This newsletter was originally sent on Dec 6, 2011.

December 2011

  Naturally Yours


You are receiving this newsletter because you registered for an educational activity or event in a natural area this year.  Natural Areas News includes upcoming event announcements, trail recommendations and other information from the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program.  The newsletter is published once a month.  If you do not wish to continue to get this free newsletter, click the unsubscribe link below.

Winter is Eagle Time!

Eagle Watches are now happening at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space! Bald eagles spend the winter in Fort Collins and have established roosts and hunting areas here. Join City of Fort Collins volunteer Master Naturalists to learn about these majestic birds.  Eagle Watches include a short walk along a paved or gravel trail to a viewing area. Binoculars and scopes are provided. Drop-in program, free, no registration required.

  • Saturday, December 10, 9-11 a.m. 
  • Sunday, December 11, 9-10:30 a.m. 
  • Saturday, December 17, 9-11 a.m. 
  • Sunday, December 25, 9-10:30 a.m. Christmas Day
  • Friday, January 6, 3-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 14, 9-11 a.m.
  • Sunday, January 22, 9-10:30 a.m.
You can hear a recent interview about eagles and Eagle Watches on Tri102 radio station.

Seeking Volunteer Ranger Assistants

Did you hope you would grow up and be a park ranger?  It’s not too late!  You can become a Volunteer Ranger Assistant and help park and natural area rangers accomplish much of their important work.  Volunteer Ranger Assistants are ambassadors for natural areas and open spaces.  Applications are available now for the training which will be in late February.  Learn more >>>

Upcoming Events

Lunar Eclipse Viewing, Saturday, December 10, 5-7:30 a.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space.  Join members of the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society for early morning viewing of an eclipse of the moon!  Dress warmly and bring something to sit on.  Free, no registration required. For cancellation information due to weather, visit     

Fish of Fort Collins, Friday, December 16, noon- 1 p.m. Learn about the creatures in local waterways from an expert, Sean Seal, Research Associate with CSU’s Larval Fish Lab.  You’ll get tips for identifying fish and you’ll discover interesting facts too. Everyone is invited to come learn and enjoy a fun, fishy atmosphere. At the Community Room at 215 North Mason St. This is a free program and no registration is required.

Stargazing, Friday, December 30, 7-10 p.m. at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space.  View the skies with telescopes provided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. Dress warmly and bring something to sit on.  Free, no registration required. For up-to-date cancellation information due to weather, visit

Survey Says We Like Our Natural Areas

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program asks for feedback from visitors and residents every five years through a survey. Results from 2011 show that natural areas are popular and well-liked. Questions focused on respondents’ familiarity with natural areas, their visitation habits, how good/poor of a job the Natural Areas Program is doing, and perceptions about natural areas’ contributions to the community. Read the press release summary or the full survey report.

Trails for Winter

Winter lends itself to paved trails which are nice when other trails are muddy.  Cold weather may also have you seeking places to get your heart rate up (and your body warm).  Check for trail conditions and closures before you go at

Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area- a gently rolling trail that crosses the shortgrass prairie and several wetland areas.  Nice foothill views.  Check out the raptor observatory building, built into the hill near the Shields St. entrance for touchable interpretive signs and bird viewing.  The Fossil Creek Trail now connects Cathy Fromme Prairie and Pineridge natural areas with the Spring Creek Trail.

Bobcat Ridge Natural Area has a 1/4 mile paved trail to a picnic shelter and about 10 miles of natural surface trails.  A popular destination is the historic cabin (1 mile each way) or the valley loop (4 miles), both easy trails.  Get your blood pumping on the Powerline Trail- it goes straight uphill! Ginny Trail and D.R. Trail also offer elevation gain and great views.


Natural Areas News is published on the first 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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