At a Glance

Over a mile of the Poudre River through the heart of downtown Fort Collins will be enhanced to provide thousands of visitors the opportunity to swim, tube, picnic, walk, bike, fish, bird watch, and have a good time while the natural resources and wildlife corridors are protected and fish passage and habitat are improved in the river.

Project Description

Biohabitats was an integral member of the BHA Design-led multi-disciplinary team, retained by the City of Fort Collins, to develop a master plan and design for over a mile of the Poudre River corridor through downtown Fort Collins. The Poudre River—the original agricultural, business and commercial hub of the city—holds an iconic status for the community. Recognizing its significance for recreation and conservation , the City began managing the river corridor to protect its high value natural resources and recreational user experience for biking, walking, picnicking, tubing, swimming, and fishing. However, several constraints hindered recreational use and degraded the natural value, including two water diversion dams; areas of steep, riprap channel banks; and major road and rail crossings.

Biohabitats assisted the design team with natural resources assessment (vegetative communities and wildlife habitat, ecological connectivity, floodplain and riparian buffer, and wetland/groundwater recharge areas) and geomorphic characterization of the river and adjacent lands. Biohabitats established suitability criteria and developed the ecological framework for buffer widths and habitat zones that were incorporated in the river master plan.

With a community approved master plan, the project advanced to design. Biohabitats integrated ecological design and planting to enhance aquatic habitat, provide recreational access, maximize ecological functions of the floodplain, provide fish passage, and stabilize the natural river bank. The project won a 2022 Merit Award from the Colorado American Society of Landscape Architects.



Southern Rocky Mountain

Physiographic Province

Colorado Piedmont Section of the Great Plains


Cache la Poudre

Expertise Areas

Urban Ecology, Water


City of Fort Collins


Fort Collins, Colorado, United States


2022 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter