grants and financial assistance

With the help of our donors, Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to provide financial assistance to help students experience the power of field trips at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.

Educators often face financial barriers that prevent them from participating in field trips. From program fees to transportation costs, our grant programs are designed to help teachers overcome these barriers. 

Research shows that field trips can be powerful tools for learning. A study published in The Journal of Human Resources showed that students who participated in field trips show “greater tolerance for people with different opinions and an increased desire to consume arts…have fewer behavioral infractions, attend school more frequently, score higher on end-of-grade exams, and receive higher course grades.” (J. Human Resources1020-11242R1)

As the nonprofit partner to Sutter’s Fort SHP, Friends of Sutter’s Fort works with donors to fund financial assistance opportunities to meet the changing needs of students, teachers and schools.  We would especially like to thank the California State Parks Foundation for their 2022-23 support.

Current Opportunities

covered wagon inside the eastern yard of Sutter's Fort

Environmental Living Grant Program

These grants help schools with California State Parks ELP program fees. ELP is an immersive 24-hour program. During this program, students spend the night at Sutter’s Fort, cook all of their meals and participate in many hands-on activities. Teachers will receive applications after registering for this program.  

4th graders gather at Sutter's Fort

Environmental Studies Grant Program

These grants help schools with California State Parks ESP program fees. An alternative to the overnight program, during ESP students spend 12 hours at Sutter’s Fort.

Teachers will receive applications after registering for this program.

Seven students stand together in front of a school bus

transportation assistance 

Transportation fees are often the biggest hurdle for schools. This grant provides transportation funding to help students get to Sutter’s Fort. These funds are available through an ongoing grant grant program. Limited funds are available.   

carolyn elder field trip award

The Carolyn Elder Field Trip Award provides funding for students from Elk Grove Unified School District to attend onsite programs at Sutter’s Fort SHP. Friends of Sutter’s Fort established the Carolyn Elder Field Trip Award to honor the legacy of Carolyn Elder at Sutter’s Fort SHP. To apply, please contact 

students line up ready to board the bus

San Juan Education Foundation Partnership

Friends of Sutter’s Fort has entered into an agreement to make field trips easier for classrooms in the San Juan School District. Title 1 schools, and teachers who have not taken students to Sutter’s Fort since 2019 are encouraged to apply. 

kids gather in a park

Friends of Sutter’s Fort Guided Field Trip Assistance awards

Teachers seeking financial assistance to participate in the School Tour Program at Sutter’s Fort SHP should complete this application at least 60 days prior to their field trip. Applications are currently open for guided field trips taking place between January and June 2024.