By Nicole Karem
Special to The SUN
The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) is looking for community members in Pagosa Springs to serve as Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gateway Community Ambassadors.
This program is aimed at educating the local community about the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and increasing local involvement and sense of ownership of the CDT.
The world-renowned, 3,100-mile-long trail sits just to the east of Pagosa Springs and the community became an official CDT Gateway Community in 2016.
Gateway Community Ambassadors are CDTC’s liaisons to the local community. With financial and logistical support from the CDTC, these volunteers organize events and other engagement opportunities along the CDT in their region each year, including group hikes, snowshoe expeditions, mountain bike adventures (where permissible), backpacking trips and more.
Gateway Community Ambassadors are asked to host three events per year and, in turn, the CDTC provides outdoor gear, resources and training opportunities.
“By connecting their neighbors and friends with the CDT, Gateway Community Ambassadors help strengthen their community and create an outdoor recreation culture that encourages everyone to enjoy our public lands,” said Teresa Martinez, CDTC executive director.
The hope is that one to two individuals, as Gateway Community Ambassadors, can serve as the local “CDT Expert.”
For those who are interested in getting involved, but don’t know much about the CDT, training can be provided to enhance volunteers’ outdoor leadership capabilities and knowledge of the trail in the area. Community Ambassadors then act as the primary resource for other residents and visitors to the town looking to experience the CDT and provide valuable information to the CDTC regarding how to best serve the community
The CDTC is seeking interested individuals who are enthusiastic to learn about and explore the CDT, connect with their local community and encourage other locals to get outside and onto the Trail. The CDTC invites anyone interested in the program to contact the Gateway Community coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nicole Karem