Earth Stewards Project


The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History developed our Earth Stewards Program (ESP) as a service learning project for high school students. ESP facilitates relationships between students and environmental and land management organizations seeking volunteers, interns, and employees in alignment with our mission, connecting people with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world. 

The ESP program provides opportunities for students to practice environmental stewardship while exploring careers in Natural Resource Management, Parks and Recreation, and Biological Sciences. 

We work with high school students throughout the school year in partnership with organizations and nonprofits, including Santa Cruz City Parks, UCSC Younger Lagoon Reserve, Watsonville Wetlands Watch, San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Coastal Watershed Council, UCSC Campus Natural Reserve, Homeless Garden Project, the UCSC Arboretum, Santa Cruz Mountain Trail Stewards, and California State Parks (and more). ESP projects include native planting, invasive plant removal, trail building and maintenance, biological surveys, bird banding, and beach clean-ups, often spanning several weeks. This allows students to begin and see a project through to completion, fostering a sense of accomplishment.

Teachers interested in the Earth Stewards Program, please contact the Museum: education@santacruzmuseum.org