The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance recently kicked off the seventh round of the Conservation Leadership Institute (CLI). This round’s participants include a recent U.S. Congressional candidate, a retired communications executive, environmental educators, service industry employees, local activists, and nonprofit staff from partner organizations. When the 9-week program wraps up in mid-November, round seven will add 16 graduates to the already 93 individuals who have completed the first six rounds of the program.
CLI is a rigorous leadership development program that provides graduates with the skills and knowledge to organize, advocate, and hold local decision-makers accountable for building a better future for Jackson Hole. Each weekly workshop features a guest speaker, and throughout the course the participants work on a skill-building project. This round, participants will work on encouraging first time voters to go to the polls this November.
Past graduates are now some of the emerging conservation and community leaders in the valley. Examples include Ali Dunford, Executive Director of Hole Food Rescue, Allison Michalski, who is working with the Friends of the Teton River to protect our area waterways, and Travis Ziehl, who is now running for the Teton Conservation District at-large seat.
Paul Wendland, a round 2 CLI graduate, described his experience in CLI: “I learned to not only understand and dissect the issues facing our community, but to engage, plan, strategize, and take action on those same issues in a meaningful and impactful way.”
When reflecting on how CLI influences her current work, Peggie DePasquale said, “It has given me a better connection [to] the community and equipped me with great tools to implement change.”
Alliance Executive Director Craig M. Benjamin explains, “We are proud to offer CLI at no charge to participants in order to make it accessible to all. It’s fantastic collaborating with all of the graduates in creating a better future for Jackson Hole, whether that’s through their engagement in Alliance programs, with partner organizations, or on their own community and conservation endeavors.”
The Alliance looks forward to seeing the continuing, positive impact of past and future CLI graduates on our community.
For more information about CLI, visit jhalliance.org/get-involved/conservation-leadership-institute/.