Skip to main content

Natural Areas

 Contact Information

Dept Head: John Stokes
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Lead | Explore | Collaborate | Give Back |Join ROOTS!

In ROOTS Club youth 14-18 will:

  • Establish ROOTS in your community
  • Participate in grass-ROOTS stewardship efforts
  • Stay true to your ROOTS while branching out with new friends

ROOTS meets Fridays, June 7- August 16,  9 a.m.- 1 p.m. ROOTS is for all youth 14-18 years old. Free, transportation is provided. 

ROOTS meets at the Natural Areas Headquarters off of the Poudre Trail near Lemay and Mullberry. Transportation to meeting locations is available and all transportation to and from field trips is provided. 


  • Take action as part of a youth-driven and youth-directed club
  • Explore the outdoors and give back with new friends
  • Network with community organizations making a difference
  • Challenge yourself with likeminded peers
  • Stay connected with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department
  • Build job skills
  • Free food
  • Free transportation to field trips


  • Commit to attending all meetings and field trips, or arranging for an excused absence.
  • Participate fully to the best of your ability.
  • Be kind to other club members and follow group-established ground rules.
  • Sign the City of Fort Collins waiver, parent/guardian signature also required.

ROOTS Club Activities

ROOTS Club members hiking at Reservoir Ridge.

ROOTS Club members hiking at Reservoir Ridge in 2018.


ROOTS is an Environmental Stewardship Club for Teens - this means we work towards the soft skills and hard skills needed to effectively be a steward for your community. We pair recreational activities, such as climbing, paddleboarding and biking with conservation messaging. For example, we will be partnering with the City of Fort Collins Utilities program to paddleboard at Horsetooth and talk about our impacts on water quality, and what we can do about it. Here are some other topic areas we cover:

  • Self-discovery
  • Team building
  • Outdoor exploration
  • Leadership development
  • Identify problems and work towards a solution
  • Hands-on outdoor service project
  • Network with natural resource agencies
  • Take action!

We strive to have ROOTS Club be youth led - meaning we adapt our programming to meet the needs of the group. ROOTS is in its second year as a pilot program and was designed in response to a growing need for youth engagement in the summer months. The goal is to grow and develop ROOTS with the help of partnerships, as well as feedback from both parents and youth who participate. Your feedback is welcome! If you are interested in participating or engaging with ROOTS please contact Diane Wendt - PGFjbGFzcz0=">ZHdlbmR0QGZjZ292LmNvbQ==

How old to I have to be to join ROOTS?

To ensure a great experience for participants we ask that particpants be between the ages of 14 and 18. If you will be 14 in 2019 we are happy to accept you. If you are under 14, please inquire about other opportunities.

What do we do in ROOTS?

We work on engaging with the community and developing soft skills and hard skills in environmental leadership and stewardship. We do this while engaging in recreational activities such as hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and climbing. We also participate in river clean ups, restoration work, trail work, career fairs and family picnics.

Do I need to live in Fort Collins to participate?

Anyone within Larimer County is invited to apply.

Do I need to be physically fit to join ROOTS?

Physical activities such as biking, biking and climbing are part of ROOTS Club. But we are more than happy to accommodate the physical abilities of anyone that wishes to join ROOTS. Please contact the group leader with any questions or concerns, Diane Wendt (970)224.6153 ZHdlbmR0QGZjZ292LmNvbQ==

Do I need to have experience in the outdoors to join ROOTS?

No, you do not need any outdoor experience! People from all backgrounds and experiences are welcome.

Is transportation provided?

Transportation from the club location to all activities is provided. If transportation to the club location is needed, please contact the group leader, Diane Wendt (970)224.6153 ZHdlbmR0QGZjZ292LmNvbQ==