Wagon at Sutters Fort

Environ­mental Studies Program

Making History Come to Life One Classroom at a Time

Environmental Studies Program (ESP) is an alternative day-time only alternative to the popular overnight Environmental Living Program (ELP). ESP runs for nine hours, from 8:00 am until 5:00pm.

California State Parks has announced the return of ESP in Spring, 2022. Please apply online. 

This program has been realigned in accordance to the updates to interpretation underway at Sutter’s Fort. State Parks has kept most of the core elements of ELP and ESP in place, with students still doing most of the same hands-on activities, guided by parent volunteers. However programs will look visually different, without students or volunteers in costumes.

As the nonprofit cooperating association for Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud of our long-standing support for this program. In prior years we have helped with administration and have funded staff, supplies and volunteer efforts that have made this program possible.

ESP is managed by California State Parks. For more information about ESP, please contact State Park Program Coordinator Jared Jones at Jared.Jones@parks.ca.gov.

ESP 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 Studies Program covers many components of 3rd-5th grade Social Science curriculum. Below are just some of the standards ESP 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.