Spotlight On: Andrea Kurth
Andrea Kurth is the Gateway Program Manager for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and has been a member of Next 100 Colorado since February 2019.
How does your job help make Colorado’s outdoor spaces more diverse, equitable, and inclusive? As CDTC's Gateway Community Program Manager, I work to introduce communities in Colorado to the world-class natural resource that goes through their state - the Continental Divide Trail. At CDTC, we believe that ALL people should feel like they belong on the CDT - whether they want to access it for a day hike, spend a weekend backpacking, or attempt a thru-hike from border to border. That's why we provide all kinds of information, maps, and other resources that folks need to discover the trail. We also work to empower CDT stewards through our Gateway Community program. As part of this program, Gateway Communities across Colorado help promote the CDT as a recreational resource to that community's residents as well as visitors. In many of our Gateway Communities, this presents a unique opportunity to reach folks that aren't included in the dominant narrative of recreation or conservation. It's my hope that one day all residents of Colorado will know about the CDT and feel empowered to access it, no matter their background, race, ethnicity, or ability. How has Next 100 Colorado changed the way you approach your work? Next 100 Colorado has connected me with an amazing group of other individuals and organizations in the state who are working on outdoor equity. Being a part of Next 100 Colorado made it easier to introduce more folks to the Trail through collaborative outreach initiatives with other members. Participating in group calls and projects also puts issues of access and equity to the outdoors top of mind and has opened my eyes to possible solutions that I can be a part of through my work at CDTC.
What is your favorite outdoor spot in Colorado?
Mesa Verde - officially my favorite National Park! The preservation of the cliff dwellings is truly remarkable. I loved imagining people climbing in and out of their homes on a daily basis, and I kind of wish I had to complete a similar physical feat to get into my own home! Every Coloradan looking to gain more insight about the stories and histories of the lands where we live should absolutely pay a visit. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Lying in a hammock and reading a book. Who inspired your career in conservation/the outdoors? I'm inspired every day by other leaders of color - many of whom are not recognized or compensated for their work - who are advancing equity in the outdoors and making the conservation movement more inclusive. It's my job to use my privilege and the platform I've been given to help amplify the voices of others and advance this work in whatever way is available to me.