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Natural Areas

 Contact Information

Dept Director
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Adventure Kit

 

Looking for something for you and your children to do this summer?

Check out the new Adventure Kits with activities tailored to three different age ranges – Pre-K/K, Elementary and Middle school designed by Natural Areas and Nature in the City.  Activities aim to get kids outside and exploring urban green spaces. All activities are in English and Spanish.

Also, new short videos are available for you to learn about Latinx Astronomers and Astronauts, those adorable racoons, and the planet, Jupiter all on Facebook.

You can find the Adventure Kit activities and more in the Natural Areas Learning Library.

Family Nature Bucket List

Family Nature Bucket List
 

Start your summer off right by creating a DIY nature bucket list to get excited and ready for a summer of outdoor activities! (English and Espanol) 

Activity Guide

Senses Nature Hike

Senses Nature Hike
 

Use your senses to explore an outdoor space near your home. Just don't taste anything!

Activity Guide

100 Things to Do Before You're 12

100 Things to Do Before You're 12
 

There are a million fun things to do outside when you’re a kid. Maybe more. But where do you start? How about a list of 100 things every kid absolutely has to do before they’re 12. At least that’s what kids tell us. And don’t worry, if you run out, we’ll come up with more.

Generation Wild List

Insect Explorers!

Insect Explorers!
 

Become an insect explorer at your own home! Follow this guide to discover more about the world at your feet.

Activity Guide

Map Your Habitat!

Map Your Habitat!
 

Animals, insects, and plants live all around you. Can you find them? Can you put them on a map?

Activity Guide

Create a Pollinator Garden

Create a Pollinator Garden
 

You can help pollinators by creating your own pollinator garden! 

Directions

Outdoor Exploration Apps

Outdoor Exploration Apps
 

Technology is a great way to learn new things about the outdoors. Check out these apps and discover something new!

List of Apps

Summer Enrichment Selfie Challenge

Summer Enrichment Selfie Challenge
 

Explore the nature in your neighborhood or yard, make sure to share your posts with #NaturalAreasSelfieChallenge and tag City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.

Checklist

Youth Learning

Insect Explorers

Insect Explorers
 

Explore the critter-filled world at your feet using these easy-to-follow activity guide. For 1st- 3rd grades.

Insect Explorers

Busy, Busy Beavers

Busy, Busy Beavers
 

Learn all about the beavers in Fort Collins and how they have adapted to survive along rivers and waterways. Download the PDF worksheet and watch the video below. 

Watch 11-Minute Video

Owls: Hunters of the Night

Owls: Hunters of the Night
 

Owls have adapted to be great silent hunters at night. Watch the video below to learn more about how owls have become successful predators of the nights sky. 

Watch 10-Minute Video

Pioneer Chores

Pioneer Chores
 

100 years ago Fort Collins and natural areas looked a little different. Explore the days of the Pioneers through this video series! Begin with Pioneer chores and catch a glimpse of what chores looked like living in a 1-room cabin at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

Watch 6-Minute Video

Pioneer Games

Pioneer Games
 

It wasn't always fun and games 100 years ago ,but when there were games involved they looked a little different than the games kids today play. Watch the video to see how kids 100 years ago played games! 

Watch 4-Minute Video

Junior Naturalist Coloring Page

Junior Naturalist Coloring Page
 

Become a Natural Areas Junior Naturalist! Download the junior naturalist coloring page below. 

Junior Naturalist Coloring Page

Family Nature Bucket-List

Family Nature Bucket-List
 

Start your summer off right by creating a nature bucket list to keep your family outside and enjoying nature all summer long! 

Family Nature Bucket-List

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt
 

Signs of spring can be found anywhere outdoors! Download this Discovery Hunt to take with you on your hike at a natural area, or walk around your neighborhood.

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt

Senses Nature Hike

Senses Nature Hike
 

Using your senses to explore nature can lead to all kinds of discoveries. Download this senses nature hike activity and take it with you on your next adventure outdoors!

Senses Nature Hike

Nature Playdate Discovery Hunt

Nature Playdate Discovery Hunt
 

Explore the little things in nature right outside your door or at a natural area. The nature playdate discovery hunt is designed to get outdoors and look high and low for signs of life all around. 

Discovery Hunt

Self-Guided Activities

Mindful Monday

Mindful Monday
 

Join in on the Mindful Mondays series. Being out in nature has positive benefits for your mental health, try out these mindfulness exercises the next time you go to a natural space and discover the sense of calm that nature can bring to you. 

Mindful Monday

Neighborhood Selfie Challenge

Neighborhood Selfie Challenge
 

Explore the nature in your neighborhood or yard, make sure to share your posts with #NaturalAreasSelfieChallenge and tag City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.

Neighborhood Selfie Challenge

Natural Areas Selfie Challenge

Natural Areas Selfie Challenge
 

Bring this challenge to the Natural Areas and share your posts with #NaturalAreasSelfieChallenge and tag City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.

Natural Areas Selfie Challenge

Busy, Busy Beavers

Busy, Busy Beavers
 

Learn all about the beavers in Fort Collins and how they have adapted to survive along rivers and waterways. Download the PDF worksheet and watch the video below. 

Watch 11-Minute Video

Owls: Hunters of the Night

Owls: Hunters of the Night
 

Owls have adapted to be great silent hunters at night. Watch the video below to learn more about how owls have become successful predators of the nights sky. 

Watch 9-Minute Video

Natural Areas Wildlife

Natural Areas Wildlife
 

Fort Collins is a great place for wildlife because its located where the prairies merge with the mountains. A remarkably rich diversity of wildlife can be seen here. Please visit with respect- use binoculars to get a close-up view. If a creature changes it's behavior because of your presence, you are too close.

Natural Areas Wildlife

Pioneer Games

Pioneer Games
 

It wasn't always fun and games 100 years ago ,but when there were games involved they looked a little different than the games kids today play. Watch the video to see how kids 100 years ago played games! 

Watch 4-Minute Video

Pioneer Chores

Pioneer Chores
 

100 years ago Fort Collins and natural areas looked a little different. Explore the days of the Pioneers through this video series! Begin with Pioneer chores and catch a glimpse of what chores looked like living in a 1-room cabin at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

Watch 6-Minute Video

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt
 

Signs of spring can be found anywhere outdoors! Download the Discovery Hunt to take with you on your hike at a natural area, or walk around your neighborhood.

Signs of Spring Discovery Hunt

Arapaho Bend Natural Area COTREX Route

Arapaho Bend Natural Area COTREX Route
 

This summer, NoCoTrailReport.org will be replaced with COTREX (Colorado Trails Explorer). This app is fully equipped with all the information you need to know about trails around the state. It also includes "Featured Routes" which highlight several natural areas and provide education about the history and ecology of the area. Where will you explore next? 

Arapaho Bend Natural Area COTREX

Native Plant Gardening

Native Plant Gardening
 
  • Redesign your front yard with low maintenance garden tips. Research native plants that grow well in Colorado and make a plan for spring renewal.
  • Take an online class about plants or gardens, or watch some webinars on creating wildlife friendly gardening. 
  • No yard? Plan a new group of containers for your deck, porch or patio!
  • Help connect a young person to the natural world. Plan a children’s garden or have them work on a pollinator coloring book.

Natural Areas Native Plants

Natural Areas Native Plants
 

Plants native to Fort Collins are adapted to our rainfall, temperatures, and soil types. In landscaped areas, native plants generally use less water, are hardier, and are more disease resistant than species native to other regions of Colorado, the United States, or other countries. Planting native species encourages the presence of native insects and microorganisms that benefit the plants and keep them healthy without the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Natural Areas Native Plants

Pick It Up FoCo

Pick It Up FoCo
 

 While you are out on a run, hunting for teddy bears, or walking your dog, consider picking up litter too. Use the Litterati app to help collect data about single-use plastics to inform decision-makers while the community discusses how to keep plastics out of the environment.

Pick It Up FoCo

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities
 

Come volunteer with the Natural Areas Department! There are many opportunities to get involved.

Volunteer Opportunities

Humans of Natural Areas

Humans of Natural Areas
 

People value Fort Collins Natural Areas for many reasons. Volunteers interviewed and photographed people who had different reasons to value natural areas, based on Humans of New York. Read their stories and find your reason here. 

Humans of Natural Areas

Bobcat Ridge Learning Series

Introduction to the Bobcat Ridge Learning Series

Introduction to the Bobcat Ridge Learning Series
 

Welcome to the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area Learning Series!

Introduction

Stone Circles

Stone Circles
 

Stone circles can be found at Bobcat Ridge, these were structures created by the Native American people who lived on the land long before this area was called Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

Stone Circles

Storytelling

Storytelling
 

Special places have special stories. Explore just one of the stories of Bobcat Ridge below.

Storytelling

Draw a Landscape!

Draw a Landscape!
 

Ever wonder how to paint or draw a beautiful landscape? Enjoy this easy tutorial on how to create a simple landscape drawing. 

Landscape Drawing

Botanical Illustrations

Botanical Illustrations
 

There is beauty in the small things, such as wildflowers. Take your best shot at creating an accurate plant drawing inspired by the wildflowers at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area. Check out the list of other plants you might find at Bobcat Ridge and try creating more than one botanical illustration.

Botanical Illustrations

Pioneer Chores

Pioneer Chores
 

100 years ago Fort Collins and natural areas looked a little different. Explore the days of the Pioneers through this video series! Begin with Pioneer chores and catch a glimpse of what chores looked like living in a 1-room cabin at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

Watch 6-Minute Video

Pioneer Games

Pioneer Games
 

It wasn't always fun and games 100 years ago ,but when there were games involved they looked a little different than the games kids today play. Watch the video to see how kids 100 years ago played games! 

Watch 4-Minute Video

Trails at Bobcat Ridge

Trails at Bobcat Ridge
 

Explore the many miles of trails at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.

Trail Map