Natural Areas Enews
Soapstone Prairie Natural Area Open for the Season
Soapstone 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 open March-November.
Learn more

Share Your Talents as a Volunteer Consultant
Are you interested in giving your professional-level expertise to help natural areas? Skills-Based Volunteers are volunteer consultants that help complete projects including data analysis, web design, writing, and more.  These projects are available March-June:
  • Butterfly Surveyor at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
  • Humans of Natural Areas Social Media Series
  • Nature in the City Website Audit
  • Regulatory Compliance Observational Studies
  • ROOTS Club Mental Health Advocate
  • Spanish Language Translation
  • Tactical Plan Spreadsheet Builder
  • Visitor Amenities Mapping
  • Wildlife Sticker Design
Full project descriptions are here.
Learn more and apply

Volunteers of the Month Connect Residents to Nature
Meet our dynamic duo volunteers of the month, Dale Agger and Ellen Heath who are Master Naturalists. They give wonderful indoor programs for assisted living facilities and engaging sensory hikes. They shared, "We have a passion for nature and learning that we love to share. In our outdoor programs, we strive through exploration to spark a curiosity about wildlife and concern for responsible environmental stewardship. Through our indoor programs at residential facilities, we aim to reconnect seniors with their past enjoyment with nature. But, in addition, we hope our programs provide a way to thank them for their many years of support for conservation and the city’s Natural Areas. We are energized when we can ignite a curiosity and concern for nature in any of the participants in our programs- young or old, outdoors or inside."
Also pictured is the loyal and appreciated Jan McBroom, Master Naturalist Assistant. Thanks, all!
Volunteer Opportunities

Order Your Garden in a Box
Right now you can add your name to the list to be notified by Resource Central when the Gardens in a Box go on sale. There will be more special discounts for City of Fort Collins Utilities customers than ever before! Learn more at  scroll down to click on the Notify me when gardens go on sale! button to add your name to the list.
Shop Gardens in a Box Today!

50th Anniversary of Earth Day River Clean Up
You are invited to join the 4th Annual Poudre River Clean Up with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas and Odell Brewery.
Saturday, April 19, 9 a.m.- 12 noon
Join fellow volunteers at the brewery afterward for a celebratory beer - courtesy of Odell's!
Free, registration required.
*Please note - this event is for volunteers 16+ and, of course, beers are for those 21+.
Learn more and register

E-Bikes Update

A one-year pilot program allows electric assist bicycles (e-bikes) on paved trails in Fort Collins May 1, 2019- April 30, 2020.

A state law allows e-bikes on trails unless otherwise restricted by a local jurisdiction. That law plus the growing popularity of e-bikes promoted the pilot program. 

The pilot program includes:

  • One-year trial period through April 30, 2020
  • Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes only (electric assist provided up to 20 mph)
  • E-bikes allowed on all paved trails (not on any unpaved/soft surface trails)
  • Extensive education and evaluation
E-Bikes are on the agenda to be discussed at the April 7 City Council Meeting.

No e-bikes, motorized vehicles, or other electric vehicles are allowed or proposed to be allowed on soft surface trails (unless used as a mobility device by a person with a disability).

Did you see an E-Bike on a soft surface trail? Please report to Natural Areas and Trails Rangers at 970-416-2147.

Bike trestle at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area pictured.
Learn more about E-Bikes

Stewardship Tips to Support Birds

As spring approaches and we get ready to enjoy the wonders of nature in the changing season (crazy weather, spring flowers, migrating birds) the Nature in the City team would like to share these Seven Simple Actions to Help Birds with you from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

1) Make windows safer, day and night

2) Keep cats indoors

3) Reduce lawn, plant natives

4) Avoid pesticides

5) Drink coffee that's good for the birds

6) Protect our planet from plastic

7) Watch birds, share what you see

Kingfisher photo by Brendan Bombaci.

Free Upcoming Activities
Friday, March 27, 8-10 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area
Saturday, April 18, 8:30-10:30 at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area
Volunteers from Northern Colorado Astronomical Society will be available with large telescopes and lots of information about the night sky. Free, no registration required but you can sign up for a reminder and updates at

The Natural Areas Explorer booklet that lists programming June-November will be released in May. Subscribers to this newsletter are notified first!
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 

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