Environmental Living Program

Open Enrollment for ELP starts April 1st!  It's on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure you have been in contact with Director of Programs - Sondra Hunter sondrah@fortross.org to receive your ELP reservation form.

We are looking forward to seeing you at Fort Ross!


To Our Fort Ross Community

Starting November 1st, 2016, Fort Ross Conservancy is managing the Environmental Living Program. The Environmental Living Program has been operating for nearly thirty years at Fort Ross State Historic Park. Generations of children have learned about Fort Ross and California history by attending ELP, and we all agree that ELP is enormously important to our park. Our goal is to make this transition as gentle and transparent as possible to ensure our students have a wonderful place-based Fort Ross learning experience!

From Public to Non-Profit

Fort Ross Conservancy (FRC), California State Park's non-profit partner at Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park, will assume responsibility for running and administering ELP. FRC has been a State Parks partner since 1974 and has both funded and implemented interpretation and educational programs at our parks for over forty years. State Parks asked FRC to run the ELP program because of ongoing financial constraints. This was a difficult decision for California State Parks, and we all wish to acknowledge the work that California State Parks staff have done throughout the years to grow this program.

Rest assured the program and curriculum will remain the same. Several FRC employees have taught and trained ELP over the years, and FRC's Program Manager Hank Birnbaum will be a familiar face to many of you. FRC has overseen the administrative side of ELP in years past as well, so the paperwork should go smoothly. FRC is already overseeing a Marine Ecology Program for middle and high school students and we'll bring in Sondra Hunter, our Director of Programs, to assume the administrative and scheduling duties for ELP.

FRC brings its seasoned staff to ELP and we are excited to get to know the schools, teachers and students who have been so actively engaged in this program. We all believe this will be an easy, uncomplicated transition. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at ELP@fortross.org or call us at 707-847-3437. We look forward to seeing you at the fort!

We are in the process of reorganizing the ELP website. Please bear with us during this transition.


Program fees remain the same: ELP overnight is $40/person, including all officers and employees except the manager (the teacher).
ELDP is $20/person, including all officers and employees except the manager (the teacher).


We require parents of all students participating in the Environmental Living Program submit Student Participation, Liability Release, and optional Media Release forms ahead of their visit.
Please download, sign, and return a PDF version of the release forms to your teacher.
Thank you for helping us to prepare for your upcoming trip.

Contact Information

To book an ELP Program, or to enquire about an already-scheduled ELP:

  • Contact: Sondra Hunter at sondrah@fortross.org or elp@fortross.org
  • By phone: 707-847-3437 Visitor Center Main Office
  • By phone: 707-847-3440 Fort Compound number
  • Please make checks payable to: FRC-ELP