This newsletter was originally sent on Sep 3, 2013.
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Explore Fossil Creek Reservoir


This month we recommend experiencing the beauty and enjoying the outstanding birding at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space! You’ll find rolling prairie uplands, wetlands, and a tree-lined reservoir. There are about 2 miles of flat trails, picnic shelters and two bird viewing blinds.  Bring your sketch book, camera, spotting scope, and binoculars. Take advantage of the quiet, peaceful essence of this special place to recharge and renew yourself.

Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space is designated an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. It provides crucial habitat to bald eagles (in the winter) and other types of raptors, and many species of shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl. You may also see coyotes, deer, and prairie dogs.

Fossil Creek Reservoir is the perfect spot for the NoCo Nature Festival! The natural area is transformed into a vibrant festival, including live music, interactive family-friendly booths, live animals, expert guest speakers, giveaways, guided bird walks, food, a nature costume contest, vendors and a silent auction.  Don't miss this free celebration of the unique local environment (formerly the NoCo Birding Fair)! Saturday, September 21, 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, learn more >>>

Natural Areas Wins Video Award


The City of Fort Collins has won an Award of Distinction from Videographer Awards, one of the most coveted awards in the video industry. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in video and digital production. The award is for the Natural Areas School Field Trip Video, which was designed to help elementary school students prepare for their field trip to a natural area. The Natural Areas Department provided 50 school field trips for 3,439 students in 2012. See the 7-minute video >>>

Would you like a field trip for your school or other group?  Field trips and presentations are free and tailored for your group! Enthusiastic and knowledgeable Master Naturalist volunteers lead most outings.  Learn more >>>

Fall River Clean-Up


You can make a difference! Lend a hand and clean-up our community treasure, the Cache la Poudre River corridor! Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and bring work gloves and water. Trash bags and snacks provided. Rain or shine! Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates from NatureTracker. You'll need a free account (name, phone number, email is all that is required).

Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m.- noon, Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St. lower parking lot by tennis courts.

Learn about other natural areas volunteer opportunities here.

Thursday- Downtown Poudre River Project Open House


Share your thoughts!  Thursday, September 5, 6- 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Center's Columbine Room, 417 W. Magnolia St. Learn about opportunities and constraints along the Cache la Poudre River corridor from Shields Street to Mulberry Street.  Review and give input on concepts for improving recreation, habitat and flood control. Special presentation about kayaking opportunities and constraints (5-6 p.m. in Founders Room).  Free, no registration required. Learn more at

Environmental Sustainability Online


The City has recently launched a new environmental web portal to make it easier for residents of Fort Collins to find news, updates, resources and videos on sustainability initiatives across the organization. Take a tour of, where you can easily learn about topics related to Air Quality, Climate Protection, Energy, Green Building, Land, Recycling, Transportation, and Water. You'll find natural areas information under "land." Take a tour and let us know what you think at!

Upcoming Activities- All Free!

Birds of the Poudre, Saturday, September 7, 9-11 a.m., meet at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Court, west side of museum. Take a walk with a Master Naturalist to discover the many species of birds that live near the river or migrate through the area. Then, explore more about birds with activities and demonstrations provided by museum staff and the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Soapstone Surprise, Tuesday, September 10, 9-10:30 a.m., Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Discover the amazing archaeological and natural secrets of this special place. Hike with a naturalist after the program if desired. Bring water to drink and snacks. Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

Nature Nuggets—Happy Birds, Thursday, September 12, 10-11 a.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, meet at program shelter near parking lot. Bring your little ones (ages 3-7 years) to learn about birds with stories and hands-on activities. Parents/guardians must be present at all times.  Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at Daycare centers and other groups should schedule a separate time.

Skygazing at Fossil Creek, Friday, September 13, 8:00-10:00 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, meet at the parking lot. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for viewing the sky, and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly, and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Visit their website for cancellation notices:  Free, no registration required, but you can get a reminder and updates by signing up at

See the entire September event schedule >>

Twenty Years of Natural Areas

It has been two decades since the first citizen-initated sales tax that funds natural areas. Voters have approved sales tax funding four more times since then, thank you! Fort Collins has conserved over 40,000 acres with 39 natural areas to explore and over 100 miles of trail. Everyone is invited to help celebrate the 20th anniversary, join the fun!

Now-November Tracks & Trails (Your Guide to Free Activities and Events on Natural Areas) features an outstanding season of outdoor fun, service and learning! A junior naturalist booklet and the Natural Areas Passport are included too. Activities will also be announced here and at


naturalareaslogo.gif Natural Areas News is published on the first Tuesday of the month with occasional special editions. Newsletter comments are welcome. Please contact Zoe Whyman, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

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