Natural areas are a beloved community asset, central to Fort Collins’ identity and quality of life. The Fort Collins community has conserved 42 natural areas with over 100 miles of trails, thanks mostly to citizen-initiated sales tax ballot measures. What should the future hold? The Master Plan which will guide land conservation and stewardship for the next ten years is being updated to answer that question. Your voice is an important part of developing the plan. Everyone is invited to an Open House to learn about the Natural Areas Master Plan and provide feedback on Thursday, January 30, 4-7 p.m. at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery classrooms and dome, 408 Mason Court, Fort Collins. Drop by anytime between 4-7 p.m., there will be a short overview presentation at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m. by Natural Areas Department Director, John Stokes.
Those that can’t attend the Open House are invited to provide comments online afterwards at www.fcgov.com/naturalareas
. There will be a second Open House in the spring, where a draft plan will be presented for comment, then the Natural Areas Master Plan will be presented to City Council for adoption in the summer.
The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department is responsible for fulfilling the community’s vision for land conservation and stewardship, and for providing education and recreation for the community. The Natural Areas Master Plan will detail future funding and financial sustainability, plans for land conservation, how natural areas will be carefully stewarded, and provide an overview of natural areas policies and research.
Natural areas are treasured by the community for many reasons. They provide a respite from the urban environment; a place to hike, bike, walk your dog, ride your horse, fish, picnic, create art or just enjoy some quiet time outdoors. Natural areas are an outdoor classroom for students of all ages, and they are used by scientists to collect data. Natural Areas have economic value and make Fort Collins a highly desirable place to live and work. Natural areas protect traces of our past and are important cultural sites. Natural areas filter the water and air, absorb flood waters, and provide habitat for wildlife and native plants. Natural areas give everyone the opportunity to connect to nature’s spiritual qualities. Each person has their own reason for caring for natural areas, and Fort Collins residents value them for their recreational, educational, scientific, economic, cultural, ecological and spiritual qualities.
Thank you Fort Collins and Larimer County voters! You make land conservation and visitor amenities possible through your support of citizen-initiated sales tax ballot measures.