How to celebrate Earth Day in Fort Collins

Ashley Potts

Earth Day, coming up on April 22, is the perfect way to enjoy the nice weather and celebrate the environment at the same time. Fort Collins offers many ways to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate Earth Day, whether that means attending an actual event or just getting outside to soak up the sun on your own.

Earth Day Festival


Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources will hold its annual Earth Day Festival on Friday, April 21. The event will take place in the Lory Student Center Sculpture Garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Many local organizations involved in sustainability will be featured at booths. There will also be opportunities to win a succulent by spinning the Wheel of Warner.

Earth Day Fort Collins

The Sustainable Living Association will be hosting Earth Day Fort Collins in Civic Center Park. The event will feature live music, a beer garden and many more family friendly activities. The event hopes to inspire guests to celebrate Earth Day every day in order to work towards conservation and preservation of our planet.

Earth Day Tree Sale and Giveaway

The Fort Collins Nursery will be holding an Earth Day Tree Sale and Giveaway. They will offer a 20 percent discount on all their trees on April 22 and 23. There will also be a potting activity from kids and drawings for a number of different prizes. You can also buy plants to keep the Earth Day celebration going.

Arbor Day 5K

While the Arbor Day 5K is not directly related to Earth Day, it is being held on April 22 and is a good way to celebrate two holidays in one. All profits from race entry fees will be donated to the Restoring Colorado’s Forests Fund, run through the Colorado State Forest Service. The funds will provide tree seedlings for planting on privately owned and state-managed lands throughout Colorado that have been most severely impacted by wildfire or other disasters. The event is put on by Alpha Gamma Omega, a Christian fraternity.

River Appreciation Day

The River Appreciation Day, hosted by Odell Brewing Co. ,is also not directly related to Earth Day, but is a good way to celebrate the Earth by cleaning up the river. The event will take place on April 23. from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting with a river clean up. Afterward, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be fly fishing tutorials. Information about summer fun on the river and a fly tying competition. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be live music, chances to win gear from Patagonia and Odell will be tapping their new Nail Knot Craft Lager.

If you cannot make these events, or prefer to celebrate Earth Day on your own, Fort Collins has plenty to offer in that vein.


sunset, Horsetooth, Earth Day
Catching a sunset over Horsetooth Reservoir is a great way to appreciate the Earth this Earth Day. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

Try one of the many Horsetooth hikes. There are plenty of options for all skill levels. The most popular are the Horsetooth Rock Trail and the Horsetooth Falls Trail. The Horsetooth Rock option is more for those at a moderate skill level and is about 2.1 miles long. Horsetooth Falls is a little easier and a little shorter at 1.2 miles long. Daily entrance permits are only $6 to $7 per vehicle, making for a super affordable day hike with friends.

Adjacent to Horsetooth is Lory State Park, which offers a number of outdoor actives as well. This area is popular for mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and hiking to Arthur’s Rock. Arthur’s Rock is another moderately easy trail and runs at 1.7 miles each way. The views of Horsetooth Reservoir at the top are spectacular.

sunset, Horsetooth, Earth Day
Catching a sunset over Horsetooth Reservoir is a great way to appreciate the Earth this Earth Day. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

The Cache La Poudre River Canyon and Red Feather Lakes are a bit farther from town, but has plenty of outdoor fun to offer. The river offers kayaking, rafting and fishing, while the lakes offer a more relaxed vibe. But the scenic drive is worth it.

If all of this will not quite fit in your schedule, you can always picnic in City Park. The park is open to the public everyday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and offers plenty of open space for whatever activity your heart desires. You can also watch the ducks swim in the pond, play on the playground or even catch a baseball game.

You can also celebrate Earth Day every day on your way to class by biking or walking through The Oval. The trees are currently blooming again, making for a pretty stroll to or from classes.

Ashley Potts can be reached at or Twitter @11smashley.