This newsletter was originally sent on May 3, 2011.

May 2011

  Naturally Yours

Thank You Volunteers!

The Natural Areas Program is honored and amazed at the outpouring of support that volunteers have shown recently!  

Chris Verdone is an Adopt-a-Natural Area volunteer who organized a litter pick-up of Springer Natural Area. Volunteers picked up 47 bags of trash including a kitchen sink, traffic cones and a comforter.  Great work!

Tree planting in the snow?!  We did it!  Forty-six volunteers planted trees at Running Deer Natural Area in honor of Earth Day.  Even more people volunteered to help than we could accommodate.

Over 70 students from CSU planted willows, removed fencing and more during CSUnity volunteer day. Thank you everyone for braving the weather and all your hard work!

Get Outside and Help Your Community

Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer experience while enjoying your natural areas?  Master Naturalist Assistants lend a hand with educational field trips on a wide variety of local and regional natural areas.  Master Naturalist Assistants help out with props, equipment, handouts and evaluations.  The deadline to apply is May 13.  Learn more here >>>

Natural Areas Along the Poudre River Management Plan

The draft management plan that applies to the natural areas along the Cache La Poudre River (from Butterfly Woods to Arapaho Bend) is almost final.  A draft for your review has recently been posted.  Please read the document and share your thoughts using the online form.

Natural Areas 2010 Annual Report Released

We are pleased to announce the publication of our 2010 Annual Report. The report gives an overview of the Natural Areas Program and highlights projects, accomplishments and revenue/expenditure information. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Natural Area Closures

The Natural Areas Program and The Nature Conservancy will be conducting prescribed burns at Running Deer and Soapstone Prairie natural areas this week.  All trails will be closed at Running Deer.  Some trails will be closed at Soapstone Prairie.  A restoration of McMurry Natural Area is also scheduled to begin this week.  The west pond and nearby trails will be closed for six weeks. 
Check the trail conditions page for up-to-date information or call an on-duty ranger at 970-416-2147.

May Activities and Events

Stargazing, Friday, May 6, 8:30 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space.  Join volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society to see the sky with telescopes and learn about the moon, saturn and spring constellations.  Dress warmly, no registration required.

Photo Hike to a Homestead, Sunday, May 8, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area.  Bring your camera and tripod for a special opportunity to photograph one of the original homesteads on Soapstone Prairie.  Visits are only allowed with a guide!  6-7 miles, moderate to strenuous.  Registration required, online at (79905-01), call 970-416-2815 or email

Photo Hike to a Restored Log Cabin, Sunday, May 15, 9-11:30 a.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.  Opportunities to photograph a log cabin, landscape, reptiles, wildflowers, raptors and mammals.  2 miles, easy.  Registration required, online at (79905-02), call 970-416-2815 or email

Starry Night Astronomy, Thursday, May 19, 8 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area.  Discover how to identify constellations in the spring sky and learn some of the stories behind them during a short program, followed by viewing the night sky with telescopes.  Registration required, online at (79901-01), call 970-416-2815 or email

Cache La Poudre River Clean-up, Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. to noon.  Join the Natural Areas Program and Mountain Whitewater Descents to make the river corridor litter-free!  Prize for the most unique piece of trash and appreciation lunch afterwards.  Meet at Lee Martinez Park, no registration necessary.

National Trails Day, Saturday, June 4, volunteer project, 9 a.m. to noon, celebration, 1-3 p.m. at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area . Join REI, Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps and the Natural Areas Program for a fun, family-friendly morning of trail work. Every volunteer gets a REI t-shirt and lunch. Then, stick around for the fun celebration with wildflower hikes and activities. Registration required through REI for volunteer project, no registration for afternoon celebration.

Save the date! Tracks and Trails, the Natural Areas Program's summer activity guide is expected in mid-May.  We'll let you know with a special edition of Natural Areas News.

Thanks for reading!  Natural Areas News is published on the second Tuesday of the month with occasional mid-month updates.  Newsletter comments are welcome.  Please contact Zoe Whyman, Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or

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