Natural Areas Enews
Life Saving Tips for Enjoying the Poudre River

The Cache la Poudre River and the 17 natural areas along its banks are community treasures. The river water is also cold, powerful, and unpredictable. After several deaths on the river, local organizations are working make river recreation safer and communicate the dangers.

While the river is never “safe”, these tips could save your life when boating, tubing, or swimming.

Wear a Life Vest

  • Use proper flotation devices
  • Wear shoes and a helmet
  • Don’t tie anything to yourself or to your tube/raft/kayak

Safe to Go?

  • Know the weather and water conditions
  • Poudre River water is melted snow – it is always cold!
  • Avoid logs, branches, rocks and debris

Know Where You Are

  • Take a map
  • Scout your route and plan your take-out location before you get in the river

Float Sober, Float Safe

  • Alcohol and drugs impair judgement

Be Courteous

  • Pack it in; pack it out
  • Share the river with anglers, boaters and other visitors

What if You Flip?

  • Do not stand in the river – avoid foot entrapment
  • Float on your back with feet pointing down river and toes out of the water
  • Use your arms to paddle to shore
Poudre Heritage Alliance's Play it Safe on the River campaign
Poudre Fire Authority's Play it Safe on the River campaign
Video: "It could happen to anyone" Mother urges river safety

Meet a New Ranger

Please welcome the newest Natural Areas Ranger, Jesse Green. He is a graduate of Arapahoe Community College’s Police Academy and he has a Bachelors’ degree from Colorado State University with a focus on Human Dimensions in Natural Resources.  Ranger Green joins the Natural Areas ranger team with six years-experience with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a Ranger and Park Manager.  He lives in Loveland with his wife and two children.
This photo show him helping with bat surveys near Gateway Natural Area. Say hello when you see him out on the trail!

Learn more about the Rangers

Nature in the City Grants Awarded

Nature in the City is awarding $145,117 in funds to 18 projects this year through its grant program. The projects range from DIY front yard conversions to installing large pollinator gardens to creating bioswales for water filtration. The grant program empowers residents to plan and implement projects that improve access to nature, increase landscape diversity, and help connect wildlife habitat throughout the city. Projects are spread across the City and will demonstrate a variety of ways to weave nature into the fabric of the urban landscape.

More About Nature in the City Community Projects

Help the Natural Areas You Love
You are invited!
Monthly Natural Areas Trash Pick-Up 
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 9 - 11 AM
At Mallard's Nest Natural Area

The Spring Creek Trail is home to many urban wildlife - you can help them out! Come pick up trash along the trail. Exact meeting location will be provided for those that register. Please bring gloves, a face covering, a water bottle, and sunscreen.

Photo is from pre-corona virus times, masks and physical distancing will be required by participants and volunteers. No more than 10 people will be present. Program requirements are subject to change as CDC and County guidelines are updated. Waivers will be required to be signed either online or in person upon arrival. If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (cough, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste/smell, etc.) do not attend this program. Visit for more information.

Learn more and register

BYO Water

Harmful algae blooms are in local ponds and can be toxic.  

The City does not monitor water bodies in parks and natural areas for algal blooms or cyanotoxins. 

It is easy to stay safe, just stay dry and bring your own clean water for yourself and your dog.  

Limit your exposure to potentially toxic blue green algae by: 

  • Keep pets out of water and bring clean water for them to drink. 
  • Never drink water from outdoor water bodies such as ponds, lakes, rivers, or streams. 
  • If you touch the water, use hand sanitizer and wash your hands with soap afterwards. 
Learn more from the EPA

Virtual Campfire Activity- Coyotes: Our Adaptable Canine Neighbor
Everyone is invited to a virtual campfire activity (sorry, you'll have to bring your own s'mores!)
Friday, July 10, 2020 | 7 PM
Join friendly and fun Natural Areas staff at We'll "see" you on facebook live! Tonight's theme is: Coyotes: Our Adaptable Canine Neighbor - Learn about this amazing canine that lives everywhere from wilderness to Fort Collins' backyards.
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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