Natural Areas Enews

Time to Get Outside: Fall Exploration
As you enjoy the Spring Creek Trail, consider Fischer and Ross natural areas as destinations and natural extensions of Rolland Moore Park. Their in-town location and access via a popular paved trail are handy if you have a busy fall schedule. Ross and Fischer have been conserved as part of Fort Collins' urban stream corridor since the 1970s. Visit  to give your young ones nature play opportunities (and don't forget Generation Wild's 100 Things to Do Before You're 12) because off-trail exploration is allowed.

We're Connected!
The newly opened Long View Trail is a paved 4.4 mile multipurpose recreational trail that connects Fort Collins to Loveland. Now open to the public are Hazaleus and Colina Mariposa natural areas (City of Fort Collins), Long View Farm Open Space (Larimer County), and Sunset Vista Natural Area (City of Loveland). The trail and public spaces offer sweeping views of the foothills and mountains, and the natural lands conserve wildlife habitat and agricultural production. The $4 million project was a partnership between the City of Fort Collins, City of Loveland, Larimer County, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), and Colorado Department of Transportation.
Learn more

City Comments on Northern Integrated Supply Project

The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is nearing its final stages of federal permitting. The final Environmental Impact Statement by the Army Corps of Engineers is available for public comments until October 4.  In addition, community members can comment on the City of Fort Collins’ draft comments to the Environmental Impact Statement. The feedback form will be available here between September 19-26.

Learn more

Online Feedback: Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project

Missed the Open House? There is still time to learn more and comment about the Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project. Nine miles of the proposed transmission route would be on City-owned Meadow Springs Ranch in order to deliver the 150-megawatt Wyoming wind farm’s energy. City Council will be asked to approve an easement on Meadow Springs Ranch to successfully complete the project. A cooperating letter of support will also be considered in support of Larimer County’s 1041 process.

Learn more and comment

Mapa de Areas Naturales En Espanol (Natural Areas Map in Spanish)
Explorelas con Libertad
Podemos explorar, atesorar y proteger las areas naturales a largo plazo. Hay mas de 45 areas naturales y miles de visitantes. Ayude a cuidar estos lugares especiales. 

Yours to Explore
Natural Areas are ours to explore, treasure, and steward for the long-term. There are more than 45 natural areas and thousands of visitors. Please help care for these special places.
Mapa de Areas Naturales En Espanol

Nature in the City Recognized with Real Food Hero Award

In August, the Governor, Colorado’s First Lady Robin Hickenlooper, and Big Green’s co-founder Kimball Musk presented Nature in the City with a Real Food Hero award for its funding of Big Green learning gardens in six Poudre School district schools. The partnership provided a Big Green learning garden at all the District's high need schools, and matching funds from private and corporate donors doubled the partnership's funding power. Way to go!

Free Upcoming Activities

Science Behind the Scenery: Prairie Dogs, Plague, and Black-Footed Ferrets, Wednesday, September 5, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. These informative talks are designed for adults to learn more about research and science related to natural areas. Learn about these dynamic relationships occurring at Soapstone Prairie and hear updates on the ferret population from Natural Areas Land and Water Manager, Daylan Figgs. Parking is limited—please carpool, bike or walk. Bring a snack if you like. 16+. Free, registration required at

Smithsonian at Lindenmeier, Saturday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Travel back in time to learn how Paleoindians survived the high plains and how Smithsonian Institution archaeologists uncovered their story in the 1930s. Bring sun and wind protection, water, and closed-toe shoes. 0.25 miles; easy. 12+. Free, registration required at

Astronomy – Telescopes and Astronomy, 
Friday, September 14, 7:30 – 10:00 p.m., Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Enjoy a brief, family-friendly program to learn about different types of telescopes and how they can help you explore the night sky followed by skygazing. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure. Dress warmly, bring water and a blanket or chair to sit on in the parking lot. Program begins at the picnic shelter, a 0.25 mile-walk. Please arrive on time! The gate closes shortly after start times and parking is not allowed on the road outside the gate. Free, registration required at

Loren Eiseley: Scientist, Poet, and Time Traveler, Saturday, September 15, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Experience the amazing prose and poetry of naturalist Loren Eiseley and learn about his critical archaeological discovery at the Lindenmeier site. Bring water, sun and wind protection, and closed-toe shoes. 0.5 miles; easy. 12+. Free, registration required at  

Skygazing, Saturday, September 15, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Free, registration required at  

More free programs are listed in the Engage calendar

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