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This newsletter was originally sent on Sep 6, 2016.
September 2016
Naturally Yours
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Nature's Harvest Fest

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Nature's Harvest Fest is THIS SATURDAY! September 10, 9 am- 2 pm at Gardens on Spring Creek presented by Poudre Pet and Feed Supply. Everyone is invited to this family-friendly and educational event celebrating adventures in NoCo's big backyard.  Featuring workshops, two butterfly releases, tastings of fresh produce, a marketplace of local artisans, entertainment, kids' nature activities and food vendors. Come visit the Natural Areas booth, or bring the kids at 11:15 a.m. for Nature Nuggets - Marvelous Monarchs at the Children's Garden Green Roof Pavillion. No registration required, a $2 per person suggested donation is appreciated.


Enhancement Grants Available

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Members of the Fort Collins community are invited to propose enhancement projects for funding through the Natural Areas Enhancement Fund.  The Natural Areas Department (NAD) encourages stewardship of all natural areas so financial assistance is available for projects to enhance or restore private or public natural areas in Fort Collins. The NAD is appropriating $15,000 from the citizen-initiated Open Space Yes! sales tax for the Enhancement Fund in 2016.  Applications are due by November 4.

Seeking Nature in the City Partnership Projects

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The Nature in the City program is looking for ideas that would make a positive difference for nature in your neighborhood! Project partnerships are sought that protect and restore important wildlife habitat, give all residents of Fort Collins access to nature within a ten minute walk, or shift neighborhood landscapes to more diverse forms. Funding and planning support is available for local projects; examples might include pollinator gardens, wildlife habitat restoration efforts, construction of trails to better connect a neighborhood to nearby nature, or other ideas. Projects don't have to be big to be impactful -- small, creative, and unique projects are encouraged to apply. Unlike a typical grant-funding program, Nature in the City wants to partner with you in your neighborhood to make the greatest impact. A link to the application will be here soon. Applications are due October 31.

Birds Tell the Restoration Success Story

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Behind the scenes, Natural Areas staff are keeping a close eye on plants and wildlife in natural areas. For example,breeding bird surveys are done bi-annually in the foothills and along the Poudre River corridor. The 2016 foothills bird survey is a way to evaluate the success of the grassland restoration project at Coyote Ridge Natural Area, east of Taft Hill Road (~150 acres). The western portion of the restoration area was in winter wheat production less than 10 years ago.  Now it’s home to special grassland birds- the very ones that have experienced sharp population declines in portions of their ranges.  It's great news because it means that conservation goals are being accomplished! The bird survey results are evidence that restoration efforts to support wildlife are successful.

Aerial Spraying for Cheatgrass at Four Natural Areas

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The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department will be conducting aerial weed spraying at four natural areas this fall.  Reservoir Ridge, Coyote Ridge, Bobcat Ridge and Soapstone Prairie natural areas have large infestations of cheatgrass, a non-native, highly invasive weed that is challenging to control. Steep slopes and rough terrain prohibit access by traditional equipment. The natural areas will closed for about four hours while spraying is underway.  No effects to people, pets, non-target vegetation, or wildlife are anticipated. Closures will be posted at trailheads and at fcgov.com/naturalareas/status.php. Read the press release here.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day by Volunteering

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Celebrate local land conservation at one of Fort Collins’ newest natural areas, Tanglewood! Volunteers will be removing about ¼ mile of wire fencing to make way for a more aesthetic and wildlife-friendly fence. Project options for kids and families will be available. Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, sun, eye and mosquito protection and bring work gloves if you have them. Lunch will be provided! Meeting and parking details will be emailed to registered participants. Biking to the project is especially encouraged (located on Spring Creek Trail, about 1/4 mile west of Taft Hill Rd underpass); bike racks will be available. Free, registration required (login or create an account in NatureTracker)

 

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 Shark, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Community Relations Manager, 970-221-6311 or zshark@fcgov.com.

To learn more about Natural Areas, visit our website.

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