Natural Areas Enews
Explore Trails Statewide
Did you know that NoCoTrailReport has retired? The improved replacement is Colorado Trails Explorer (COTREX)- a free web and mobile app covering over 45,000 miles of public trails in Colorado. City of Fort Collins Natural Areas' trail closures will now be posted on COTREX and the websites NoCoTrailReport.com and .org will automatically redirect to COTREX.

Download COTREX now from the App Store or Google Play and discover a new trail to explore!
COTREX

Natural Areas Are For Everyone
In these challenging times, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department would like to affirm that natural areas are for everyone. We hope nature provides every community member a place of solace and wellness. Everyone has the right to safely enjoy public lands. The Natural Areas Department remains committed to eliminating barriers to outdoor spaces for underrepresented communities. We continue to work towards equity and inclusivity.

Please join us in making natural areas welcoming to people of all identities. 

Nature in the City | Moths

What’s up with all of the moths? They are heading to the high country!

You’ve probably noticed lots of silvery grey moths flying around the last few weeks. Often mistakenly called ‘Miller moths’, the ones we see in Colorado are the adult stage of the army cutworm, Euxoa auxiliaris. The army cutworm moths are stopping by Fort Collins on their annual spring migration to the mountains. They originated in eastern Colorado or came from the edges of the bordering states.  The moths are making their way west to feed on the nectar of a variety of gorgeous summer mountain flowers! In the fall, the army cutworm moths will make their return trip back to the plains to breed and start the cycle over again.

Army cutworm moths provide an important food source for local native insectivores (e.g. swallows, bats) and they even help bears fatten up for the winter.
How can you help? Turn off your outdoor lights at night so that the moths can continue their journey. 

Nature in the City expands the Natural Areas Department mission of connecting people to nature and improving habitat to urban and private lands.
More on Moths: Fact Sheet from CSU Extension

The Explorer is Here!
Do you love your natural areas now more than ever? Learn more about these special places and how you can continue to protect them through the free activities in the Natural Areas Explorer booklet. Some activities will be virtual and some will be in-person (with limited registration numbers, strict mask requirements, and physical distancing), so read carefully. You can also find upcoming activities at fcgov.com/register  (links to Engage, the City's online registration system).
Natural Areas Explorer booklet

Volunteer Duo of the Month

Jamie & I volunteer for Natural Areas because we firmly believe in making fresh air and good smells accessible to everyone - and that means both humans and dogs.  Through our work with the dogs in Natural Areas projects, I hope we are doing our part to make sure that dogs can continue to be welcomed in natural areas with their human partners for many years to come.  

– Amber Quann, Skills Based Volunteer, Summit Dog Training

Celebrate Trails Virtually

National Trails Day is a celebration of the trails we all treasure. With COVID19 response actions, you might be feeling the importance of trails even more than usual. Typically, the Natural Areas Department works with 50+ volunteers on Fort Collins' most impacted trails on National Trails Day.

We wish a large volunteer project could happen this year! Instead, National Trails Day is coming to you via social media. Celebrate local trails with Facebook giveaways from Natural Areas' partners (facebook.com/FCNaturalAreas) the week of June 1-6.  

More About National Trails Day

Know Before You Go: Check Trail & Parking Conditions
Visitation at Natural Areas is way up. Please recreate responsibly and plan your visit with these handy tools:

The busiest times at natural areas are weekends, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., so try visiting earlier or later, or on weekday mornings for the best chance at parking. Have an alternate destination in-mind. When parking lots are full try another trailhead or come back another time. Avoid a parking ticket! Only park in designated spaces.


The 7 Leave No Trace Principles

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.

City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department
PO Box 580, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road
Fort Collins, CO 80522