Issue: The Community Adventure Program (CAP) is a unique course that the Cottonwood Institute has implemented into local middle and high schools. Through this program students learn about outdoor awareness and environmental sustainability. They are also provided with the opportunity to make real change in their communities by addressing a local environmental issue. firths quarter at New Vista High School in Boulder, CAP students decided to address the issue of individualized transportation in cars.
Plan: To begin, the students sat down to brainstorm what form they wanted their action project to take. After many great ideas were passed around they decided to break up into small groups to address three alternative transportation options: Biking, carpooling and bus/education.
“I learned many things in this class that I will probably never forget. I truly believe we made an impact on the transportation in Boulder. All it takes is a couple of small actions to save the earth, so get out there and make a change!” ~Patrick Hopewell
Impact: The students took it into their hands to organize a bike/walk to school day which turned out to be agreat success! One hundred and twenty students and teachers participated, and the morning of October 8th, 2008 found the New Vista bike rack completely packed! The students created a colorful carpool board to help their peers identify potential routs to school, and also created artwork on the theme “imagine a car free world.” As a final culmination of their project, the CAP students presented their wok to the staff of the University of Colorado’s Environmental Center. The presentation took the form of a panel discussion in which the students explained their action project and answered questions from the audience. When asked, “who will take what they have learned and apply it to their lives,” every student raised their hand!
“This CAP class was, without a doubt, one of the best classes I have taken at New Vista… CAP helped me understand more about my place in the world and how I want to save it. CAP exponentially raised my awareness of the interconnected social and environmental issues that are embroiled in the world… it has helped me understand the incredible potential and opportunity I have as a high school student to make a true difference in the world.” ~Josie Brown