October 2017
Naturally Yours
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Hungry Crew of Goats Helps With Restoration


As @MarkCavanah3 said on Twitter, "Goats aren't just for yoga. This hungry crew is gonna help City of Fort Collins restore some open space. That's a yummy win-win"  Thanks for the great summary!

Grazing by the "goat restoration partners" will help reduce dead grass accumulation, and increase plant diversity. The goats were at Cattail Chorus Natural Area for about a week in September.

Watch for Prescribed Burns at Soapstone Prairie


The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, in coordination with The Nature Conservancy, will be conducting several prescribed fires within Soapstone Prairie Natural Area this fall and winter. The burns reduce weedy vegetation, improve the mix of plants for habitat goals, and reduce hazardous fuels. 

Prior to burning, burn-related trail or area closures will be posted on the trails conditions webpage,  and on NOCO trail report. The burn will happen only under conditions that promote good smoke dispersal. Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health .Questions? Contact Jennifer Roberts, Natural Areas Environmental Planner, jroberts@fcgov.com , 970-221-6584.

Improved Nature Access, Connectivity & Stewardship


Imagine an outdoor classroom/garden buzzing with students and pollinators or a green leafy native plant oasis- ten projects like these are all possible all thanks to Nature in the City's (NIC) community partnerships. The goal is to improve access to nature and enhance natural spaces for people and wildlife. As the population continues to increase, these community projects will help ensure that nature remains an integral part of Fort Collins. Projects in 2017 included:

  • Residents of the Park Lane community celebrated the installation of a playground, community garden, pollinator garden, and trail, creating easy access to nature as well as a safe haven for children to play.
  • Bacon Elementary School, Bennett Elementary School, and Coyote Ridge Elementary School all welcomed the installation of outdoor classrooms and/or pollinator gardens. School projects are an important way to engage youth in outdoor learning and foster a sense of environmental stewardship.
  • The Murphy Center, offering a safe refuge for those experiencing homelessness, created a community garden that not only attracts native pollinators but also offers fresh produce for guests.
  • The Manhattan Townhomes Habitat Hero Garden is a natural oasis for pollinators and residents.
A special thank you to the dedicated and passionate community member partners who helped made these projects possible! Learn more >>>

Help Restore Cathy Fromme Prairie


Saturday, October 14, 9 a.m.- 12 noon at Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area

You can help the places you love by giving back! Volunteers will plant shrubs to replace non-native Russian olives in collaboration with the Colorado Prairie Initiative. Lunch and all supplies provided, no experience necessary. REGISTRATION REQUIRED .

Prairie Ridge Natural Area Feedback Sought


The City of Loveland's Prairie Ridge Natural Area is located directly south of Coyote Ridge Natural Area. Preliminary plans include a 1-mile ADA accessible trail segment, a 3-mile easy trail loop, a restroom, parking lot, and potential regional connections to Coyote Ridge, Rim Rock Open Space, and Loveland’s Recreation Trail.

An online survey is available to help gauge user needs and preferences, and will be open through Thursday, October 12: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W3HV7FC

Free Upcoming Activities

Science Behind the Scenery: The State of the Poudre: A River Health Report Card, Thursday, October 5, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 215 N. Mason Community Room, enter through the north door. These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Jen Shanahan, Watershed Planner, will talk about the recently completed Poudre River Health Report Card. Come learn about how to assess river health and how the Poudre River scores. Bring a snack if you like. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Introduction to Animal Tracking, Saturday, October 14, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. Learn the basics of how to read the landscape for subtle clues and patterns of animals while connecting to nature in a deeper way. Program will occur both indoors and outdoors, so please be prepared for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Artists in Autumn, Friday, October 20, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. Practice your art skills on varied media to capture the colors of fall. No art experience required! Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring drinking water, a snack if you like, and something to sit on (a stool, jacket, pad, etc.). Feel free to bring your own art supplies or borrow ours. 0.5 miles; easy. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Rustic Women of Soapstone Prairie, Saturday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Early pioneers required sacrifice, hard work, and determination to make a living. Learn about three historical women who homesteaded at Soapstone Prairie and get a glimpse of pioneer life on the prairie. 0.25 miles on paved trail; easy. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Skygazing at Fossil Creek Reservoir, Friday, October 27, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir, meet at the parking lot. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Meet in the parking lot. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register


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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