DCS Students work on their service project


Wildfire Project with DCS Montessori

DCS Montessori embarked on the Wildfire Project with Cottonwood Institute this May to learn about the past, present, and future of wildfires in Colorado. Written by Field Instructor Tucker Knight. DCS Montessori partnered with Cottonwood Institute for a week of wildfire education and exploration at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, located near Red Feather Lakes northwest… Read more »

Robert Marquez


Alum Robert Marquez Joins Cottonwood Board

Cottonwood Institute is thrilled to announce that we have appointed Robert Marquez, a freshman at Colorado Mesa University, to our Board of Directors! Robert is an alum of our CAP class at Angevine Middle School and Centaurus High School, and received the coveted Ripple Effect Award in 2018 for his outstanding enthusiasm and care in… Read more »

Littleton Academy students pose while cooking dinner


Licked by Wolves: Littleton Academy at Mission:Wolf

Littleton Academy students ventured to Mission: Wolf to learn about wolves’ key part in our ecosystems. Written by CI Instructor Tucker Knight.   Cottonwood Institute scooped up 19 Littleton Academy students this Memorial Day Weekend for an end-of-school celebration trip. Students realized quickly that although school was officially out, the learning had yet to begin…. Read more »

Cottonwood Institute staff members taking a selfie with one of our tents


Instructor Training: Learning from Each Other

At Cottonwood Institute spring instructor training, staff members learned from each other, modeled real trip practices, and bonded! Written by Program Manager Dru Falco. At Cottonwood Institute, we want to cultivate an atmosphere of continual learning and community care. Our spring instructor training this year embodied those two values. Eleven folks attended, some of whom… Read more »

New Vista students passing logs to each other during their fire mitigation project


Team Bonding through Fire and Ice

New Vista students did lots of bonding on their spring overnight, whether by fire or by ice. Written by Field Instructor M Tormasi. Upon arriving at Cal-wood’s Solitude Camp, New Vista High School CAP students displayed their excitement and dedication through an efficient and coordinated unloading of the vans. From the moment our clean boots… Read more »


Tips For Your Child’s First Camping Trip

Ready for your child’s first camping trip? Follow these tips for a great experience! Written by experts at Global Emergency Medics. Camping is a wonderful way to spend uninterrupted quality time with your child, free from technology and the constant distractions of daily responsibilities. Spending time in the outdoor world is a valuable experience for… Read more »

CHS fire spring overnight. Students looking out at a view


Centaurus’ visit to Left Hand Fire Station

Centaurus High School students explore questions about fire and visit a wildland fire station on their overnight. Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. Becalmed atop a hill, the group surveys a wide and snowy vista. The wind whispers hello as it heralds a frosty moisture. Clouds marshal themselves above snowy peaks and hurry towards the… Read more »

Lauren Guthrie Legacy Scholarship Bash 2023


Still Glowing from the 2023 Base Camp Bash

Colorado environmental education nonprofit Cottonwood Institute hosted its spring benefit, the Base Camp Bash, in April. Thank you to all of our attendees and sponsors! Check out photos from the 2023 Base Camp Bash Here. The 2023 Base Camp Bash was fire and we are still glowing from an amazing evening to support Cottonwood Institute,… Read more »

Changemakers show off their newly screenprinted shirts!


The Environmental Impacts of Fashion

Changemakers spend their spring overnight exploring the environmental impacts of fashion and screenprinting their own t-shirts. Written by Instructor Chelsea Tossing. Escrito en español más abajo. Cheap t-shirts may seem like a steal, but do you know what your clothes really cost? Changemakers set out on our spring overnight trip to learn more about the… Read more »

Lost Creek Wilderness


Best Spring Hikes near Denver

It’s spring in the Front Range! The grass is green, the birds are singing, there’s snow in the mountains…wait, there’s still snow in the mountains?!? If you’re craving some warm sunshine before the high country has melted out, check out these trails close to home for some of the best spring hikes near Denver. The… Read more »