Whitefish Legacy Partners started in 2003 with volunteers and has grown into an organization with driven, professional staff working full-time to protect our local lands, develop the Whitefish Trail, and provide free outdoor education opportunities to the community.
Heidi Van Everen, Executive Director
My background in recreation and conservation started nearly 30 years ago in New England working and volunteering in the Green Mountains of VT and with the Appalachian Mountain Club working on the Professional Trail Crew in the White Mountains of NH. I moved west to complete my master’s degree at the University of Colorado – Boulder/CIRES in the early 90’s and began my professional career in the GIS department of an engineering firm. I was active in my local mountain community of Nederland, Colorado and thoroughly enjoyed exploring Colorado’s high country outside my backdoor. My science and GIS work background led me to the Nature Conservancy Colorado Field Office where I joined the science team working to support conservation and large community-driven projects across the west. In 2007, I moved to Whitefish, Montana with my husband, two children, and two dogs where I immediately gravitated to program work and grant writing for the Whitefish Trail and Whitefish Legacy Partners. Since 2011, I have been working as the Executive Director, growing the organization, and developing strong community connections and solid public-private partnerships to support conservation, recreation, education and community stewardship throughout the Flathead Valley.
Alan Davis, Director of Development
Growing up in the shadows of Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee, I developed an appreciation for wild places at a young age. I was introduced to the non-profit sector at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, developing a new environmental-youth, grant program for the Sustainability Institute and Lowcountry Earth Force. After earning a degree in Geology and Environmental Geosciences, I managed an organic farm on Wadmalaw Island, SC, commercial fished in Southeast Alaska, and designed and installed vegetated roofs as a Senior Project Manager for Living Roofs Inc. in Asheville, NC. My wife Frances and I moved to Whitefish in 2014, bought a home, and can usually be found biking, skiing, climbing, or floating together in the mountains. I joined the team at Whitefish Legacy Partners in 2015 to help protect our local land base and develop local trails. I am excited to work with project partners and devoted community members on the next phase of the Whitefish Trail project to permanently protect Smith Lake.
Margosia Jadkowski, Director of Lands & Partnerships
Originally from Maine, I studied Geology at Colby College and have a Master’s Degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University. While at Harvard, I led research specializing in community messaging around conservation and recreation. After working as an Environmental Planner for the City of Savannah, Georgia for several years, I moved west for the mountain and enjoy biking, running the Whitefish Trail with my dog Pete, backpacking, skiing, and fly fishing. Previous to joining Whitefish Legacy Partners in 2017, I worked as the Outreach Coordinator for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation.
Jedd Sankar-Gorton, Program Manager
Though originally from Philadelphia, I’ve spent most of my adult life working and playing in northwest Montana. I love the mountains and the people here. This connection stems from an undergraduate field semester completed in the Swan Valley and two terms with the Montana Conservation Corps based out of Kalispell. Since those foundational experiences, I went back to work for MCC as a staff member, got married here, did a Master’s degree in Geography in Missoula, and completed a Fulbright Research grant in Slovenia on outdoor education in the Alps. Now I am joining Whitefish Legacy Partners to help do the hard work to conserve this ecosystem and ensure access for generations to come. When I am not at work, I am on my bike or my skis, cooking with my wife, or watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Christiane Hinterman Prew, Education Coordinator
I loved playing in the woods of Michigan as a child and I found a way to keep doing it professionally! As an avid nature lover, mother, and active community member, I am ecstatic to be working as WLP’s Education Coordinator. I have enjoyed leading the summer youth programs, and I am ready to take on more! I hold a bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Interpretation, a master’s degree in Environmental Education, and have spent years as a ranger in several National Parks and Forests as well as with nonprofits providing educational opportunities. My husband and I moved to Whitefish in 2010 from Colorado to continue careers dedicated to connecting people with the outdoors. When I am not on trail you might find me on the yoga mat, playing music, creating art, or playing with my little girls.
Sam Bracken, Trail Coordinator
Originally from Rhode Island, I took my first job with the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew in Pinkham Notch, NH. Working that summer in the mountains of northern New England, I developed a love for hand tools and trail work. After the AMC I followed the trails out to Montana and took a trails internship at Spotted Bear Ranger District. I worked 5 seasons in the Bob Marshall cutting and building trail, and meanwhile earned a degree from UM in Recreation Resource Management. After a brief stint in the logging industry, I became certified as an arborist and have spent the last 6 years with various tree and forestry outfits here in Whitefish. I am now thrilled to be back out on the trails and working for the Whitefish Legacy Partners as the trail’s coordinator. An avid gardener, I am often found studying wildflowers or pulling weeds with my wife, daughter and dog on a warm afternoon.