SLEWS Program

Hands-in-the-dirt experiences bring science to life.

The Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship Program encourages high-school students to dig into habitat restoration through real projects on farms, ranches and open spaces. Hands-in-the-dirt experiences bring science to life and stimulate environmental stewardship by connecting youth to real, tangible solutions for big problems like climate change and habitat loss.

Through multi-phased fieldwork and associated in-class lessons, students build knowledge, perspective and personal connection to the land. Each 30-student cohort is matched with a regional restoration project and participates in ecological field studies where youth discover careers and college opportunities in natural resource management and environmental science.

Students see the lasting impact of their work over multiple visits to their adopted project. These integrated learning experiences combine team building, science learning, habitat restoration and reflection activities with outdoor exploration. Since 2001, we have served more than 8,500 students during more than 1,000 field days and planted nearly a half million native trees, shrubs, and grasses.

Young man planting a tree

SLEWS Academy

SLEWS Academy enriches and expands the program’s impact by training adult educators, teachers, and natural resource professionals to assist with these meaningful restoration-focused projects. Through a 3-day intensive training, monthly workshops, and a culminating retreat, SLEWS Academy grads are prepared to shepherd youth through their environmental discovery journey.


But wait, there’s more!

SLEWS projects are multifaceted, and there are additional ways for volunteers, landowners, teachers, donors and conservationists to participate!

*Region is served by FARMS Leadership and FARMS Advanced

Regions: Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Butte (SLEWS Academy is statewide)

Strategic Program Partners: Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, NRCS, Yolo County RCD, Point Blue Conservation Science, Putah Creek Council, City of Rancho Cordova, Sacramento Tree Foundation, LangeTwins, SMUD Shine