Give the Gift of Hands On Learning

Break down the financial barriers that prevent students from experiencing educational programs at Sutter's Fort.

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Your gift will impact students from throughout California

The Friends of Sutter's Fort believe in making history relevant for all generations, because we know that understanding history can change our present and our future. We work every day to raise funds to support the educational programming at Sutter's Fort, and we need your help to break down the financial barriers that prevent some students from participating in these programs.

While we work hard to keep the Sutter's Fort educational program fees as low as possible, schools have additional costs to consider including transportation, staff time, and supplies. Our grant program helps break down these barriers by providing full or partial fee waivers, and opportunities for gifts of supplies (such as materials for candle making or carpentry).

We are proud to provide a grant assistance to schools to help offset costs associated with participating in the renowned educational programs at Sutter's Fort, including the Environmental Living Program (ELP) and the Environmental Studies Program (ESP).

Our annual grant program is funded entirely through donations and 100% of gifts received through this donation page go directly into our ELP/ESP Scholarship Grant Fund.


The History of ELP and ESP at Sutter's Fort

Since 1976, students have been visiting Sutter's Fort State Historic Park to experience the Environmental Living Program (ELP). This program allows students to spend a full 24 hours (including overnight) at Sutter's Fort. Students pick characters to research and portray from 1840s California, and partake in a number of activities, trades, and entertainments of the era. This program is available to public, private, and home school groups. Participating students, however, are required to be primarily elementary school students. The program participation fee is $600 and covers up to 65 students. Each additional student is $3.00 up to a maximum of 100 students.

Similar to ELP, ESP is a daytime experience that runs approximately 10 hours. Unlike ELP, this program is also available to middle school students. The program participation fee is $500 and covers up to 65 students. Each additional student is $3.00 up to a maximum of 100 students.

Friends of Sutter's Fort is proud to be the sponsor of these programs and provides critical funding for CA State Park staffing, materials, and supplies.

Who are the Friends of Sutter's Fort?


The Friends of Sutter's Fort is a cooperating 501 (C)(3) nonprofit association dedicated to the preservation and protection of Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and is the proud supporter of the educational and interpretive programs at Sutter's Fort.

With your help, we can:

  • Continue to repair and replace interpretive tools and supplies that allow us to share what the Fort was like in the 1840s.
  • Expand our popular and family-friendly Hands on History events, as well as other educational programming.
  • Provide grants to schools participating in one of our educational programs.
  • Fund critical preservation projects such as the restoration of the blacksmith shop and repainting of the exterior and interior walls.

Our members and donors make it possible for us to support all this and more at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.