Connecting Continental Divide Trail community members in celebration of trail towns!
Missed the 2024 Summit? You can find recordings of each session below, as well as a list of useful resources for Gateway Communities.
Gateway Community and Trail Town members, volunteers, tourism professionals, and members of federal agencies will enjoy the opportunity to learn about how communities along the Divide are contributing to stewardship of the Continental Divide Trail! Attendees are encouraged to participate in as many or as few sessions as they would like. Not located near the Continental Divide Trail? Don’t worry! Trail town enthusiasts located anywhere will benefit from and enjoy the sessions.
Join the CDTC as we kickoff Gateway Community Celebration Month! This session will include:
- A welcome from CDTC staff
- An introduction to the CDT Gateway Community program
- A chance to interact with members of other Gateway Communities and Gateway Community supporters
- A group discussion about the biggest challenges facing Gateway Communities and how the CDTC can equip communities to face these challenges
Come listen, share your perspective, and meet others!
This session will be led by CDTC Community and Outreach Program Manager, Liz Schmit. Meet the speaker:
Liz Schmit – Community and Outreach Program Manager
Liz Schmit joined the CDTC in November 2022. Prior to coming on-board with the CDTC, Liz worked with Colorado state agencies under the Department of Education and the Department of Natural Resources. Liz has also worked in community engagement with Denver Center for the Performing Arts, strengthening outreach and collaborating with local partners to ensure arts accessibility in Denver-Metro communities. She is a firm believer that community has no geographical boundaries and is inspired by the interdependence of community well-being and environmental health along trail communities.
Targeted towards current Ambassadors, individuals interested in becoming an Ambassador, individuals who are curious about the Ambassador program, and those passionate about increasing access to the CDT and outdoor recreation, this session will focus on:
- An overview of the Gateway Community Ambassador program
- Resources for Ambassadors, including our brand new Ambassador Toolkit
- Tips from experienced Ambassadors
- A roundtable discussion and Q&A period
This session will be led by CDTC Community Engagement Coordinator Claire Cutler. Meet the speaker:
Claire Cutler – Community Engagement Coordinator (she/her)
Claire Cutler grew up in Kailua, Hawaii exploring Oahu’s mountains and ocean. She developed a love for environmental science and policy, and attended Georgetown University to study Science, Technology, and International Affairs. After graduating, she spent time serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA and living in Great Basin National Park, where she helped the park’s non-profit partner with education programs and communications. She is an avid runner on both roads and trails and also enjoys hiking, elaborate baking projects, and reading.
CDTC staff members will lead a webinar on how you can turn your passion for the CDT into action, focusing on demystifying trail policy and engaging with decision makers, providing real examples on how to mobilize people and communities on the CDT. There will also be time for Q&A. Join this session to learn more about:
- How you can get involved in using your voice to protect and complete the CDT
- Policy priorities and community campaigns that enhance the CDT experience
- Strategies for mobilizing your community for the CDT
This session will bring together staff from across CDT focus areas to share their expertise. Meet the speakers:
Cornell “Corey” Torivio – New Mexico Regional Representative (he/him)
Cornell “Corey” Torivio was born in San Bernardino, CA. He is Native American from the Pueblo of Acoma, NM. The founder of Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, he has built a strong foundation that, to this day, continues to change the lives of Native youth. Corey has been in the preservation and conservation field for more than 20 years. Having worked with Acoma’s Historic Preservation Office, he received the Heritage Preservation Award from former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for his outstanding work on the San Estevan Del Rey Mission at Old Acoma. Corey brings his knowledge and expertise in working with Indigenous communities, preservation, and conservation, with him to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Corey’s most successful effort was having Ancestral Lands Youth Corps be the model of the Native American Conservation Act.
L Fisher – Trail Policy Program Manager (they/them)
L Fisher is an educator and community organizer who grew up in rural Indiana. They received dual degrees in Philosophy and Political Science before earning their Masters in Political Science from Indiana University. Before moving out west, they worked on campaigns and in policy advocacy throughout Indiana and parts of Texas. L’s passion for environmental policy eventually took them to Montana, where they worked as a conservationist and outdoor educator along the Rocky Mountain Front. When they are not working, L is dedicated to being an avid reader, amateur chef, and hiking enthusiast.
Jordan Williams – Colorado Regional Representative (he/him)
Jordan calls the Pacific Northwest home, but the sunshine and mountains have kept him in Colorado for over ten years now. Jordan’s professional background includes stints in college athletics, community recreation, and natural resources. While working for the Poudre Heritage Alliance (the nonprofit partner of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area), his wife had the crazy idea to hike the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango with their dog. After 31 days of backpacking, Jordan had officially fallen in love with the Continental Divide. Now he looks forward to promoting and protecting that landscape throughout Colorado with CDTC. Jordan spends his free time volunteering in the Northern Colorado community, trail running with his dog, trying to become a better skier, and supporting his wife’s love of rock climbing.
Apply what you’ve learned throughout the Gateway Community Summit to your own community! This session will have multiple opportunities for Gateway Community members, summit attendees, and CDTC staff to collaborate.
Inspired by the summit and ready to apply what you’ve heard to your community? Join our project incubator! Collaborate with CDTC staff and other summit attendees to get your project up and running. Then, offer your expertise to other communities’ projects.
Curious about how to apply what you’ve learned to your own community? Working through questions about what you’ve learned? Join our “What Else?” session! CDTC staff members can answer your follow-up questions about previous summit sessions, connect you to useful resources, and lead a conversation about next steps in your community.
- Small Business Survey: The Continental Divide Trail Coalition is also conducting its 2023 Small Business Survey to learn more about how the CDT impacts local businesses, their local economy, and their support for public lands. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and your answers will help guide the ongoing stewardship of the trail.
- CDT Gateway Community Ambassador Program: Visit our Community Ambassador page to learn more about the program and how you can become an Ambassador!
- CDT Gateway Communities: Visit our Gateway Community website to learn more about the program and each designated community.
- Day and Section Hiking Resources: Find resources that will help you explore the CDT near your town.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Learn about opportunities to volunteer with the CDTC. Or, learn more specifically about becoming a Trail Adopter or a Community Ambassador.
- Trail Needs Report Form: Does a portion of the CDT near you need additional signage or other attention? Let us know.
- Community Ambassador Toolkit: Find visual assets that Community Ambassadors can use to promote their events.
- Community Ambassador Training Resources: Find free educational resources on outdoor recreation and environmental topics to prepare Community Ambassadors to host their next event.
- What is the CDT Completion Act?: Learn about the three main directives of the CDT Completion Act.
- Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act: Learn about the CORE Act and how you can take action to protect public lands in Colorado.
- The San Luis Valley: A Priority Community and Landscape Along the CDT: Read about research conducted by a CDTC intern in the San Luis Valley.
- Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument: Learn about the Camp-Hale Continental Divide National Monument, which includes over 20 miles of the CDT!
- Sign Up for Advocacy Alerts: Receive email alerts for opportunities to use your voice to advocate for the CDT.
- Forming and Running State or Regional Trail Coalitions – Important Points and Practices: Find best practices developed by the American Trails on running a regional or state trail coalition.