November 2017
Naturally Yours
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Quarter Century Anniversary of Natural Areas


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first ballot measure funding natural area land conservation, trails, educational activities, and more! Since then five more ballot measures have supported natural areas in Fort Collins, resulting in over 48 natural areas and over 100 miles of trail to explore and treasure- thank you voters!

Join the Celebration!

Proclamation by Mayor Wade Troxell- Tuesday, November 7, 5 p.m. at City Hall, 300 Laporte St., Fort Collins.

Save the date for a celebratory evening, Friday, January 19, 2018. More details coming soon.

Ranger Program's 20th Anniversary


Its the 20th anniversary of the Natural Areas Ranger Program! Thanks for being a friendly face on the trail and keeping us (plants, animals, and people alike!) safe through law enforcement! A Ranger reflects on the anniversary in this short article:

Ranger Kristin Powell has seen a lot of change in Fort Collins. She remembers when there were just a handful of natural areas, she carried a mobile phone as big as a box of tissues, and her main enforcement concern was dogs off-leash. Powell was one of the original rangers hired by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department twenty years ago. A polaroid picture (it was before digital) shows her smiling in front of a sign about the city’s new “World Wide Web Site” with clip art of a bulky computer. Over the years, Powell learned that “being a ranger is so much more than just law enforcement.  Rangers should be approachable, helpful and guide visitors to enjoy natural areas as well as understand the rules and regulations.  Our emphasis on being out-and-about on bikes or hiking on the same trails as visitors carries through to todays’ patrols. From those innocent beginnings, I never would have expected to be here, 20 years later, with issues that are much more serious,” she related. Read more (pdf) >>>

November Trail Recommendation


With brisk fall weather, you might be seeking a short trail, within Fort Collins. Explore Red Fox Meadows Natural Area, a neighborhood natural area and a stormwater detention site. There is something for both people and wildlife here: habitat for wildlife, trails and reduced flood risk for people. You can park in the parking lot near the intersection of Prospect and Taft Hill roads while you check out the outdoor classroom boardwalk and look for Barb McKee's Art in Public Places piece featuring a heron and cattails in the outfall structure. You'll experience meadows, forest, and ponds on about one mile of flat trail. Enjoy your visit to a small gem in the city.

Soapstone Prairie Closes for Season in December


Soapstone Prairie Natural Area is extraordinary with over 28 square miles of wide open vistas, nearly pristine grasslands, miles of trails and world-renowned cultural resources. It is truly a place to treasure! Visit Soapstone Prairie to meet the past, enjoy the present, and preserve the future. Soapstone Prairie is closed in December, January, and February, so plan your visit soon!

Plan Ahead for Eagle Watches


You can see the bald eagles that make Fort Collins their winter home and learn about them during free Eagle Watches at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area.  City of Fort Collins Master Naturalist volunteers will help you appreciate and understand these majestic birds and look through the spotting scopes and binoculars that are provided. Drop in any time during the program. Free, no registration is required but you can get a reminder and notices about cancelations by signing up at If temperatures are below freezing, or it’s windy or foggy, the Eagle Watches may be canceled so be sure to visit for weather cancelations and updates before you go.

Dates and Times:

Friday, December 15, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 16, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Friday, December 22, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 23, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Friday, December 29, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 30, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Eagle Watches continue through mid-February, check the schedule at




Friday, November 24, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, 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


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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