June 2017
Naturally Yours
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Have a Voice in How Natural Areas Are Managed


The Fossil Creek Natural Areas are twelve natural areas, south of Harmony Road, extending from the base of the foothills southeast to I-25. They include:

Cathy Fromme Prairie 
Hazaleus Natural Area
Colina Mariposa Natural Area
Redtail Grove Natural Area
Two Creeks Natural Area
Prairie Dog Meadow Natural Area
Pelican Marsh Natural Area
Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area
Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area
Eagle View Natural Area
Flores del Sol Natural Area
Soaring Vista Natural Area

A draft update (pdf) to the 2005 management plan has been written for these sites and the public is invited to share their thoughts online or at an Open House on Thursday, June 8, 4-7 p.m. at the Harmony Library Community Room, 4616 South Shields Street, Fort Collins. Learn more >>>

Tonight! Nature in the City Project Development Workshop


Tuesday, June 6, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd.

The City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City program envisions a connected open space network for people and wildlife. Residents, neighborhoods, and HOA’s are invited to develop project ideas and apply for funding to help make this happen. Applications are due this fall for 2018 projects. Join us to learn about available resources, review previous projects, and address common pitfalls. This is the first workshop in the series. A different topic will be covered each session and there will be time for individual consultations to help you fully communicate your vision. Come to as many sessions as you like. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Native Plant Week is June 10-17


Native Plant Week Kick-off Event, Saturday, June 10, 10:00 a.m. –  noon at The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave. Come celebrate and learn all about native plants and how to use them in your yard from a diverse collection of riveting speakers, including Crystal Strouse, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Botanist.  Please join us at 10 a.m. for the welcome followed by a variety of 15-minute breakout sessions. Learn more at fcgov.com/gardens

Nix Farm Native Plant Garden Tour, Tuesday, June 13, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road. Learn why native plants are important for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.  Explore the Nix Native Plant Garden and come away with some wildflower seeds and ideas for incorporating native plants in your home gardens. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Wildflowers Through the Seasons, Wednesday, June 14, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Take a walk to see what is in bloom and learn about native plants. 1-2 miles; easy. Bring water, food, sun protection, appropriate footwear, and any other comforts you might need. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

All Native Plant Week Fort Collins events (pdf).

How are Bats Doing in Natural Areas?


Did you know that many bat populations have declined due to habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and disease? Is that the case in Fort Collins' natural areas? Research into questions like this is key to good stewardship of natural areas. Natural areas provide valuable habitat for bats because they can serve as roosting sites and places where bats may concentrate. Scientific surveys are being conducted this summer that will increase understanding of what bat species are present in local natural areas, their health, and their habitat needs. Bat surveys were last conducted in 2005, so it is time to update the data.  This summer, bat surveys will occur at Bobcat Ridge, Soapstone Prairie, Gateway, and Kingfisher Point natural areas.

New Living Wall Webpage


A living wall is part plant, part infrastructure – it’s living architecture! The green wall is an active experiment to bring nature to unexpected places. You can see it at 222 Laporte Ave. on the east-facing wall of the City of Fort Collins Utilities and Administration Building.  This Nature in the City project aims to test a year-round vertical installation in the challenging conditions of our local climate. By experimenting with different species and maintenance techniques over time, the research team hopes to learn what works best in Fort Collins, and share that information with the you, the public.  Learn more >>>

Try the Trails at Arapaho Bend in June


Fort Collins is located where the shortgrass prairie meets the foothills, and summers can be hot here. So in June, we suggest visiting natural areas early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures cool down.

Arapaho Bend Natural Area is a scenic entryway into Fort Collins with natural and cultural features to enjoy! It is a popular fishing spot and is often visited by equestrians. You may see or hear some of the over 80 species of birds that use the habitat here including American white pelicans, prairie falcons, and cormorants. Visitors also may see mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, beavers, coyotes, foxes and deer. Anglers may catch bass, bluegill, yellow perch, or sunfish in the ponds reclaimed from previous gravel mining. Learn more about fishing here.

Come see the ruins of the historic Strauss Cabin, one of the earliest log cabins in the area. The cabin was restored in 1997 and burned by arsonists in 1999. The cabin ruins were closed to the public from 1999-2012. The Natural Areas Department acquired the property from Larimer County and cleaned up the site with the help of volunteers. Please visit with respect.

While this site brings with it the hum of traffic on adjacent I-25, it provides opportunities for relaxing recreation with impressive views of the mountains and a glimpse into Fort Collins past.


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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