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Cottonwood Institute profile

Cottonwood Institute

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Statement of Purpose: What is Cottonwood Institute? Cottonwood Institute (CI) is an award-winning 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado. What does CI do? CI is on a mission to connect underserved students to the outdoors and empower them to take action to improve their schools, the community, and the environment for future generations. Why does CI do it? CI’s vision is to inspire a new generation of 21st century leaders who are environmentally aware, civically engaged, and empowered to make a positive impact within their communities. Why does it matter? CI believes that students can’t be expected to care about the environment if they never have a chance to explore the outdoors. How does CI do it? CI collaborates with schools and community organizations to deliver high quality, high impact environmental education and service-learning programs that are designed to strengthen leadership skills, civic engagement, and environmental stewardship.


Address: PO Box 7067, Denver, CO 80207
Phone Number: 303.447.1076
Email Address:
Web Site:


Number of Employees: 3
Full Time Volunteers: 0
Part-Time Volunteers: 25


Major Fund-raisers: Base Camp Bash


Director(s): 1. Jessy Clark, Butterfly Pavilion; 2. William Kelly, Kelly & Walker; 3. Elizabeth Meck, Holland & Hart 4. Jeff Paulson, Galderma; 5. Wilma Shepherd; Q Advisors; 6. Ana Soler, Civic Canopy; 7. Chris Zook, IP Commerce
Key Personnel: Ford Church, M.A., Founder and Executive Director Madeline Bachner, M.S., Program Director Taryn Longberry, M.S., Program Coordinator


Founded: 2004
Community Served: Colorado Front Range


Ongoing Projects: Community Adventure Program, Earth Task Force, STRIVE Preparatory Schools, Military Kids Project, Casa de la Esperanza, Colorado Youth For A Change



Accomplishments: In 2011, CI students were the recipients of the 2011 National Environmental Education Foundation Green Prize and received $10,000 to continue the sustainability initiatives they pioneered at their public school.