areas Management Plan

Trail Suggestions for November
Soapstone Prairie Natural Area closes in December- February, so this month is a great time to visit! With very few trees, its a great place to experience wide-open views of the mountains and the plains with lots of loop options on its over 40 miles of trail. You might see pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), pictured! Do check for closures as a prescribed burn may close Soapstone Prairie for a day or two this month. Soapstone Prairie will be closed for aerial spraying for non-native cheatgrass on Thursday, 11/7.

If you are looking for a trail within Fort Collins, try the 1.5 mile trail system in a figure 8 configuration at North Shields Ponds Natural Area. The flat trail is near the Poudre River and it has nice views of the mountains and a feeling of remoteness, even close to town. North Shields Ponds is popular for anglers, equestrians, and hikers.
Natural Areas Finder webpage

Did you miss #BatWeek?
The last week of October was designated Bat Week on our facebook and twitter pages. It was a time to celebrate these special creatures who are hard at work all around the world each night- eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees. Here are some of our favorite posts:
Bat Haiku:

Light of day grows short

Bat pups grown it’s time to leave

For your long slumber

Can you name one of the 10 species of bats that have been found in Fort Collins Natural Areas? Hint, check out https://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/wildlife.php 

It is unusual but the Townsend’s big-eared bat, a State Species of Concern, has been documented in Fort Collins Natural Areas. Habitat that supports rare species is possible thanks to you! Voter support of sales tax ballot measures funds land conservation and stewardship.
Bats in Fort Collins

Seeking Projects that Connect People to Nature and Provide Wildlife Habitat
Nature in the City wants to learn more about your idea for potential funding in the 2020 Community Projects Grant program. You can submit proposals outlining your project plans between Friday, November 15 and January 15, 2020.The first section of the application is a set of pre-qualification questions, which must be submitted before January 8, 2020.
  • Residential Projects- Grants for up to $1,000 will be awarded to residential projects to help convert your yard into native habitat.
  • Neighborhood-Scale Projects- Grants for up to $25,000 will be awarded to neighborhood scale projects with a focus on increasing access and engagement with nature. This may be done by converting areas around schools and community gathering places to native plantings that create habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.
  • Community-Scale Projects looking to serve as a demonstration of how to complete a significant conversion effort that increases native habitat and access to nature could be awarded up to $40,000 per grant.

For more information, please come to the open house on Tuesday, November 19 from 4:30-6:00 PM at the Northside Aztlan Community Center

Learn More about Community Projects Grants

Nominate a Poudre Pioneer
Do you know someone who has helped make the Cache la Poudre River an excellent example of a healthy working river? The Natural Areas Department is a member of the Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Work Group who would like to recognize one of those key contributors. The nomination deadline is December 1.
Learn more

Are You a Human of Natural Areas?

Are natural areas personally meaningful to you? Are you interested in sharing your story?


The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is creating a "Humans of Natural Areas" social media series to highlight all the different ways that people value and find meaning in the outdoors. It was inspired by the Humans of New York

The project is being led by Brendan Bombaci, a natural areas skills-based volunteer, cultural anthropologist, and professional photographer. He will meet with volunteer storytellers and take a photo portrait at a mutually agreeable time and place. If you are interested in being interviewed for the Humans of Natural Areas project, please email Brendan Bombaci at bbombaci@fcgov.com

 

Primrose Studio Available for Rent

You can host your next meeting, retreat or class at Primrose Studio at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, a unique space that is available for rent by the public for gatherings.

Primrose Studio is a quiet, beautiful spot with a full kitchen, spacious patio, and comfortable seating for your next gathering of up to 36 people.

The administrative fee is $200 for up to 5 hours and $40 per additional hour. For government agencies, schools and other non-profit organizations the fee is $100 for up to 5 hours and $20 per additional hour.

Primrose Studio is available Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Primrose Studio is closed on Sundays and these official holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

Learn more

Free Upcoming Activities

Nature in the City Community Projects Open House
Tuesday, November 19, 4:30- 6 p.m. Northside Aztlan Community Center,112 E. Willow St., Fort Collins. Discuss your grant idea with Nature in the City staff. Free, no registration required. 

Skygazing
Volunteers from Northern Colorado Astronomical Society will be available with large telescopes and lots of information about the night sky. Dress for cold temperatures. You are welcome to bring blankets and chairs. Heated restroom available. Visit http://nocoastro.org/ for updates.

Friday, December 6, 2019 |   07:00 PM |  Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area

Free, no registration required but you can sign up for a reminder and updates at fcgov.com/register

Coming in December: Eagle Watches
Bald eagles from the north make Fort Collins their winter home. They spend nights in communal roosts in cottonwood trees at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Drop-in to visit with the volunteer Master Naturalists who are stationed at the viewing pier. They will explain the eagles’ natural history and help visitors view them through spotting scopes and binoculars. 

Eagle Watches will be Friday and Saturday afternoons, December 13-February 15. Free, no registration required but you can sign up for a reminder and updates. Eagle Watches can be CANCELED due to cold temperatures or snow, cancellations are posted at fcgov.com/naturalareas and emailed to all registered participants.

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 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