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Natural Areas

Celebrate 30 Years of Natural Areas#

30th anniversary logo-a meadowlark surrounded by a blue circle with the words, Celebrating Natural Areas 30 years

November 2022 marks 30 years since the first ballot measure was passed to establish dedicated sales tax funding for the conservation of natural areas. Everyone is invited to celebrate this amazing milestone.

Natural Areas connect to what's most important to you. 30 Years of _____________. You fill in the blank!

Natural Areas Conservation Award#

black and white photo of a young Kelly Ohlson

The first ever Natural Areas Conservation Award was given to Councilmember Kelly Ohlson, on November 30.

The award recognizes truly exemplary and outstanding efforts in local land conservation. Going forward, the recognition will bear the name of Fort Collins City Councilmember, Kelly Ohlson, a hero of conservation. Ohlson was a key leader of the eight citizen ballot measures that make natural areas conservation possible. He served on the Natural Resources Advisory and Land Conservation and Stewardship boards for 16 years. Ohlson has been recognized with significant environmental awards at the city, county, state, and national level and was honored with a noteworthy E-Town Radio National Echievement Award for his decades of land conservation activism.  

The Kelly Ohlson Natural Areas Conservation award will recognize significant victories in advancing conservation and truly extraordinary achievements with positive impact on the natural world and future generations. The award will honor the personal sacrifices that are often required with dedication to furthering the critical land protection cause.

Natural Areas 30th Anniversary Video#

Buffalo on the prairie with overlaying words

Commemorating 30 years of Fort Collins Natural Areas is a milestone the whole community can be proud of. Natural Areas connect to what's most important to you. This video created by FCTV showcases 4 short videos celebrating how people in the Fort Collins community connect to these lands from conservation to volunteering to health.

Watch the Video

Upcoming Activities & Events#

Trail with hikers at Coyote Ridge Natural Area

Coyote Ridge Natural Area

The 30th Anniversary of Natural Areas celebration continues through October 2023 including the following events where Mountains to Plains Dark Lager by Horse and Dragon Brewing Company will be available:

  • Natural Areas Bingo at Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, January 18, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Northern Colorado Nature Trivia at Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, February 22, 5:30- 7 p.m.
  • Lightning Talks at the Lyric Cinema, March 22, 6:30-8 p.m.

An Agents of Discovery Mission, a nature-based augmented reality game, is available at Coyote Ridge Natural Area. Download the Agents of Discovery app for free. The mission is called, “Celebrate 30 Years of Natural Areas!” Those who complete the mission will win a special prize.

Events are free and registration is required. More activities will be announced in June in the Natural Areas Explorer publication, Natural Areas Enews, and on fcgov.com/register

Event Calendar

Milestones in Natural Areas History#

Bill Smith in the 1980s farming what is now Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

From ballot measures and the first natural area acquisition to years of stewardship and the newest Bobcat Ridge addition; Natural Areas has seen many milestones throughout history. Take a year-by-year tour of the last three decades and how Natural Areas were shaped.   

See the Timeline