A Changemaker student practices ancestral skills at the ancestral skills gathering at Ollin Farms


Changemakers Spark Ancestral Skills Revival: Reconnecting Community Through Fire, Shelter & Crafts

Students Lead Frigid-Weather Gathering, Fostering Sustainability & Connection to Heritage. Written by Associate Director and Senior Instructor Chelsea Tossing. In a world increasingly dominated by technology, our Changemaker students have been craving to reconnect themselves and their community with ancestral skills. This past weekend, our Changemaker Outdoor Leadership Program welcomed 40 eager members of the… Read more »

A student speaks at the Outdoor and Environmental Opportunity Fair


Together for Tomorrow: A Cottonwood-ELK Collaboration Sparks Youth Enthusiasm for Environmental Careers

Inspiring the Next Wave of Environmental Stewards: How This Collaborative Event Is Helping Shape the Future of Outdoor and Environmental Advocacy. Written by Associate Director & Senior Instructor Chelsea Tossing. With a shared vision of empowering young people and fostering a deeper connection with nature, Cottonwood Institute and Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) brought together… Read more »

A student hiding amongst the trees like a mischievous wood elf!


The Changemakers’ Enchanted Autumn Escape

How the Changemaker Outdoor Leadership Corps Discovered Magic Stewarding Colorado’s Land. Written by Senior CAP Instructor Erin Angel. The Changemaker Outdoor Leadership Corps spent two crisp, golden days together enjoying a break from the pressures of the “real world.” We gathered under the bright autumn sun at Reynolds Ranch to work with the inspiring Ranger… Read more »

Jessie on the Changemakers backpacking trip in Dominguez Canyon


Changemakers 22-23 Year in Review

Cottonwood Institute works closely with our school and community partners to make sure that our programs meet a real community need and values student voices. Now entering its third year, the Changemaker Program engages CAP class alums through a yearlong leadership program. In 2021, students identified relationship building as our goal in response to the… 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 »

Changemakers at their Wilderness First Aid clinic


Need first aid? Call a Changemaker!

You’re out on a day hike with a friend when you come up on someone sitting on the side of the trail; at first glance, you can tell they might be in trouble. If you spend time outdoors, chances are that you might have had this encounter or something similar– do you know what to… Read more »

A group of Changemakers pose in fall colors while planting willows


Changemakers plant willows in the Cameron Peak burn area

Changemakers planted willows with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers in an area that had been affected by the Cameron Peak wildfire. Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. Escrito en español más abajo.  Changemakers began our first overnight of the 2022-23 season with service to the environment. We joined Wildlands Restoration Volunteers in replanting willows in an area… Read more »

Changemakers summer Dinosaur trip


Changemakers Summer Trip to Dinosaur

Escrito en español más abajo. The Changemakers program took our end of the year trip to backpack through the canyons of Dinosaur National Monument. Over the course of four days, we as a group have grown closer than ever. From country roads to crunchy roads, we did it all; some of our personal highlights include… Read more »

Changemakers native pollinators Earth Day


Changemakers give away native plants for Earth Day

Escrito en español más abajo. Early on Saturday morning, we all Changemakers met up behind the Lafayette Recreation Center to start preparing our booth for the annual Lafayette Earth Day festival. For our booth, we decided that we would inform people passing by of different native plants that they can plant in their own backyards… Read more »