Kids standing in the snow

Connecting students to nature. Inspiring them to protect it.

For PartnersFor Donors

Inspiring the next generation of Changemakers

Since 2004, CI has engaged students in innovative programs that support confidence-building outdoor skill development, immersive environmental learning, and student-directed community action.

6,650
Students Served Since 2004

Explore Programs

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CAP Class

boy by the river with a bug in his hands

Multi-Day Environmental Programs

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Changemakers

Latest Blog Posts

Coral Amayi
May 12, 2024By Ford Church

Alumni Spotlight: Coral Amayi Shares How Her CAP Class Impacted Her Career 20 Years Later

We recently caught up with Coral Amayi, who took one of our original Community Adventure Programs (CAP Class) at New Vista High School 20 years ago back in 2004 with Ford Church, our Founder and Executive Director How have you…

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May 10, 2024By Ford Church

Donate $10,000 To Cottonwood Institute And Receive A 3-Night Inspirato Vacation Package

  Yep, you read that right. We are so excited to partner with Inspirato to offer a special incentive to our donors. Donate $10,000+ in Cryptocurrency, stock, or via your Donor Advised Fund through our partners at The Giving Block…

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Jesse Holtshnider (’24) and Ignacio Precadio Gutierrez (’27) mess around while building the Quinzee.(Shira Nathan)
May 7, 2024By Teagan Papke

A Student Account of CAP Class in Centaurus High School’s Newspaper

In CAP class, students learn to connect with nature – and each other. Written by Shira Nathan, Centaurus High School CAP Class Student and Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Warrior Scroll. Note: Some of the students interviewed speak Spanish as their first…

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two people hugging, one holding an award
Featured Event

Base Camp Bash

The Base Camp Bash is our main fundraising event! This is our annual excuse to get together in person, have fun, and celebrate our students and successes. The Bash is where we present the coveted Ripple Effect Award, which honors one student from each of our schools who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in their Cottonwood Institute programs.

The Base Camp Bash helps raise the critical funds we need each year to connect students to the outdoors and empower them to take action to improve their schools, the community, and the environment for future generations. Join us next year!

Support Cottonwood Institute

Your support allows us to offer free programs that break down barriers to the outdoors. Help us connect students to nature and inspire them to protect it – make a tax-deductible donation to Cottonwood Institute today.

Donate Today