Fort Ross Conservancy is thrilled to announce we now offer both cultural and natural history environmental education programs! We offer overnights in the Fort Ross compound during our Environmental Living Program, camping under the stars in our Marine Ecology Program, and single-day educational opportunities, all guided by our dedicated and experienced staff. There is truly something for everyone!
The Environmental Living Program provides hands-on learning which allows children to experience the joys of history as active participants, exploring the interaction between people and their environment. Immersed for a brief time in the past, students learn about the many cultures and lifestyles present at Settlement Ross. Through performing some of the tasks that were a part of daily life at Fort Ross such as cooking all their meals in an outdoor kitchen, fishing and ‘hunting’ for their food, gardening, making candles, collecting and stacking firewood, guarding the perimeter, trading, practicing artisanal crafts, dancing, and generally working hard for the company, children gain a better understanding of history and their relationship to it. Students, chaperones, and teachers sleep inside the historic compound buildings.
Students, parents, and teachers research and take on specific characters who lived at Fort Ross, and come in costume prepared to role play that character during their stay. Students become Employees, parents become Officers, and teachers become Managers. Each historic character is someone who lived and worked at Fort Ross, for the Russian American Company.
The Marine Ecology Program offers a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages to learn about local marine ecology, as they are immersed in the spectacular coast environment of Fort Ross State Historic Park. A typical program includes: marine mammal observation, identification and survey data collection; exploration of the diverse and fragile life in the intertidal zone, understanding current and historic ecological interconnections; learning about the importance of biodiversity and marine conservation; and opportunities for outdoor experiences and team building.
During an MEP we draw on the rich natural and cultural history of Fort Ross, and provide students with exercises and tools to become citizen scientists. By “learning in the field”, we foster a deeper appreciation of marine science and nature, and encourage students to focus on marine stewardship and the environmental sciences.
There are many Service Project opportunities available at Fort Ross. We regularly welcome both Girl and Boy Scouts of all ages for projects within the park and during our festivals. We are also a 501(c)(3) and we can sign off on necessary community service requirements.
For those groups that cannot sign up for a whole MEP or ELP, we offer Educational Talks and Tours that can run for one to four hours, delving into the natural marine ecology or cultural history of Fort Ross.