Academy for Environmental Stewardship

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s Environmental Stewardship Program is an innovative and cooperative program between north county schools and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation (AHLF). Its mission is to awaken in our children the need to appreciate and care for the natural environment.


The program provides hands-on classes that stress responsible interaction with our natural surroundings and creates awareness of the environmental impact of day-to-day human activities. Students break into small groups and rotate through stations taught by educators who engage students with interactive activities that bring the lessons to life.


AHLF offers three field trips within the program that are aligned with Common Core, History/Social Science, and Life Science State Standards.

2020 Field Trip Fees and Schedule

Cost is $16 per student. Teachers and parents are free. All fees are to be paid two weeks prior to your field trip.​

Field Trip Cancellation Policy: Cost is $16 per student. Teachers and parent volunteers are free. All fees are to be paid one week prior to your field trip. If your payment is late, a $50 late fee will be applied.

If you need to cancel your program for any reason, please email so that we have it in writing. We will respond via email that we received your cancellation. If you do not receive a response to your email, please call (760) 804-1969 and speak with Samantha or Lisa.

If cancellations occur at least two weeks before the program, no fees apply. If cancellations occur within two weeks before the date of the program, 50% of the entire trip scheduled will be charged. This applies to student absences (if the student count is less on the field trip day but Agua Hedionda was not notified at least two weeks prior, no refund can be issued).

Our program runs rain or shine; no need for cancellation due to inclement weather.

School Program Interest Form
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Bonnie Di Bacco

Bonnie is a Southern California native that grew up with parent’s that were both educators and has always believed education is critical for success. She first experienced the Agua Hedionda program while attending as a chaperone for one of her three children’s field trips. She has degrees from both Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and San Diego State University. She’s spent her entire career working in adverting as an Art Director and Graphic Designer in New York and California and currently works as a freelance Art Director. Teaching at the lagoon has been a big change and it’s been such an amazing experience. Her favorite part is seeing a child’s face light up when they learn something new. The outdoor learning environment keeps it interesting and fun for both the kids and her! She loves that they are learning about the history of our area in a fun and unique way and she truly believes that the knowledge they take away will motivate them to protect and preserve our local environment. 

Wendy Leeman

Wendy moved to California to be closer to her family in May 2016 and recently joined the AHLF Team. She graduated from Lesley College with a M.Ed. and from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in English Literature. She also earned a SIT TESOL certificate at the Rennert New York TESOL Center. Wendy has worked in business and education environments, including eighteen years of part-time and full-time teaching, and has always enjoyed outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, and skiing. She is a Local Coordinator for CCI Greenheart's exchange student program, writes her community's monthly newsletter, and volunteers at The Moonlight Amphitheatre in her new home town of Vista, California.

Lauren Miszklevitz 

Lauren grew up in Lancaster California. She earned her BA in liberal studies at Cal State San Marcos while playing on the women's collegiate soccer team. She has always had a passion for working with children. She has volunteered in school classrooms, ran youth sport camps, has been a cabin leader for science camps, and tutors children. She coaches at a local competitive soccer club in Carlsbad and has two youth teams. She also coaches girls soccer at Sage Creek High School. In addition, she currently works at a preschool in Vista. Lauren loves teaching at the Discovery Center and enjoys being part of the student's learning experience at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Juliane Soto

Juliane Soto is a proud mom to three kids; one in elementary, middle, and high school all in Carlsbad Unified School District. Many hours are spent volunteering at their schools as well as supporting their extracurricular activities. She earned a BA in Human Services and currently works for Community Interface Services, a local non-profit on Carlsbad supporting adults with disabilities. She has worked as a teacher at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation for more than four years and supports the quality of life the lagoon adds to her Carlsbad Community. She has also spent many years with the Women's Resource Center of Oceanside as a volunteer and board member.

What are folks saying about their Field Trip experience at AHLF

Our trip to the Discovery center was incredibly informative and inspiring! My students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and they used that momentum for their botanical illustrations project. We are looking forward to our next excursion in the spring.

Megan, Art Teacher

Sage Creek High School, Carlsbad

I appreciate all you and your staff do. The programs are so educational and hands on. I love it and so do the students!

Luz, 3rd Grade Teacher

Mission Elementary, Oceanside

Wow! Just phenomenal... the most valuable Field Trip I have ever attended in terms of pre/post and during activities and curriculum support. I am jazzed to have these follow-up activities... Love the basket weaving template... I may try to fit that in too after the holiday break as we continue our study of Native Americans. Please also give our best regards to the Storyteller... he was grand and so memorable to the kids for his content and delivery.

Lucy, Third Grade Teacher

Breeze Hill Elementary, Vista

Thank you for such an enjoyable, engaging 'outdoor school' experience. Our students learned so many things and now have an appreciation for how hard people in the past had to work to survive.As always, we can't wait until we come again. Please tell your teachers how much I admire their expertise and how well they worked with our students!

Karen, Third Grade Teacher

Jefferson Elementary, Carlsbad

We had a fantastic time! The kids really enjoyed everything and learned a ton. We would definitely like to come back next year!

Summer, 3rd Grade Teacher

Carrillo Elementary, Carlsbad

Our students, parents, and teachers all enjoyed their day at the Discovery Center. Your fabulous staff and engaging curriculum made it a fun and educational day. We hope to be able to return to the center for another great experience next year.

Eunice, 3rd Grade Teacher

Carrillo Elementary, Carlsbad

We had such a great experience at the field trip today! The kids loved it too! The presentations were all stellar and we would love to return!

Betsy, Third Grade Teacher

North Terrace Elementary, Oceanside

Students were able to learn about their community and respect the environment and the importance of preserving it!

Tappin, 3rd Grade Teacher

St. Patrick Catholic School, Carlsbad


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The Discovery Center is open:

Monday - Saturday 




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1580 Cannon Road,

Carlsbad, CA 92008

(760) 804-1969


©2020 Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation. All rights reserved.

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 33-0411888.

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