Poudre River

poudreThe Poudre River Group of UniverCity Connections envisioned a set of ecologically sound improvements to the river, and its riparian areas, that will increase the attractiveness of the river to residents of, and visitors to, the nearby Downtown/ CSU areas by creating an inviting, convenient, and more natural area that complements those more-urban areas, thus making the river an integral part of the experience of residents and visitors.

The two main parts of the vision are:

  • A healthy river environment
  • Public appreciation and enjoyment of the river

To move towards this vision, the Task Group has identified a general philosophy, goals, and action steps.

General philosopy

UniverCity Connections Poudre River Task Group strongly believes in partnerships and that all efforts to create a healthy river environment should be coordinated with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado State University Department of Fishery, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department and other partners.

What does restoration mean to us?

Restoring the health of the Poudre River does not mean trying to change the current status back to the condition it was in 1850s when the area was settled by Europeans. River restoration includes a set of activities such as channel, bed and bank modification, reduced bank erosion, enhanced seasonal stream-flow, and riparian vegetation management, that together improve the environmental health of a river. Improved health may be indicated by expanded habitat for diverse species of aquatic insects, fish, and other wildlife and improved water quality. A restored ecosystem is self-sustaining.

The Poudre River task group pursued some short term goals as well as longer term activities.

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Comfortable bench facing the river

One initiative was the purchase of a comfortable bench facing the Poudre River. This bench serves as an example of a type of bench which can be purchased for the community, for example in honor or memory of a loved one. This, and similar future benches in strategic locations will enhance public enjoyment of the river by providing even casual visitors places to enjoy the most interesting visual features of the river. Hopefully, their enjoyment of the river will activate interest in supporting further improvements in the health of the Poudre where it flows through downtown Fort Collins.

Another initiative is to provide advocacy and support of the Poudre River Downtown Project.  This is a multi-year project led by the City of Fort Collins is a master plan for the Cache la Poudre River in the downtown corridor (Shields Street to Mulberry Street) to improve in-river and bankside recreation, habitat connectivity, restoration and rehabilitation, bank protection, flood mitigation and floodplain management, water quality, public safety and access, and transportation.

A third initiative is related to the Poudre River Wiki. The group has brainstormed ideas for making this resource more accessible to the public.

Poudre River kayak crowdThe last major initiative from this task group is to serve as a facilitator and a liaison for the many stakeholders interested and involved in the consideration of a water park in the downtown area. By initiating conversations and connections between stakeholders, the group hopes to include the important elements of a good whitewater park in the formal river plan.

If you are interested in finding out more about the task group, contact us.


Anyone interested in hands-on volunteer work related to the Poudre River should sign up on the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas volunteer page.

Natural Areas Volunteer Page


Learn more about the Poudre River Downtown Project

Visit the Poudre River Downtown Project web page


Find out about history, impacted organizations, recreation, maps and more on the Poudre River Wiki:

Visit the Poudre River Wiki

Learn more about the Pouder River Water Park

View presentation on planned Poudre River White Water Park


Connect with the Poudre White Water Play Park on Facebook