January 2018
Naturally Yours
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Looking Back: Top Stories of 2017

rattlesnake on snow m parker 2017small web version.jpg

Wildlife were the subject of Natural Areas' most popular social media posts in 2017! Favorites included a photo of a rattlesnake on a snowdrift (at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in MAY!), a llama on the loose at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area and her rescue. The Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd is usually popular too!

Not a social media fan? Wildlife "selfies" from the cameras at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area are posted online.

Follow Natural Areas on facebook and twitter for all the latest outdoor news and fun tidbits!

Register for 25th Anniversary Party by 1/12


Everyone is invited to join the celebration of a quarter century of Natural Areas land conservation, stewardship, volunteerism, and more!

Natural Areas 25th Anniversary and Volunteer Appreciation Party

Friday, January 19, 2018, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Fort Collins Lincoln Center, 417 West Magnolia St, Fort Collins.

Free, registration required by 1/12/18.

Making a Difference for Natural Areas


Three cheers for the wonderful Adopt-a-Natural Area volunteers who visit a site monthly and pick up litter! Not only does it make for a much nicer natural area visit, it helps wildlife too! Trash such as fishing line can entangle, choke, or otherwise hurt wild animals. Thank you to these outstanding volunteers!  You can start your year off right by volunteering! Interested? Learn more here.

New! More Parking at Coyote Ridge Natural Area


The parking lot at Coyote Ridge Natural Area has been reconfigured to allow more cars and handicap accessible spaces while retaining two horse trailer parking spots. Twenty three new parking spots were added. Weekends are still expected to be busy, and the parking lot will still fill up, so please don't park illegally and have an alternate destination in mind in case the lot is full.

Trail Recommendation: A Natural Area That Rarely Fills Up


The natural areas along the foothills (Bobcat Ridge, Coyote Ridge, Pineridge, Maxwell and Reservoir RIdge) often fill to capacity on weekends with nice weather between 9 a.m.- and 3 p.m. You can avoid the rush by visiting on weekdays or off-peak hours. With over 40 natural areas to explore, maybe you want to try something new in 2018!

Riverbend Ponds Natural Area- There is a lot of diversity here with a stretch of the Poudre River, several ponds and wetlands. With seven former gravel mine ponds to choose from, it is a popular fishing site. Colorado Parks & Wildlife stocks the ponds (more about fishing here). Birders also enjoy Riverbend Ponds- over 200 species of birds feed, rest, nest, and migrate through including green herons, a wide variety of ducks, American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and others. Riverbend Ponds has about 3 miles of flat trails with loop options and varied habitat that appeals to many hikers and dog-walkers. Use the underpass under Prospect Road to connect to two additional miles of trail at Running Deer Natural Area. With three parking lot entrances to Riverbend Ponds, and one at Running Deer, you are likely to find parking at these sites, even on busy weekends.

Free Upcoming Activities


Eagle Watches at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Did you know that bald eagles come to Fort Collins in the winter? Free Eagle Watches are a great way to see them because friendly Master Naturalist volunteers provide spotting scopes and interesting information about these majestic creatures. Eagle Watches are a free drop-in activity. Remember: If temperatures are below freezing, or it’s windy or foggy, the Eagle Watches may be canceled so be sure to visit www.fcgov.com/naturalareas for weather cancelations and updates before you go.

Friday, January 5, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Saturday, January 6, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Friday, January 12, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Saturday, January 13, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Eagle Watches continue through mid-February, check the schedule at fcgov.com/register

Skygazing, Saturday, January 20, 7-9 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Each month 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 off Carpenter Road. Free, registration required. For weather updates, visit the NCAS website.

Certified Interpretive Guide Training, Learn to give powerful presentations! Fees increase January 13, class is January 30 - February 2, 2018, $230 (Certification is an additional $150).

Listening to Understand: Poudre River Forum, Friday, February 2, 2018, 8 a.m- 4 p.m. at Island Grove Events Center, Greeley. The Forum brings together people like you who farm on the Poudre, drink beer from the Poudre, care about the Poudre, and advocate for Poudre river health to learn from one another and to collaborate. Register now!  Learn more >>>


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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