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This newsletter was originally sent on May 2, 2017.
MAY 2017
Naturally Yours
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2016 Annual Report Released

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The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department reports yearly on revenues, expenditures, and accomplishments. The Annual Report is now posted online , and printed copies are available at trailhead kiosks and the Natural Areas Department's office, 1745 Hoffman Mill Road.
Articles in the six page report highlight land conservation, restoration efforts, education and volunteer participation statistics, highlights of rangers and visitor services, a summary of the year's maintenance and installation of public amenities, an introduction to Nature in the City, and more!
 

Seeking Master Naturalist Assistant Volunteers

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Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer experience while enjoying your natural areas? Want to lend a hand but not be the field trip leader? Master Naturalist Assistants help out with field trips on a wide variety of local and regional natural areas.

For more than 20 years Master Naturalists have provided educational field trips for school groups, clubs, scouts, seniors, newcomers, and more. Master Naturalist Assistants go along and help out with props, equipment, handouts, and evaluations. Applications are due May 22. Learn more >>>

#MyFOCO

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Meet your new one-stop-shop for getting involved, It’s Your|My|Our City.

YOUR City: find out how your City operates, get project updates and speak directly with employees.

MY City: celebrate what makes Fort Collins unique and creates community. Check out our parks, natural areas and museums and share what you love about Fort Collins.

OUR City: discover how to make a difference, voice your opinion and contribute to the future of Fort Collins.

Show and tell what your Fort Collins looks like by using #MyFoCo. Your pictures could be featured on social media channels, in print communications, or entered to win contests!

Nature in the City Recognition & Project Development Workshop

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The City of Fort Collins' Nature in the City program was announced as a Top 25 program in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. As a Top 25 program, Nature in the City represented the top 2% of all initial applications for the Innovations Award!

You are invited! Nature in the City: Community Projects Development Series, Tuesday, June 6, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. The City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City program envisions a connected open space network for people and wildlife. Residents, neighborhoods, and HOA’s are invited to develop project ideas and apply for funding to help make this happen. Applications are due this fall for 2018 projects. Join us to learn about available resources, review previous projects, and address common pitfalls. This is the first workshop in the series. A different topic will be covered each session and there will be time for individual consultations to help you fully communicate your vision. Come to as many sessions as you like. Registration is required at fcgov.com/register

 

Restoration Update

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In the past few months, 50 acres of Coyote Ridge Natural Area were seeded for restoration, 210 ponderosa pine trees were planted on Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, prairie dog burrows at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area were treated to prevent plague, and non-native plant control started.  In addition to continuing restoration seeding and non-native plant removal, lots of scientific work is underway including a bat survey, small mammal survey, rare plant survey, and a foothills breeding bird survey.  Watch for the completion of the Natural Areas' Wildlife Conservation Guidelines and the Bobcat Ridge Management Plan in the next few months.

State of the Poudre: A River Health Assessment and Report Card

Learn more about the Poudrereport-card-cover.jpg River Report Card and celebrate its completion at an Open House!

Thursday, May 25, 4-7 p.m.

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Classrooms, 408 Mason Court, Fort Collins.

How is the health and ecology of the Cache la Poudre River, today? The State of the Poudre River project seeks to answer this question scientifically. The River Health Report Card is a summary of the in-depth State of the River Report. In addition, an online mapping tool is being released that allows users to explore river health results spatially. A healthy Poudre River corridor offers many important social, environmental, and economic benefits to the community.  The City of Fort Collins' guiding strategic document, Plan Fort Collins,states that the City will work towards “…sustaining a healthy and resilient Cache la Poudre River” (City of Fort Collins, 2010). This project is a new tool to benchmark progress towards this vision.

Free Activities in Your Natural Areas

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Events now through October are posted here (you must login or create an account in Engage)! Please note- most activities now require registration. Printed copies of Tracks & Trails will be available in mid-May at natural area kiosks, libraries, and local buisnesses.

The Story of the American Bison, Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the south parking lot. See American bison in their natural habitat, the shortgrass prairie! Learn about the bison and their impact on this ecosystem. Please note: The bison are constantly on the move and we cannot guarantee that they will be visible. Bring binoculars, snacks, water, closed-toe shoes, and sun protection. 0.5 miles; easy. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Skygazing at Fossil Creek Reservoir, Saturday, May 13, 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Fossil Creek Reservoir, meet at the parking lot. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies, and more. Dress warmly and bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Meet in the parking lot. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Astronomy at Bobcat Ridge – May Moons, Friday, May 19, 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot.Enjoy a brief, family-friendly astronomy program followed by skygazing. Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure. Dress warmly, bring water and a blanket or chair to sit on in the parking lot. Program begins at the picnic shelter, a 0.25 mile walk. Please arrive on time! The gate closes shortly after start times and parking is not allowed on the road outside the gate. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Geology Exploration: From Basement to Desert, Tuesday, May 23, 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot. Hike with a friendly and fun geologist to uncover the secrets of how the landscape formed.  Discover the oldest rocks in Larimer County, the Great Unconformity, and the red rocks shed from the Ancestral Rockies. Bring sun protection, lunch, water, sturdy shoes, and rain gear. 4 miles; moderate. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Land Forms and Life Forms along Reservoir Ridge, Friday, May 26, 9:00 a.m. – noon, Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, meet at the west parking lot. Learn about the intimate connection between geology, landforms and the life that has evolved and adapted to live where prairie and foothills collide. Hike a 3-mile loop over the hogbacks separating prairie and foothills with excellent views of Horsetooth Reservoir, Watson Lake, and the prairie to the east. Be prepared! Bring water, food, sun protection, appropriate footwear, and any other comforts you might need. Unprepared individuals may be denied participation for their safety. Ages 12+; moderate difficulty. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Natural History of Pineridge, Saturday, May 27, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Pineridge Natural Area, meet at the west parking lot. Do not park in the Maxwell parking lot. The prairies, shrub lands, and ponderosa forests are all connected. Learn about native grasses, wildflowers and birds. Be prepared! Bring water, food, sun protection, appropriate footwear, and any other comforts you might need. Unprepared individuals may be denied participation for their safety. 1 mile; easy. Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Discover the Bobolinks! Saturday, June 3, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot off Overland Trail Rd. Each year for a short time, we are visited by one of Colorado's rare birds, the bobolink, and they only come to one place in Fort Collins, Reservoir Ridge!  Enjoy a family-friendly, short, easy hike, and learn to listen and see this special visitor and some of its friends.Free, registration required at fcgov.com/register

Events now through October are posted! Please note- most activities now require registration. Printed copies of Tracks & Trails will be available in mid-May at natural area kiosks, libraries, and local buisnesses.

 

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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