There’s a new smiling face at the base of the Bighorns now that Alexis Petrie has joined the Sheridan Community Land Trust as a History & Community Education AmeriCorps VISTA.

Petrie (pronounced like the Petri dish used to culture cells in laboratories) comes to SCLT from Bellevue, Ohio, a small farming community near Lake Erie.

While she won’t be culturing cells, Petrie said SCLT’s “mix of history, community outreach and education sounded just up my alley.”

During her year with SCLT, Petrie will work with Historical Educator Carrie Edinger to create new ways to preserve and tell the stories of the people and cultures who have lived in Sheridan County over time, recruit and organize volunteers, build upon the success of the inaugural run of Discovery Sessions and help SCLT reach an even wider audience on social media and in the community.

“I hope to speak to as much of the community as I possibly can,” she asserts.

Prior to joining SCLT, Petrie earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Bowling Green State University, spent a year abroad in Scotland, and served as a substitute teacher in her hometown.

Petrie says that she’s never been to the West before and “Sheridan seemed to be the best stop for a new adventure.” She looks forward to hiking SCLT’s community trails, visiting Yellowstone this spring and engaging in the existential exercise of “whose winter’s worse” that’s so popular among northern latitude residents, no matter where they reside.

An early observation: “The wildlife I have seen so far have been exciting and I can’t wait to see more.”

“Alexis will be a tremendous addition to our team. Her experience, skills and talents will help more people learn new ways to experience the outdoors and connect with nature,” said SCLT Executive Director Brad Bauer.

For now, Petrie is eager to explore Sheridan County. If you have any tips for great places to visit or a lead on good fish and chips, please email Alexis at