Carol Potter doesn’t just dream about change. She rolls up her sleeves and makes it happen. As executive director of the Park City Mountain Trails Foundation, Potter works tirelessly to connect Park City’s people, places, and land.
And the connections she’s building are quite literal. By writing federal and regional grants, and partnering with private donors, Potter enhances Park City’s remarkable trail network while also advocating for new paved and backcountry trails.
“Park City is unique in the country,” says Potter, noting that most of the community’s trails sit on private land. “Our city’s visionaries saw the need for trails and open space, and they made sure developers accounted for this in their plans.” These progressive land use and conservation practices provide a welcoming environment for trail advocacy and fundraising. “We have lots of opportunities here,” she says.
But until recently, one piece of Potter’s fundraising puzzle has been missing: the existence of a community foundation. And it’s a resource Potter knows how to tap into. As the former director of the Cadillac Area Visitor’s Bureau in Michigan, Potter made the most of her region’s community foundation, typically writing federal grants for major funding and then matching that money with grants from the community foundation. “It became the champion for every good idea I had,” she says.
"The community foundation became the champion for every good idea I had."
And now, she’s planning a similar partnership with The Park City Foundation. “It’s going to be a huge benefit to Park City,” she says. “There are many worthy projects in the Park City area,” says Potter. “But it will be up to The Foundation board to determine which projects will truly benefit our community.”
For local nonprofits, the benefits are clear. Like tapping into new, local sources of funding. And discovering a whole network of private donors. “There are certainly people out there who I don’t know, but who love our trails,” says Potter. “Through The Foundation, we’ll be able to connect with them.”
“There are certainly people out there who I don’t know, but who love our trails. Through The Foundation, we’ll be able to connect with them.”
And when she does, watch out. Potter’s plans include connecting ever-more backcountry trails, adding more bike lanes throughout town, and enhancing signage everywhere to make the community more bikeable, walkable, skiable, and rideable than ever before.
“My dream is to connect the McCloud Creek Trail to Round Valley to the Park City Rail Trail,” says Potter. “Once this happens, all of Park City will be connected.” And now that she has decided that her dream is do-able, it’s time for a major grant-writing push to begin. “We’re doing our homework, getting our bonds, writing our grants,” says Potter. “And The Park City Foundation will be the next piece of the puzzle.”