This newsletter was originally sent on May 25, 2017.
Special Edition, May 2017
Naturally Yours
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Fossil Creek Management Plan Update


The Fossil Creek Natural Areas are twelve natural areas, south of Harmony Road, extending from the base of the foothills southeast to I-25. They include:

Cathy Fromme Prairie
Hazaleus Natural Area
Colina Mariposa Natural Area
Redtail Grove Natural Area
Two Creeks Natural Area
Prairie Dog Meadow Natural Area
Pelican Marsh Natural Area
Fossil Creek Wetlands Natural Area
Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area
Eagle View Natural Area
Flores del Sol Natural Area
Soaring Vista Natural Area

A draft update to the 2005 management plan has been written for these sites and the public is invited to share their thoughts online or at an Open House on Thursday, June 8, 4-7 p.m. at the Harmony Library Community Room, 4616 South Shields Street, Fort Collins. Comments will be accepted through the end of June.

Volunteers Sought to Help Plant Pollinator Gardens


Thursday, June 8, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Coyote Ridge Elementary School- help Nature in the City create an outdoor classroom by planting trees and shrubs. All materials and lunch provided. Free, registration required.

Tuesday, June 13, 4-6 p.m. at Manhattan Townhomes- Nature in the City and Habitat Heroes have partnered to support a pollinator garden to attract butterflies, birds, and bees. Free, registration required, all materials, tools and dinner will be provided.

Tracks & Trails 2017 is Here!


Tracks & Trails is your guide to free activities on Natural Areas, June-October. This year's edition is available online as a pdf and printed copies are at local businesses, the Natural Areas Department's office, and trailheads. All activities are on the Engage online calendar, too!

Rattlesnake on a Snowdrift?!

rattlesnake on snow m parker 2017small web version.jpg

We thought you would enjoy this photo that was taken at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area on May 24 by Resource Management Crew Chief, Matt Parker. We got lots of comments on facebook and twitter about it! The post had a typo (seem intead of SEEN)- we apologize.

Free Upcoming Events


Land Forms and Life Forms, 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

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

Nature Nuggets- Animal Hide-n-Seek, Thursday, June 1 and 15, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. – noon, Lee Martinez Park, meet at the parking lot by the tennis courts. Animals can blend in without even trying. Discover how camouflage works in the wild. Bring your little ones (ages 3-7 years) to learn about nature with stories and hands-on activities. Parents/guardians must be present at all times. Free, registration required at

Artists on the Ridge, Friday, June 2, 9:00 a.m. – noon, Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, meet at the west parking lot off County Rd 23. Treat yourself to a day in the field and learn to sketch among pine trees and geologic fault lines. No art experience required! Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring drinking water, a snack if you like, and something to sit on (a stool, jacket, pad, etc.). Feel free to bring your own art supplies or borrow ours. For ages 9+. 3 miles; moderate; Free, registration required at

Skygazing at Fossil Creek Reservoir, Friday, June 2, 9:00 p.m.– 11:00 p.m., Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, 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

Family Nature Club, Saturday, June 3, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Nix Farm, 1745 Hoffman Mill Rd. Calling all families with children 12 and under! Kids who spend more time outside have greater attention spans, are more creative, and tend to be healthier, but it can be difficult to get them out there! In the Natural Areas Family Nature Club, you’ll meet other families with similar interests and challenges.  Monthly commitment encouraged but not required. Plan to be outside in all weather, get dirty, and have fun!  Parents must actively participate in all sessions. Free, registration required at

Wildflowers Through the Seasons, Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. – noon, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, meet at the north parking lot. Take a walk to see what is in bloom and learn about native plants. 1-2 miles; easy. Bring water, food, sun protection, appropriate footwear, and any other comforts you might need.Free, registration required at

Discover the Bobolinks! Saturday, June 3, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. at Reservoir Ridge Natural Area, meet at the parking lot off of Overland Trail Rd. across from the Poudre Overlook subdivision. The bobolinks are back!  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!  Kids, bring your parents for a fun morning of bobolink spotting. We will take a short hike and learn to listen and see this special visitor and some of its friends.  The trail is flat and easy.  All materials will be provided. Free, registration required at

See all upcoming events here!

Poudre River Clean-up This Weekend


Saturday, May 27, 9 a.m- 12 noon, Lee Martinez Park- Pitch in and help clean-up the Poudre River Corridor! Join Mountain Whitewater Descents, Save the Poudre, and the Natural Areas Department for the annual spring clean-up. All you need is gloves, sunscreen and the desire to make a difference. Please carpool, bike or walk to reduce congestion.


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

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