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Winter 2023 Neighborhood News#

'Tis the season for bundling up for chilly (and windy) walks and thinking of a year gone by and the brightness of the new year ahead. We at Neighborhood Services wish you peace and happiness and to know we are here to help build community, always with you in mind!


Snow-covered street with shoveled sidewalk

Did you know that Fort Collins has a code requiring residents to keep their sidewalks adjacent to the street “free and clear of snow and ice” within 24 hours of accumulation? And that any accumulation could be considered a violation as there is no minimum amount?

This ordinance and expectation can be burdensome for the elderly and disabled in our community. If you have a neighbor for whom this is the case, please work with the other neighbors to share the load and keep the walks clear for that individual. If you are in need of help and are unable to find someone to assist you, contact A Little Help, 970-412-9396, to apply for the Adopt-a-Neighbor program--they will try to find a willing and able volunteer for you. And if you're interested in helping others in need of shoveling or other assistance, feel free to contact A Little Help as they'd be happy to accept more volunteers!

Here are a few tips to keep your sidewalk safe:

  • Try to shovel before foot traffic hits your sidewalk.
  • Keep some ice-melt on hand for the stubborn spots.
  • If water pools on your walk and turns to ice, apply a substantial amount of sand or kitty litter. If water is pooling due to a drainage issue or ice build up in the gutter, call the Streets Department at 970-221-6615.
  • If you are on a corner, be sure to clear the corner ramps.
  • Clearing the patch across the driveway is much easier before it has been packed down by a vehicle’s tires.
  • If you are planning to be out of town, be sure to make arrangements with a friend, family member, neighbor or landlord (in the case of a rental).
  • If City snow plows have pushed snow onto your shoveled sidewalk, call the Streets Department at 970-221-6615.

Fort Collins is a pedestrian friendly town. When we get snow, walking can be challenging, not only for able-bodied folks but especially for the elderly, disabled, and the young among us. Please play a positive part in our community by shoveling your sidewalk when it snows.

Resolving Conflicts Over Snow Shoveling & Other Issues#

People speaking in a mediation session

Two people met in mediation to talk about snow removal. Andy thought no one cared much about the snow and ice, it would be gone soon anyway. Andy’s assumption led him to slack on shoveling. At the mediation, Michael shared that it was a slipping hazard for kids and senior neighbors, causing a lot of stress in the winter. Michael assumed Andy didn’t care about his neighbors’ well-being. When Michael shared the impacts with Andy at the mediation, he was able to see why shoveling snow is important.  They agreed they both care about each other’s well-being and Andy agreed to follow the city’s requirement to remove snow within 24 hours.  Assumptions around snow removal and weeds can drive division between people, especially when behavior affects one neighbor more than the other. 

The free and confidential Mediation Program is available to you for conflict transformation among neighbors, housing providers and renters, and roommates! Contact us at 970-224-6022 or write to For more information, visit

Candlelight Vigil for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration#

Martin Luther King, Jr. luminary with his quote

In collaboration with Colorado State University and other community partners, the City of Fort Collins is hosting a citywide candlelight vigil in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15. The City’s Neighborhood Services Department invites neighbors across Fort Collins to set battery-powered tea light luminaries along sidewalks and driveways as an act of remembrance and solidarity with the work of Dr. King, past civil rights leaders, and those who continue to fight for social justice today. (#FOCOMLK2024)  
These small lights throughout our city seek to honor the words of Dr. King when he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  

To request luminary materials for your home or business to participate in the vigil, please fill out the form at this link. Please note that supplies are limited.  

If you would like to purchase your own materials similar to those provided by the City for the celebration, you will need white paper lunch bags and flameless/battery-powered tea lights, which can be obtained locally at grocery stores or online.  

 For more information about other activities in Fort Collins celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., please visit

Mini-Grants Round 1 Opens February 1st!#

Community sitting benches and free library near mailboxes, paid for by City mini-grant

Neighborhood Mini-Grants help foster positive relationships and a sense of community pride through engagement and inclusion of neighbors. Grants support sustainability-focused neighborhood events, workshops, and projects that bring neighbors together. The Round 1 application process opens on February 1st, and a special Mini-Grants newsletter will go out around that time to provide a reminder and the 2024  Mini-Grants schedule. In the meantime, check out of Mini-Grants page for more details. 

Be in the Know!#

Young girl, with a look of awe, on father's shoulders at big crowd event in Old Town with white lights in trees

Want to keep yourself, friends and neighbors informed about happenings around town? Here are several ways to get updates on City activities and fun events in the area. Click on the topics below to find the plethora of options available.


Wow, this year has gone by rather quickly!  It's already fall and, thankfully, the preponderance of rain is providing a display of colors that will continue to blossom over the next few weeks. Please go outside and enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather!

Mini-Grants Help Make a Difference#

Wildflower garden at Skyline Mobile Home Park

Neighborhood Services provides mini-grant funding opportunities several times a year for various projects that help build community. Building community means something different to every neighborhood depending on their needs. For some, it means giving residents a fun social event to enjoy together, and for others it means residents coming together to clean up the neighborhood or build a community notice board.

As summer comes to a close, we want to highlight a couple of the mini-grant recipients who made the most of their community-building opportunity. Our summer mini-grants saw residents gathering outside to improve their neighborhoods, with several grant recipients choosing to install new benches, tables, and community notice boards to gather around. Others took the opportunity to launch educational projects, with subjects such as local bat species and how to safely use eBikes around town. In particular, we want to highlight the work done by residents at Skyline Mobile Home Park, a 55+ community that created a wildflower and memorial garden from an area that was previously just bare rocks. Led by resident Rick Lydon, a retired educator, community members participated in design, digging, weeding, and donation of plants and artwork, including rock sculptures that defy the laws of physics! This fall Skyline residents will also be invited to memorialize deceased loved ones by painting stones that can be placed in the garden, enabling the site to also be a place for reflection.

Our mini-grant program has concluded for the year, but information about next year's Neighborhood Mini-Grants will be available in February 2024! Stay tuned to the Neighborhood Grants page for info and announcements! 

Turn off your sprinkler system by Oct.1st#

Lawn sprinkler

When the weather cools, lawns go dormant and need less water. By shutting down irrigation to healthy lawns early in the fall, we can see a big decline in community water use. Remember to hand water trees and other perennials during dry periods throughout the fall and winter to keep them healthy. 

Eligible residential Fort Collins Utilities water customers who pledge and turn off their sprinklers will be entered into a drawing to be one of 100 residents who will be randomly selected to receive $50 off their water bills!  

Take the pledge and also learn exactly how much water your trees and other perennials need at

More Seasonal Reminders#

Fall colors and mountains

LEAVES:  It's that time of year again! Soon leaves will start to fall, and we're reminding folks not to rake or blow leaves into the street where they can clog storm drains. Also, burning leaves and other yard waste is not permitted within Fort Collins city limits. There are multiple other ways to dispose of leaves besides putting them in the trash, such as composting, checking with your waste hauler for yard waste curbside collection, or taking them yourself to recycling/composting facilities. Additional solutions for disposing of leaves can be found here.

ELECTRICITY PEAK HOURS CHANGE:  Starting October 1st and running through April 30th, peak electricity hours will be from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., weekdays only. Off-peak hour rates, which are significantly less costly, will be any time outside of those four hours, and all day weekends and major holidays. For more information on rates, click here.

"FALL BEHIND"--CHANGE YOUR CLOCK:  Not everybody's favorite time change with shorter daylight in the evenings, but clocks will “fall back” one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5th  (or just set yours back Saturday night, November 4th, before bed).

Changes Coming to Adopt A Neighbor Program#

Adopt a Neighbor Program logo

The Adopt A Neighbor Program is undergoing some changes due to staffing levels and to improve customer service. Some form of volunteer matching for snow shoveling and lawn care will continue in the future but other assistance may not. New volunteer matching for the winter snow shoveling season is currently paused. City Staff is working on volunteer matching and notification for previous participants in the program now, but we are understaffed for this program, so please be patient with the process. All volunteer matching will resume and more information will be available in October 2023.

Mobile Home Park Corner#

View of mobile home and flowers

DIY Workshops:  Neighborhood Services had received a grant from AARP to host "Do It Yourself" home maintenance workshops for mobile home residents. Many people who move into mobile homes may not be familiar with maintenance issues that may be different than those for standard site-built homes. By empowering residents will DIY skills, they'll know when they can handle a maintenance issue themselves (thereby saving money) and when it's best to call in a professional. The DIY workshops have focused on three mobile home parks in Fort Collins, and City staff have received much positive feedback from residents who had participated. 

Resources for Mobile Home Residents:  This handbook, created by volunteers from the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities (funded through an AARP grant) provides resources for a variety of services offered by nonprofits and government agencies. Mobile Home Resource Handbook  

Communications Workshop "Listening to Lead"#

Person speaking at meeting with people listening

Communication and leadership are two key elements of neighborhood community building. Neighborhood Services' Mediation & Restorative Justice wants to announce an exciting new partnership with our City’s Next Level Neighborhoods program. NLN Leaders collaborate with their neighbors to choose and complete activities and projects to build a sense of community, strengthen neighborhood resilience, and promote civic engagement.

For the first time, we are offering a 90-minute communication workshop called “Listening to Lead.” We know that good leaders need good communication skills, and that is exactly what this workshop offers! This will prepare participants to strengthen neighbor relationships by:

  • Learning to listen for needs in conversations
  • Identifying and affirming neighbors' strengths
  • Uprooting assumptions and practice curiosity in communication
  • Reframing challenging behaviors to increase understanding among people

And, these workshops will be available to our general Fort Collins community members beginning in the winter of 2023! Stay tuned for upcoming dates. Folks who are interested can reach out to Dana Henderson, Public Engagement Specialist, at (970) 657-5298 or

Be in the Know!#

Lightbulb of ideas

Want to keep yourself, friends and neighbors informed about happenings around town? Here are several ways to get updates on City activities and fun events in the area. Click on the topics below to find the plethora of options available.


Children on swings

Summer is finally here after our unusually long and wet spring. Check out the plethora of useful info in our newsletter, and test your Fort Collins knowledge with this trivia question:  What was the first name of Colorado State University? Answer at the end of the newsletter.

  • Mini-Grants Third Round Opening Soon, Neighborhood Night Out August 1st
  • Fireworks at City Park, Not in Neighborhoods
  • Do You Stop for Stop Signs?
  • Be in the Know
  • Wait to Recreate! Poudre River & Water Safety Tips
  • Public Nuisance Ordinance Update
  • Trivia Question Answer

Mini-Grants Third Round Opening Soon, Neighborhood Night Out August 1st#

Fire truck and residents at Neighborhood Night Out

Applications for round 3 of the Neighborhood Mini-Grant program will be opening soon on July 1st, so get together with your neighbors and start planning your projects & events! This application is open until August 15th, and is meant for projects/events happening September-December. These grant funds are open to residents, residents associations, HOAs, and nonprofits within Fort Collins City boundaries. For more information about the program, visit our Neighborhood Grants Page.

Neighborhood Night Out is just around the corner! Neighborhood Night Out is an opportunity to celebrate some of the special things that makes Fort Collins such a great place to live - your neighbors and community! Neighborhood Night Out is typically held on the first Tuesday night of August each year, and this year's event is Tuesday, August 1st. If you want to get together with your neighbors and throw a celebration of your own, you can learn more about Neighborhood Night Out on our info page.

As an added incentive, the first 100 Neighborhood Night Out events registered with the City of Fort Collins Neighborhood Services will receive a $25 gift card for their event needs, so sign up soon! Registration deadline is July 1st.

Fireworks at City Park, Not in Neighborhoods#

Fireworks display at City Park

Fireworks display at City Park

We'll be having great events to celebrate Independence Day this year and an awesome fireworks display at City Park that evening. But, other than the City Park event, ALL fireworks, including sparklers and snakes, are illegal to sell, possess, or use in the City of Fort Collins. City Council passed the ordinance with the health and safety of the community in mind. Fireworks cause injuries and fires, and each year, Poudre Fire Authority responds to multiple fires caused by fireworks. Plus the intense noise can be hard on pets and those sensitive to loud sounds, especially late at night. To read more about the safety concerns and regulations, click here.

As for events that day, including the colorful and festive parade and lots of family-friendly activities, click the link below for details. 

Independence Day Events

Do You Stop at Stop Signs?#

Biker at stop sign

As drivers, we all know that stop signs and red lights mean...STOP!  But there was a law enacted last year that alters rules at intersections for bicyclists and folks using e-scooters.

The Colorado Safety Stop gives people on bikes and e-scooters the legal option to ride slowly through stop signs without stopping first, if they are yielding right of way to pedestrians and other road users who have the right-of-way. Bicyclists and e-scooterists may also proceed at red lights after coming to a complete stop, if there is no oncoming traffic. They can approach intersections at a reasonable speed and choose to apply the Safety Stop or continue to perform a traditional stop at both stop signs and red lights. Only bicyclists ages 15 and over may perform the Safety Stop. Younger riders may do so when they are with a parent or legal guardian.

Interested in more information on this bill, or about when you should consider doing the Colorado Safety Stop and when you shouldn't? Check it out at FC Moves

Be in the Know!#

Bright idea lightbulb

Want to keep yourself, friends and neighbors informed about happenings around town? Here are several ways to get updates on City activities and fun events in the area. Click on the topics below to find the plethora of options available.

Wait to Recreate! Poudre River & Water Safety Tips#

Nighttime Poudre River rescue by Poudre Fire Authority

Night water rescue on Poudre River by Poudre Fire Authority

Poudre Fire Authority has been involved in two river rescues already this season. One kayaker, believed to have been in the frigid water for 40 minutes, suffered injuries and hypothermia. In the second, six tubers were separated from their tubes; one became stranded on the far shore and needed a rescue.

The Poudre River is not safe for novice recreation right now. The river is flowing at over 2,300 cfs (cubic feet per second) as of Friday, June 9th. The water is fresh snow melt which means it is icy cold and contains dangerous debris. 

The Poudre River is flowing fast, high, and cold. Wait to recreate on the river if you are not an expert with the appropriate equipment. July typically offers safer conditions, but until then, please look to a professional rafting company and ALWAYS wear a life vest when recreating on a river or in open water.

And for additional water safety on land: 

  • Don't drive through high water ("turn around, don't drown"). Just 12 inches of water can make many vehicles float.
  • Keep kids and pets from playing in floodwaters because they may contain snakes, insects, sharp objects, debris, chemicals or raw sewage (ewww!). And only six inches of flowing water can make a person fall.

River Safety Tips, Resource & Interactive River Safety Map

Public Nuisance Ordinance Revised#

Very messy yard with scattered junk and RV

This photo shows a situation that you would certainly not want in your neighborhood. 

In late 2022 the City Council voted to enact a new version of the Public Nuisance Ordinance originally adopted in 2000. The new PNO, which is more pragmatic as an enforcement tool, regulates two types of nuisances: (i) a “public nuisance”; and (ii) a “chronic nuisance property.'

Common nuisance activities include:

  • civil infractions under the City Code, such as tall weeds and grass, rubbish, and inoperable motor vehicles
  • minor misdemeanor violations under the City Code, such as unreasonable noise, bodily waste, and nuisance gatherings
  • more serious misdemeanor violations under the City Code, such as resisting arrest, assault, disorderly conduct, and building and fire code violations
  • misdemeanors and felonies under State law, such as criminal mischief, assault, harassment, arson, firearms offenses, and drug-related offenses

To learn more about the PNO, click here. If you have a question or want to file a complaint about potential violations, go to our Access Fort Collins site (link below) and click on “Nuisance Reporting” for further information.

Access Fort Collins - Nuisance Reporting

Trivia Question Answer#

Trivia sign

CSU was established in 1870 as Colorado Agricultural College. It was renamed Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (commonly referred to as Colorado A&M) in 1935. In 1957, the Colorado General Assembly approved its current name, Colorado State University.