Public Engagement Update
Thank you to everyone who shared feedback about Kestrel Fields and Soapstone Prairie natural areas and the 21 natural areas along the Poudre River. Over 330 people participated in onsite drop-in events, online feedback opportunities, and presentations.
The feedback is being processed and will influence the trail alignment at Kestrel Fields, and how Soapstone Prairie and the Poudre River natural areas are managed.
Kestrel Fields Natural Area
- The feedback is informing exploration of an updated trail alignment. There will not be access from the Greyrock Commons private property.
- The entry sign will feature mountains in the background and a grasshopper in the kestrel's beak.
- Further updates will be available by the fall.
Soapstone Prairie/Mountains to Plains Zone Update
- Further engagement is underway (see feedback opportunity below) to respond to comments that its hard to tell when you have arrived at Soapstone Prairie and that the trail signage is confusing.
- Minor changes are being made to the Zone Update document and a final draft is expected in the fall.
Poudre River Natural Areas
- The feedback will inform the upcoming draft Zone Update.
Anglers love McMurrys two ponds and river frontage. More than 20 species of fish are found in the two ponds - more fish types than at any other natural area in Fort Collins. You may find orange spotted sunfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappie or yellow perch. More fishing details are listed here.
McMurry is great for wildlife too- birds at McMurry include cedar waxwings, Bullocks orioles and even osprey, a raptor once near the brink of extinction and still relatively rare in Colorado. Snapping and painted turtles often sun themselves on warm summer days. Rabbits, muskrats, and red fox make their homes here as well.
The initial ecological restoration of McMurry Natural Area is complete! The riparian (riverside) habitat has been improved by removing unnaturally steep banks in order to re-connect the river with its floodplain (without negatively effecting flood risk of nearby properties). The Natural Areas Department removed five old cars buried in the river bank while adding two acres of wetlands and four acres of native cottonwood forest. Ongoing maintenance will help ensure a naturally functioning ecosystem.
McMurry Natural Area was acquired with the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant.
McMurry Entry Sign
McMurry K Manderbach
Activities and Events#
- Free educational activities and events in June-October are listed in the Natural Areas Explorer booklet guide.
- Last minute activity additions, trail recommendations and events offered between November-May are in our free monthly electronic newsletter- sign up on this page.
- Check out the Natural Areas Learning Library for some great self-guided activities.
- Know before you go safety and recreation information.
- Poudre River Restoration video 3 minutes, reveals the case for river restoration through real photos, time-lapse photography and video animation. The video was produced by Roothouse Studio of Boulder, Colorado.
- Bird Checklist- Courtesy of Fort Collins Audubon Society
- Trail map
- Poudre River Natural Areas Management Plan
- Plant List for McMurry Natural Area Volunteers were critical in making the list possible, thank you!
- McMurry Natural Area is an Important Bird Area, learn more here.