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 »

Changemakers Winter Field Day


A Skeletal Surprise for Changemakers

The Changemakers winter field day featured a skeletal surprise,  quinzhee, avalanche training, and plenty of falls in the snow! Written by Chelsea Tossing. Check out more photos here. Escrito en español más abajo If you’ve ever been to Brainard Lake in the winter, you know how absolutely beautiful it is; endless miles of trails take… Read more »

Changemakers spring trip


Changemakers 2021: What do you need right now?

Written by Chelsea Tossing (Escrito en español más abajo) When we first began the Changemakers program in the summer of 2020, the world felt as if it had been turned upside down. Students had been out of school for months, and the lockdowns that extended into summer proved even more isolating. As we began thinking… Read more »