July 2016
Naturally Yours
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New Nature In the City Video


A new video (7 min.) highlights Nature in the City as an innovative project in Fort Collins! Nature in the City is a new approach to conservation in Fort Collins. The program seeks to increase people's connection to nature while enhancing wildlife habitat. To achieve this, Nature in the City activates innovative partnerships, policies, and projects. Nature in the City is housed within the Natural Areas Department and is guided by it's Strategic Plan, adopted in 2015.

Boat Slide & Trail Reccomendation


Boating at Pineridge Natural Area just got easier with the construction of a ramp from the parking lot to the shore. Park at the Dixon Reservoir lot to use the new boat slide. Other visitors may use the boat slide stairs, too.

While you are at Pineridge, you can explore the trails on foot or by bike.  The Reservoir Loop Trail is a flat, one mile journey encircling Dixon Reservoir. Add on the Timber Trail (1 mile) through a ponderosa pine forest or the Valley Trail (.5 miles) to enjoy the varied sights and sounds of this special place.

Construction at Redtail Grove Natural Area


A major construction project is underway on the Fossil Creek Trail through Redtail Grove Natural Area. A pedestrian underpass is being constructed under the BNSF railroad to further connect the Fossil Creek Trail to Cathy Fromme Prairie and beyond. The tunnel construction project is scheduled for July 2016- January of 2017. Trail construction will continue after the tunnel is complete. The entire project is expected to be finished by the end of 2017. Learn more at www.fcgov.com/parkplanning

Powerline Work at Bobcat Ridge


Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association will be working on the powerlines at Bobcat Ridge, mostly on the Powerline Trail. Expect short closures of up to 30 minutes on this trail and other trails near powerlines thru mid-October. All City of Fort Collins Natural Areas trail conditions and closures are posted at http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/status.php and on Twitter (@FCNaturalAreas).

Public Engagement Opportunity: Wildlife Management Guidelines Update


Everyone is invited to an Open House and Forum to share their thoughts on the City of Fort Collins’ approach to wildlife management on City-owned natural areas and private land.   The Open House and Forum will be Thursday, July 28, 5-8 p.m. at the Lincoln Center, Canyon West Ballroom and Columbine Room, 417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins.  The Prairie Dog Management Forum will be 6-7 p.m. featuring a panel of representatives from a variety of perspectives.

Wildlife management on City-owned natural areas is shaped by the Wildlife Management Guidelines, adopted in March 2007.  Wildlife protection and management on private land is regulated by the City’s Land Use Code.  Proposed changes to the Guidelines and the Land Use Code will be featured at the Open House and Forum.

A summary of the proposed changes to the Wildlife Management Guidelines and proposed options for  Land Use Code changes will be available on July 14 at www.fcgov.com/naturalareas and www.fcgov.com/planning .  A comment form will also be available for those unable to attend the Open House. Read the press release here >>>

Upcoming Free Activities


Science Behind the Scenery- Soapstone Bison: Creating the Herd, Thursday, July 7, 7-8 p.m. Community Room, 215 N Mason St. Dr. Jennifer Barfield, CSU, tells the story of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation herd at Soapstone Prairie. Discover the amazing reproductive techniques used to establish the herd.  Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Soapstone Prairie Natural History Stroll, Friday, July 8, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Seniors and people with mobility issues are encouraged to attend this discussion on the natural and cultural history of the shortgrass prairie. Bring lunch, water, and sun protection. 0.25 mile; easy. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Fly Fishing for Teens, Wednesday, July 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Gateway Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Teens of all skill levels are welcome! Join Colorado Parks & Wildlife staff on the Poudre River to fly fish for the first time or improve your existing skills. Equipment provided or bring your own. Ages 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult; ages 16 and over must have a current Colorado fishing license. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Nature Nuggets- Critters & Cattails, Thursday, July 14 and 28, 9:30-10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12 p.m. McMurry Natural Area, meet at Soft Gold Park, 520 Hickory St. Investigate the plants and animals that call a pond home! Bring your little ones (ages 3-7 years) to learn about nature with stories and hands-on activities. Parents/guardians must be present at all times. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Wildflowers through the Seasons, Tuesday, July 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Walk with us every 3rd Tuesday of the month through August, to see what is in bloom and learn about native plants. 1-2 miles; easy. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Adult Night Walk, Tuesday, July 19, 8-10 p.m. Location provided at registration. Adults experience a long walk with a Master Naturalist and time for reflection.  Walks are offered near the full moon with lots of natural light—no need for flashlights! Dress warmly, wear closed-toe walking shoes, and bring water to drink. Children 16 and older may come to adult hikes but must be accompanied by parents. ½-2 miles, easy. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Birds Along the River, Thursday, July 21, 8-10 a.m. Lee Martinez Park, meet at the parking lot near the tennis courts.Join a Natural Areas Department biologist Aran Meyer, to discover resident and migrant species along the river. Bring your binoculars and field guides or borrow from us. 1-2 miles; easy. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Fort Collins, the River, and You, Saturday, July 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Poudre River Natural Areas, meet in the Museum of Discovery parking lot, 408 Mason Ct. Discover the Cache la Poudre River as it both meanders and rushes through our city. Learn where it has been, where it is going, and what it sees along the way. Explore what stake you have in the river’s flow and future. 1-2 miles; easy. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Nature Journaling Series: The Lay of the Land, Saturday, July 23, 6-8 p.m.Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Learn how to settle in and capture that which inspires you most. No art experience required! Program will include a short walk of less than 1 mile. Free, registration required at naturetracker.fcgov.com

Wade the River, Saturday August 6, 1- 4 p.m. Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St. Use dip nets to discover what lives beneath the surface of the Cache la Poudre River.  Biologists will be on-hand to help identify your finds.  Fishes, insects, larvae, algae and more are all easily seen with field microscopes.  All equipment is provided. Wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet. Free, no registration required but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at naturetracker.fcgov.com


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 zshark@fcgov.com.

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

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