Nature in the City Projects#
The Nature in the City grant program empowers the Fort Collins community to plan and implement projects that improve access to nature, increase landscape diversity, and help connect wildlife habitat throughout the city. In 2023, Nature in the City is awarding $45,250 in support of nine planning grants!
These funds are going towards designing wildlife friendly landscapes throughout Fort Collins that also create gathering spaces for community members to connect with each other and nature. These designs include neighborhood wildlife gardens and gathering areas, parkway redesigns, turf to native plant conversions, a rain garden design, a Poudre-pollinator garden, and a template design for outdoor classrooms at Poudre School District schools.
The Fort Collins community continues to preserve natural spaces, create nature access for all and inspire stewardship among our neighborhoods. This grant cycle attracted 13 project ideas requesting $59,500 of support funds. Nature in the City is supporting nine planning projects in 2023 with some new and familiar partners including Neighbor 2 Neighbor, La Familia, Wolverine Farm, Life Pointe Church and Heart of the Rockies Church. Neighborhood partners include Maple Hill, Warren Lake, and Waterleaf.
In the fall of 2023, an opportunity to apply for Make it Happen: Implementation Grants will allow these planned and other new projects to seek funding assistance for 2024.
Want to learn more and get inspired? Check out the interactive map, take this self-guided tour, or read some general project profiles below!
First Presbyterian Church#
This pollinator garden is highly visible and accessible from the sidewalk for a short journey off the fast-paced corridor of College Avenue. Planted in a matrix planting style, this walk gives any members of the public a chance to see a successful Nature in the City Planning Grant come to fruition. Located on the west side of College Avenue between CSU campus and Mulberry Street, catch a glimpse from your vehicle or stop in to watch the busy bees working the many pollinator-friendly flowers.
Oakridge HOA Turf to Native Habitat Conversion#
Oakridge Village Park Detention Basin Nature Project: Two HOA's and a Business park updated their landscaping plan in a large shared water detention area over 2019 and 2020. The update involved converting a detention basin from high-water use turf to low-water use native landscaping. The project is made up of several smaller projects such as native grass turf establishment, a 3,000 square foot pollinator garden and shrub plantings. Nature in the City provided funding for the pollinator garden. The group also received funding from the City of Fort Collins Utilities Xeriscape Incentive Program and Northern Water.
Residential Turf to Native Habitat Conversion#
These home-owners love seeing how their native habitat garden looks different every few weeks as new perennials bloom. This design utilizes principles from the City of Fort Collins Utilities Xeriscape Incentive Program as well as native plants from Resource Central's Garden in a Box program. One of their main goals was to inspire their neighbors and Home Owners Association to look into and choose this type of native and diverse landscape over water-hungry turf lawns.
Outdoor Gathering Space#
Currently in the United States, research shows that the time children spend playing and learning in nature is steadily decreasing. Bennett Elementary IB World School is working to reverse this trend and started the construction of their outdoor classroom in the spring of 2017. The outdoor classroom provides students with a connection to nature through the engagement of hands-on opportunities that accommodate all learning styles and lesson plans. Students now have the opportunity build a sense of stewardship with the land, learn about the natural world, and enjoy all the benefits that nature provides.