Chris joined the GOCO Programs team (Southern Front Range) in January 2022.
What did you do before you came to GOCO?
I am passionate about the environment and people; I have been lucky to work for companies and nonprofits that share that passion. I started my career in marketing and design at a fair-trade organic coffee roasting company. I traveled to Peru, met directly with coffee farmers, and brought their stories back to customers here in the US. I then transitioned to nonprofit work and fundraising. I recently spent 10 years at the Catamount Institute, an environmental education nonprofit in Colorado Springs. Being a part of an organization whose mission is to help kids experience new things outdoors and build their love of nature fed my passion for outdoor equity.
What brought you to GOCO?
At Catamount Institute, I had the opportunity to help create the local Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region coalition. I met GOCO staff during the process and learned more about the fantastic things the organization has done in Colorado. I knew right away that I wanted to get to know this passionate group of people and maybe even work with them one day. I never really thought the latter was possible since I live in Colorado Springs. In 2021, the Southern Front Range Regional Officer position opened, and I knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity to join the team I long admired.
What are you most excited to tackle at GOCO?
I am excited to get on the road to learn about projects and meet the folks advancing outdoor access and equity in their communities. Generation Wild also holds a special place in my heart; I look forward to more opportunities to support projects and programs that help get the next generation outdoors.
What are some of your favorite things to do outdoors?
Being Norwegian, I subscribe to the lifestyle of Friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) or "open-air life," which is just taking time to connect with nature, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the simplicity of the outdoors, even in the winter or "bad weather" days. You will find me outdoors in all kinds of weather, hiking in the mountains, biking on regional trails, or exploring my neighborhood parks.
Where is your favorite place to get outdoors in Colorado?
There are so many great places to choose from, and I love the opportunity to go to new places to explore. One place I find myself going back to is Castlewood Canyon State Park. There are great trails above the canyon with incredible views, and the trail in the canyon along Cherry Creek is perfect for a hot summer day.
What is your most memorable outdoors mishap?
Once, on a famous bike route in Norway called Rallarvegen (a 32-mile ride from the mountains to the fjords), I flipped over my bike's handlebars and watched in slow motion as the rented bike went over the side of the trail, tumbling down the steep slope to a river below. When I finally got the bike back, the front wheel was completely bent, and I had to push the bike for miles out of the trail. Not only was the bike damaged, but my pants also ripped during the fall to top it all off! All I could do was laugh at myself and be thankful no one was there to watch it all go down.
What is the coolest wildlife you have spotted while outdoors in Colorado?
Being the absolute cat lover I am, seeing a bobcat was the pinnacle of wildlife viewing for me.