Environ­mental Living Program

Giving Students the Experience of a Lifetime

Please note that this program may not be available due to the ongoing pandemic. Please contact California State Parks staff at Sutter’s Fort for more information (916) 445-4422 to learn about current options, including virtual programs. 

Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to be the sponsor of the Environmental Living Program (ELP) at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, providing critical funding for program staffing, program materials and supplies.

For the past 43 years, ELP has influenced the lives of thousands of students. Through first-hand interaction and hands-on experiences, what they read in their history books comes to life.

During ELP, students spend a full 24-hour day at Sutter’s Fort. Students arrive in the morning and stay overnight, cooking and eating all of their meals on site.  

ELP is highly flexible, giving teachers the ability to create their own unique experience by customizing the various activities through the 24-hour stay to meet the needs of their students.

Not interested or able to participate in the overnight program? Please refer to our Environmental Studies Program.


ELP Grant Scholarship Program

Friends of Sutter’s Fort provides an annual grant program for schools participating in the Environmental Living Program to help break down the financial barriers that may prevent students from being able to participate in these outstanding educational experiences. Our grant program is 100% funded through donations. If you would like to support our ELP Grant Scholarship Program, please make an online donation.

California Social-Science Standards

The Environmental Living Program covers many components of 3rd-5th grade Social Science curriculum. Below are just some of the standards ELP covers:

  • 3.2 Students describe the American Indian nations in their local region long ago and in the recent past.
  • 3.3 Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.
  • 4.2 Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.
  • 4.3 Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood.
  • 5.8 Students trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s, with emphasis on the role of economic incentives, effects of the physical and political geography, and transportation systems.

For more information about ELP, please contact State Park Program Coordinator Jared Jones at Jared.Jones@parks.ca.gov.