Environmental Living Program


The Environmental Living Program is a special program that allows California school children to “live” history.  The students, along with their teacher and trained parent helpers, spend 24 hours portraying characters of 1840's California and partake in the various trade activities and entertainment of the era.  Due to our limited overnight facilities a maximum of 70 students may attend the overnight portion of the program.

We created the following sixteen modules to help you prepare for your Sutter's Fort ELP experience. Please download these modules and follow the instructions found in each module.

1. The Environmental Living Program allows students to simulate life at Sutter’s Fort in the 1840s.  Wearing period-appropriate clothing not only enhances the experience but also encourages role playing. -- SUTTER’S FORT CLOTHING – 1840's

2. Students learn about agriculture at Sutter’s Fort, how a grist mill works, and some of the history of growing grains and making bread. -- AGRICULTURE – GRIST MILL

3. The students learn how the bakery at Sutter's Fort functioned and produced bread emphasizing cooking techniques, tools, and ingredients of the 1840s. -- THE BAKERY

4. Students learn how to make baskets. -- BASKETRY

5. The Candle shop provides an interpretive experience to help the student understand the basic life and work of the inhabitants of the Fort. It will also illustrate the dull and laborious nature of many period crafts. -- CANDLE-MAKING

6. Goals of the carpentry shop: teach shop safety, planning work and working the plan, learning how to properly use and maintain period hand tools, how to read wood, understanding the social values and the society of our ancestors. --CARPENTRY

7. Students learn how children in the 1840s entertained themselves by making simple toys. -- CORN HUSK DOLLS

8. The students learn what food the people of the 1840's ate, where it was obtained and how it was prepared.  With this new knowledge, the student will gain a greater awareness of the everyday lives of those that lived before us and develop a respect for the past and an appreciation for today's life styles. -- THE KITCHEN

9. To introduce ELP participants and the public to the task of laundering clothing and fabric items during the 1840s in the absence of modern equipment and electricity. --LAUNDRY

10. Students learn the history of rope, the craft of rope making and the contributions' rope has made to the development of civilization. Each student will operate a rope machine and manufacture an individual length of rope, observing proper safety procedures. -- ROPE MAKING

11. Students learn about the early development of education in California and the Sacramento area through the study of what schooling might have been like at Sutter's Fort. They will recognize differences in schooling then and now. -- SCHOOL STATION

12. Students learn about hand spinning and hand weaving on the American frontier of the 1840's. -- SPINNING and WEAVING

13. Students will experience firsthand purchasing store items of the 1840's -- TRADE STORE

14. The students learn some of the skills required of the hunters and trappers of the 1840's. -- TRAPPER STATION

15. To give students an understanding and appreciation of the role the vaquero played in the history and culture of California, the West, and America. -- VAQUEROS

16. Familiarize students with the mechanics of their travel cross country. -- THE WAGON


Review details of the ELP -- Program Summary

If you wish to participate in the ELP please complete the application -- Download ELP Application