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Nature in the City Projects
Through Nature in the City's grant-funded projects, residents, HOA's, schools, community groups, non-profits, businesses, and others in the community can increase access to high-quality natural spaces for people and wildlife. In 2020, Nature in the City awarded more than $140,000 to support 18 projects across the city. The grant program empowers residents to plan and implement projects that improve access to nature, increase landscape diversity, and help connect wildlife habitat throughout the city.
2020 awards included:
- $10,000 in residential-scale grants to 11 community members to create native habitat in their yards and inspire their
- $53,000 to two community-scale projects at Oakridge Village Vll HOA and Warren Woods/Landings HOA to improve habitat and connect the community to nature.
- $75,000 to three neighborhood-scale projects at O’dea Elementary School, Poudre Valley Mobil Home Park, and First Presbyterian church that focus on increasing access to nature.
Want to learn more and get inspired? Check out these project profiles:
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.