Gardeners wanted, new bike lanes...

Have you noticed the relationship between weather and human activity? As the mercury rises, people tend to spend more time outdoors. As the temperatures heat up in NoCo, residents should be mindful about fire danger and road construction zones, as well as take advantage of fun opportunities to get outside. There also are many ways to spring into service, from gardening to volunteering to buying a shed.

North Shields Street in Fort Collins will get bike lanes

On the heels of the recently adopted Old Town (Fort Collins) Neighborhoods Plan, the recommended improvements along North Shields Street are soon to become a reality. Southbound bike lanes will be added between Vine and Magnolia Streets and northbound bike lanes will be added between Mountain Avenue and Vine Street. In addition, the Maple Street pedestrian and bicycle connection along North Shields Street, an important east-west low-stress corridor, will be improved. North Shields Street will be closed during the repaving and restriping work this spring, so please mind the closures.

For more information about the plans, visit www.fcgov.com/bicycing.

Fire danger is high

The Front Range is experiencing above normal temperatures and below normal relative humidity and precipitation. The immediate weather forecast and normal springtime green up of fuels should diminish the threat of wildland fires, however, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office requests that residents and visitors exercise extreme caution with any potential source of ignition. It reminds people of the following:

  • Campfires. Only build them when and where authorized. Do not leave them unattended, and put them out completely. Use ample water and stir until the coals are cool to the touch.
  • Slash pile burns. No slash pile burning is allowed during Red Flag Warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
  • Cigarette butts. Dispose of lit smoking materials properly.
  • Heat transfer from exhaust systems. Do not park a vehicle in areas with tall grass that could catch fire. 

The sheriff’s office is not imposing any restrictions or bans at this time, but will continue to monitor fire danger conditions. More information regarding wildfire preparedness and prevention is available at www.larimersheriff.org/site-page/wildfire-preparedness

Gardeners wanted to plant it forward

If you grow vegetables, the Gardens on Spring Creek asks that you consider participating in its Plant It Forward program, a partnership between the Gardens and the Food Bank for Larimer County. The Gardens' goal is to donate 60,000 pounds of fresh produce to Food Bank this growing season from area gardens. Learn more about the program at www.plantitforwardnoco.org.

If you would like to grow vegetables, but don't have space, you can reserve some at a community garden. Limited plots remain in Fort Collins, so now is the time to claim yours. Special plots are available for nonprofit organizations, schools and churches that would like a community garden space for educational purposes, as well as people participating in the Plant It Forward program. To learn more and reserve a space, please contact Vicki Cotton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 970-416-2486.

Enjoy art outdoors in Loveland

If you enjoy art and the outdoors, head to Loveland on Saturday, May 20 for the Plein Art Festival and Auction. This free family-friendly festival showcases 50 Colorado artists as they masterfully paint works of art on location throughout Loveland, providing a unique opportunity to experience each piece as it is being created. Once finished, the paintings will be auctioned off at Loveland's Rialto Theater. Attendees may receive information on the day of the festival at Studio Vino, 426 N. Lincoln Ave. in downtown Loveland.

The Plein Art Festival and Auction is one of the most highly attended events of the annual Governor’s Art Show and Sale, the largest juried art show to exclusively feature Colorado artists. It's hosted by the Loveland Museum Gallery and presented by the Loveland Rotary and Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs. All proceeds will benefit Rotary-sponsored charitable projects and causes, including scholarships for local art students. The Plein Air Festival is free; exhibit admission to the Governor’s Art Show is $5, and free for museum members. Learn more at www.governorsartshow.org.

37 Greeley-area residents receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

In 2016, the City of Greeley Museums had 136 volunteers donate over 10,000 hours of service. Thirty-seven of those volunteers will be presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for 2017. Six of those volunteers were local teens who will be recognized at the gold level. They volunteered anywhere from 108 to 345 hours last year. 

Additionally, four volunteers were recognized at the silver level and 28 volunteers were recognized at the bronze level. Volunteers’ ages range from youth through adult. Each recipient receives a letter signed by the President of the United States, certificate of recognition and a lapel pin in honor of their achievement.

For information about the PVSA, visit PresidentialServiceAwards.gov. For information about volunteering at the City of Greeley Museums, visit www.greeleymuseums.com/Volunteer.

FRCC, Habitat for Humanity partnership a win-win

Students at Front Range Community College are taking hands-on learning to a new level and helping the community, too. 

During the spring 2017 semester, students in the Architectural Engineering and Construction Technology class designed and have been building a shed they'll donate to Habitat for Humanity to sell for profit. The shed building project has been assigned to students of this class for several years, but sheds were always disassembled after they were graded because there wasn't a place to store them on campus. Jamie Hahn, the program director and teacher of the class, felt frustrated by this and contacted Habitat to see if the organization had a need for a new shed. The partnership grew from there. 

“This really is an excellent opportunity for students to get real-world experience working with clients and building to a sellable standard," he says.

"As a nonprofit home builder, this partnership was a great fit for our organization," adds Kristin Candella, Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity executive director. "I love that we can help provide real-world educational opportunities for local students and the fundraising element helps us to keep our mission financed.” 

The shed will be transported and displayed at the Fort Collins Habitat ReStore in May and the public will have an opportunity to purchase it at that time. All proceeds from the sale of the shed will directly benefit Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity.  To learn more about Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity and their community partners, visit www.FortCollinsHabitat.org