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9223 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Grant Received County Amount
Outdoor Equity Fund 2021 Bernalillo County $19,992
Outdoor Equity Fund 2023 Bernalillo County $40,000
Outdoor Marketing Grant 2024 Bernalillo County $25,000
Trails+ 2024 McKinley County $99,999
Total Grants Awarded $184,991

Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions (CGE) is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit, established in 1926. Our mission is to create outdoor learning adventures for youth from all backgrounds that foster personal growth, strengthen community, and inspire stewardship of the natural world. Our programs focus on three broad areas of expertise: 1) environmental stewardship, 2) building bridges between cultures, and 3) personal growth through outdoor adventure. Our outdoor learning adventures provide technical skills in the outdoor fields, meet benchmarks for environmental science curricula, and promote social-emotional learning skills. Since 1926, we have run enrollment-based summer programming from our Basecamp in Thoreau, NM. In 2004, we piloted our first school based program, operating during the spring and fall semesters with local partners. Today, we create over 10,000 student days in the outdoors annually, with 10 individual summer programs, and over 25 school partners. At CGE, we believe in the power of speaking to young people about their environment and culture, and getting them outside to move their bodies, experience nature, work together with their fellow students, and reflect on their own social-emotional learning. Every experience at Cottonwood Gulch, whether a day hike, a week-long backpack, a shared meal on the road, or sitting together around the campfire, is dedicated toward discovering who we truly are and who we want to be. We firmly believe that getting outdoors is essential in developing critically thinking, compassionate and capable young people. And we also know that sleeping under the stars and exploring with friends builds memories that last a lifetime. In 2018, we received a generous multi-year start-up grant to create our Students in Wilderness Initiative (SIWI), with a handful of school partners. SIWI has now expanded to include partnerships with over 25 schools, providing outdoor experiences for over 1500 students per year. As our initial grant draws to completion, the demand for this program has only grown. Educators and students alike continue to request more programming, more days of outdoor experiences, and expansion of the program to other age groups. Our school programs have allowed us to reach a greater number and diversity of young people–something that has been a long term goal over the past 20 years. However, through the growth of these programs, it has become clear that our school year participants and our summer participants are two very different groups of students with different needs. How to clarify our marketing message and reach the variety of families and schools who will benefit from our programs is a dilemma we have been wrestling with. We believe an investment in our marketing look and messaging is key to moving forward in an increasingly digital world, and that this initiative will allow us to attract many more participants to our programs, both from New Mexico and across the country. Support from the Outdoor Marketing Grant will allow us to achieve this goal.