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Connecting students to nature. Inspiring them to protect it.

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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.

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CAP Class

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Multi-Day Environmental Programs

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Latest Blog Posts

Cottonwood Institute Founder and ED participates in an ELK community event
November 29, 2023By Teagan Papke

Building Community Through Engagement

How cultivating connections has strengthened our collective impact. Written by Director of Strategic Partnerships, Teagan Papke. At Cottonwood Institute, our passion goes beyond our core mission. We’re dedicated to weaving a tapestry of strong, authentic relationships within our community. This…

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AXL student picking up trash
November 29, 2023By Teagan Papke

AXL Academy’s Trash Roundup

Tires, bottles, and buckets are some of the things AXL Academy students cleaned up! Written by Cottonwood Field Instructor Eeland Stribling As part of their CAP Action Project, AXL Academy students went looking for places to clean up near their…

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Student is tasked with making a fire, as small as possible and alive as long as possible
November 17, 2023By Teagan Papke

NVHS 1st Quarter CAP Class: An Extraordinary Journey

Unveiling Growth, Connection, and Environmental Awareness in a Quarter of Discovery. Written by CAP Instructor Sadie Norton. After CAP Class, in an anonymous survey, 92% of students agreed they are “more likely to make a positive difference in my community,”…

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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