Did you know that the City of Fort Collins offers tours of its public utilities? These free “Power Trip Bus Tours” visit Rawhide Energy Station (pictured), local energy sub-stations and more, all with the hopes of introducing the public to the different ways that electricity and water are generated and distributed through the city.
Fort Collins is also interested in how its citizens conserve energy, and provides a list of residential conservation programs for energy and water. According to the city, these programs saved over 200 million kilowatt-hours in 2019, enough electricity to power over 22,000 homes for an entire year — and they can save you a good deal of money at the same time.
Energy Conservation Programs
Efficiency Works Store: Get instant rebates on efficiency products at rebates.eworksstore.com
Efficiency Works – Home: Reduce costs and increase the comfort of your home with efficiency upgrades. Utilities customers can take advantage of a $60 efficiency audit (normally $600). fcgov.com/home-efficiency
Epic Loan: Competitive interest rates and no-money-down financing for up to 15 years on solar and water and energy efficiency projects. fcgov.com/financing
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling (Efficiency Works): Recycle your old refrigerator or freezer and receive a $35 check and get it hauled away for free. fcgov.com/rfr
Clothes Washer Rebates (Efficiency Works): Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer and receive a $50 bill credit. fcgov.com/washers
Green Energy Program: Purchase Green-e Energy certified renewable energy for an additional 2.65 cents per kilowatt-hour on top of your normal utility bill. fcgov.com/green-energy/
Solar Rebates: Install a solar PV system and receive up to $1,500 cash back. fcgov.com/solar
Water Conservation Programs
Sprinkler System Audits and Rebates: Get a free sprinkler system audit and equipment rebates. fcgov.com/sprinkler-audits
Xeriscape Incentive Program: Receive rebates to create a healthy, attractive landscape that conserves water and receive a rebate up to $750. fcgov.com/xip
Toilet Rebates: Receive a rebate when you buy a 1.1 gallons per flush or less toilet and recycle your old one. fcgov.com/toilet
Thank you to the City of Fort Collins for providing this information on a recent Power Trip Bus Tour, and for encouraging citizens to save money and resources through conservation!
Today I stumbled on a link I had to share with you: the Cache le Poudre River National Heritage Area video archive. If you are curious about the cities along the Poudre River (specifically Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley), these 30+ videos create a wonderful way to learn about the area without ever leaving home.
History buffs: The Poudre NHA has created many videos looking back on the heritage of the river; try The Poudre River Flood of 2013 or A River Runs Through It. The NHA also offers a great series of conversations with Northern Arapaho leaders such as Mark Soldier Wolf.
My personal favorite: The animated history of the National Heritage Area. What can I say—it’s adorable!
The moment that school begins, everyone’s calendars seem to flip to autumn. Fall technically arrives on September 23rd, and here are a few upcoming events that have clued me in that Colorado is ready:
- Fort Collins Water Lantern Festival. (Sept 21) Picture a clear night and a beautiful lake covered with glowing lanterns. Doesn’t that scene beg for knitted scarves and tall boots?
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Festival. (Sept 21) Maybe it’s just me, but a chocolate festival sounds like a definite fall outing. Aurora hosts a chocolate fest as well; their “Choctoberfest” takes place on Oct 12.
- Apple Juicing Day. (Sept 21) From the event page: “Community members are encouraged to bring their own backyard apples (fresh only, no groundfall) to press in Scrumpy’s large mobile juicing trailer. The apples are pressed, pasteurized, and packaged before guests’ eyes.” Yum!
- Fall Equinox Marathon. (Sept 22) It’s right in the name! Equinox holds races twice a year, and their fall event is coming up quickly. Not up for a full marathon? This race through the canyon also includes half-marathon and 5k options.
- Lore Podcast Live. (Oct 11) This podcast is a personal obsession of mine. Because it “exposes the dark side of history” through creepy true-to-life stories, it definitely belongs to autumn.
- Loveland Zombie Crawl. (Oct 19) It’s just what it sounds like: put on your best zombie makeup and prowl Loveland. It’s spooky, but it’s a family-friendly event!
One day it’s music festivals and outdoor yoga, then all of a sudden it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season! Which autumn events are you looking forward to most? Check back soon for a Halloween-specific event roundup!
Red Rocks Amphitheater. Garden of the Gods. Yampa River Botanic Park.
These places all conjure up images of gorgeous landscapes under bright Colorado skies — which makes them wonderful places to do yoga! I am loving this article from UCHealth, “Outdoor yoga: Top spots from Red Rocks to your park or county fair,” which includes yoga spots I’ve never heard of (Dragonfly Paddle Yoga) as well as bilingual yoga (Denver Botanic Gardens) and — a bucket list item for me — goat yoga (Boulder County Fair).
With the school year right around the corner, I’m going to need fun new ways to unwind. Where are some of your favorite spots for an outdoor tree pose?
Did you know that all Colorado State Parks celebrate Military Appreciation Month in August? Here is how you can take advantage of the parks’ free admission this month (details and image courtesy of Lory State Park):
Stop by any Colorado Parks and wildlife locations show one of the following:
DD Form 2 (reserve / retired)
DD Form 2765
DD Form 214
Colorado drivers license with Veteran identifier
Military personnel receive a state park annual valid for the month of August.
Visit the Colorado State Parks website for a full list of military benefits that extend throughout the year.
By the way: veterans and active duty military, are you looking to relocate? I am a certified military residential specialist; reach out if I can be of help, and thank you for your service!
Here’s an interesting development to keep an eye on: Montava! I can’t help but be intrigued by all of these examples of “New Urbanism” that I see popping up. New Urbanism focuses on walkable neighborhoods, diverse types of housing, and environmentally-friendly design. (Read my blog about Longmont’s Prospect New Town for another example of New Urbanism.)
Montava is located in Fort Collins, just north of Mountain Vista (near Budweiser). It calls itself an “Agri-Urban community,” saying, “There is a rich history of agriculture in Fort Collins. We are embracing this history by integrating true urban farming into the DNA of Montava. By setting aside land that can be used to grow a wide variety of produce, we can foster people’s connection with their food at this most basic level. With our partners at Native Hill Farm, Montava will become a sustaining influence for generations.”
The people bringing Montava to life keep their own blog, which includes stories about “Planning for People, Bikes, and Not Cars” and “Reviving Quaint.” You can also keep up on Montava’s development on Facebook or Instagram, or read more about their principles of human-scaled design and sustainable communities on their website.
I can’t get enough of this 303 Magazine article about the different food halls in Colorado!
Missed the food hall trend? 303 explains:
“The food hall is definitely not a new concept, food and market halls have been around for centuries… [Food halls] have been hubs to house butchers, cheesemongers, bakers, makers and farmers to sell their goods under one roof, usually downtown, for workers and tourists to have a central location to grab lunch and also groceries to take home.”
I’m thrilled to see Fort Collins’ own The Exchange on this list (read about why I love The Exchange), plus nearby Jessup Farm Artisan Village and Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market. I also love the style of Denver’s Milk Market in the Dairy Block (pictured here) — but I clearly have several more to explore.
Do you have a favorite? What a vibrant addition to any region!
Save the date! Rist Canyon Mountain Festival takes place on September 7, 2019. In their words:
“Rist Canyon Mountain Festival is the annual fundraiser for the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department. This one-day event features live entertainment, silent auction, book & plant sales, kid’s activities, free admission, free parking, free ice cream and so much more!”
Be honest: when’s the last time you had a chance to soak a firefighter in a dunk tank? And for a good cause, of course — the RCVFD operates 100% by donations and funds raised at their annual festival.
We’re in the full swing of summer, and for me that means taking my meetings out of the office and into the sun. Below are a few unique spots in Fort Collins where we could cool down while we talk shop.
- Old Town Churn is situated at the heart of The Exchange, which I blogged about here. Their Salted Oreo flavor is from another planet and The Exchange’s outdoor lawn area is kid-friendly.
- Walrus Ice Cream is a FoCo staple, as much for their playful flavors as for the walrus-inspired art covering the walls.
- Revolution Artisan Pops offers homemade gelato and ice pops. I love that they collaborate with other local businesses, from dairies to coffee shops to juiceries. Did you know Revolution is owned and operated by students at CSU?
- Union Bar & Soda Fountain is worth visiting just to check out their mid-century decor. In their own words, Union puts their “own creative twist on timeless recipes such as egg creams, phosphate sodas and even milkshakes.” They also offer cocktails, a full menu, and a beautiful patio.
- Eating healthier this summer? I haven’t forgotten you! Ba-nom-a-nom is a mobile food cart which offers soft serve made from fruit. Their goodies are “dairy free (vegan), gluten free, nut free, sugar free, fat free, & egg free by nature.” The cart can often be found at the FoCo Food Truck Rally.
I am only scratching the surface—Fort Collins has no shortage of summer sweets. Give me a call to meet up at one of my favorites, or at yours!