Together, we can create a unique community destination!

The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, Northern Colorado Wildlife Center and supporting partner Audubon Rockies have come together to propose the creation of the Wildlife & Nature Campus at Hughes. We foresee building a top-rated, nature-inspired facility to connect people of all ages and abilities with nature. This opportunity will be unique to our community!

The Campus will welcome visitors to experience and participate in nature exploration, habitat restoration, scientific research and more. To put it simply, educational and outdoor opportunities will be plentiful and geared for everyone. Some notable opportunities include:

  • Enhanced rescue and rehabilitation facilities to accommodate a greater diversity of raptors and other wildlife species
  • Interaction with live educational ambassador eagles, owls, reptiles, and amphibians living on site
  • Taking part in migratory bird banding efforts at a neighboring banding station
  • Access to the existing trail system in bordering Natural Areas
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • Experiential learning and environmental education in and outside a dedicated rehabilitation/education center
  • Wildlife viewing in an intact habitat corridor that acts as a critical transition from our busy urban center to the mountains
  • Access to conservation how-tos that can be implemented at home, school, or in neighborhoods

The Campus will be open to the public, and built to accommodate school groups, college students, and community members looking to connect with our foothills ecosystem along the Front Range.

The design of the Wildlife & NatureCampus is meant to reflect the natural hogback of the hill to the west, blending in with the natural environment. Photos are only a concept as a design has not been fully developed. The image on the left is credited to Joe Allison and the image on the right is credited to [au]workshop Architects+Urbanists.

Fulfilling the will of a community

The Campus will enhance our community’s long-standing connection with nature and wildlife. The successful 2021 Fort Collins ballot initiative called for the 163 acres of the Hughes Stadium property to be rezoned and used for parks, recreation, open lands, natural areas, and wildlife rescue and restoration. The project we propose aligns with the voters’ will and has elements that includes all of these concepts. Additionally, the city of Fort Collins, Larimer County and its residents have a long history of valuing our outdoor spaces and access to them. The Wildlife & Nature Campus will continue with that heritage and offers a unique opportunity to give back to nature by protecting this unique, beautiful, and biodiverse area in our community’s backyard.

Speak up for nature

To make this vision a reality, we need your help. As a friend and supporter we urgently ask you to:

1. Write a letter to your Fort Collins City Council Member.


2. Tune in to the City Council Meeting remotely on May 7, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about our vision.

We’ve created the following guide to help ensure your support is heard.

STEP 1: Create a personalized letter to your city council member stating why you feel the Campus is valuable and that you’d like council to support it. Click to view and download a sample letter and talking points.

*Tip: Council members are more likely to receive and remember original letters and emails written from the heart, rather than those that are copy and pasted.

STEP 2: To send a letter or email, locate your city council representative

Click here to find your council district boundary.

Jeni Arndt, Mayor [email protected] | Susan Gutowsky Councilmember District 1 [email protected] | Julie Pignataro, Councilmember District 2 [email protected] | Tricia Canonico, Councilmember District 3 [email protected] | Melanie Potyondy, Councilmember District 4 [email protected] | Kelly Ohlson, Councilmember District 5 [email protected] | Emily Francis, Councilmember District 6 & Mayor Pro Tem [email protected]

To send to your council person via USPS: PO Box 580. Fort Collins, CO 80522-0580 

STEP 3: Tune in to the City Council Meeting on May 7, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about our vision. Click below for information on how to attend remotely:

STEP 4: Share the Wildlife & Nature Campus project with your friends, family, neighbors or anyone you think might be interested and benefit from this opportunity within our community. This web page is a great resource to direct them towards so they can have all the tools they need to learn more about the project and speak up for its creation. 

With your help and support we can take this vision and make it a reality for the Fort Collins community! If you have further questions, connect with us or our Lead Partners:

Tammy VerCauteren, Executive Director, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, email: [email protected] or 970-482-1707 x 16

Carin Avila, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, email: [email protected] or 970-484-7756

Tallon Nightwalker, Executive Director, Northern Colorado Wildlife Center, email: [email protected]

We recognize the former Hughes Stadium site is the traditional homelands for several Indigenous Nations. The city is also home to Indigenous People representing many Nations. If our proposed project is approved for the City to work with us, we honor that a formal government-to-government consultation will need to occur between many Tribal Nations and the City of Fort Collins. We would also want to ensure broader engagement with Indigenous community members. We want to honor the people and stewardship of the area from thousands of years ago to present day and into the future.