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NR News May 2014

There is so much going on to welcome summer!  

Muddy Trails are good …

… for wildflowers! A muddy trail means moisture, a key ingredient for wildflower abundance and brilliance. Muddy trails also mean boots, paws, hooves, and tires get dirty, slip, and make using trails a less than enjoyable experience. We all tend to avoid mud by walking off trail, but that's where the wildflowers live. During muddy times wildflowers around our trails can be trampled, compacted, and destroyed due to people avoiding mud. This not only causes harm to the wildflowers but also widens and braids trails causing damage to our natural resources.
In order to help protect the glorious wildflowers the Trail Crew has been working hard to keep water off the trails. The three factors that cause the greatest damage to trails are water, water, and water. The Trail Crew has built trail structures and incorporated design techniques to reduce the occurrence of mud on trails. This helps keep the mud off and the people on the trail in order to reduce impacts to the surrounding awesome wildflowers. Recently used structures and techniques to help keep trails dry include: log/rock turnpikes, armored tread, foot bridges, stepping stones, re-routes, and even experiments with beetle kill wood straw. Getting water off a trail is a never-ending task, but it keeps us busy and we love getting our boots muddy so trail users don't have to. The Trail Crew hopes you are able to get out and enjoy the County Open Spaces and beautiful wildflowers this spring.

Remember to stay on the trails even when they are muddy!

Submitted by Joel Schwab of the LCNR Trail Crew

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 24 at 9:00 a.m. “Horsetooth is Blooming” Take a walk through the wildflowers to Horsetooth Falls at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, for this fun nature program with Naturalist Janet. 

Monday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. “Tiny Trekkers” Join Larimer County naturalists for a program designed for your 2-5 year old and you. This program at Devil’s Backbone Open Space, will be a morning filled with crafts, stories and fun facts! A parent or guardian must accompany the child for this hour long program. 
Wednesday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. “Big Birds of River Bluffs Open Space” Join naturalist Carl at the newest Larimer County Open Space for a look at the larger than life birds that use this river corridor. 
Saturday, June 21 at 9:30 a.m. “Geology Underfoot at the Devil’s Backbone” Join naturalist Ed and travel through millions of years of time as you gain insights into the fascinating geology of this prominent local landmark and the surrounding area.  
Sunday, June 22 at 8:30 a.m. "Wildflower Photography" Have you ever wanted to capture the beauty of wildflowers along the trail? Join volunteer naturalist and photographer Janet Sitas for a workshop on photographing wildflowers. Learn the techniques to take your photos from pretty to polished. Program will be held at Eagle's Nest Open Space

Registration is required for all guided hikes and events. Please go to for more information and to sign up. Please direct questions to Heather at (970) 619-4489.

Learn about Open Space protection 


More Cool News

National Get Outdoors Day: Noco is coming right up! Join us on Saturday June 14, at City Park in Fort Collins to climb, paddle, run, jump, learn, eat, make art and play! Bring the whole family to try out different activities and find new ways to enjoy LC's great outdoors. Free for everyone and tons to do! More information at
Volunteers from Hewlett Packard assist Horsetooth District Manager Mark Caughlan to install high definition sonar on ranger patrol boats. The sonar will be useful for identifying underwater hazards and during rescue and recovery operations at LCNR's reservoir parks. 
Give feedback for the update to the Open Lands Master Plan! Help shape the vision for the future of the open lands program by providing feedback at The plan will identify priorities for land conservation, potential new recreation uses on Open Spaces and much more to guide the program. 
Check out our Facebook page and enter to win our wildflower photo contest, or just vote for your favorite shot. The winning photo will be featured in the LCNR Annual Calendar. You can vote each day! Full contest rules and submission guidelines at
Photos top to bottom, left to right: Joel Schwab, Jeff Anderson, Mark Yoder, Sue Burke, Staff, Mark Yoder
Copyright © 2014 Larimer County Natural Resources, All rights reserved.

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