The Cottonwood Institute is a new 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization based Boulder, Colorado that develops innovative outdoor programs for high school and college students that inspire community action through a unique blend of adventure and service. The Cottonwood Institute was created to address the negative perceptions that many students seem to have about volunteering and community service. Students often associate volunteering and community service with something that is forced by their parents or their school or used as punishment for getting in trouble with the law. At the Cottonwood Institute, we feel there is a better way to involve students with what is going on in their communities.
Cottonwood Institute programs transform the way students interact and become involved with the community and the environment by incorporating 3 core components into all of our programs:
1. Wilderness skill development
2. Environmental awareness
3. Community action
Cottonwood Institute programs are perfect for high school and college students who are tired of complaining about environmental issues in their communities, tired of sitting on the sidelines when it comes to addressing these issues, and who want to roll up their sleeves to do something about them and to be a part of the solution. The Cottonwood Institute is not a hit and run program. At the end of each course, students set the intention to take on an important issue in their own communities when they get home from their experience. Cottonwood Institute staff members maintain contact with students after their course to provide the support and resources needed to help student make a positive impact in their own communities.