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FIELD TRIPS - Academy for Environmental Stewardship

Now booking field trips for the 2023-2024 school year! Book Today!



Second Grade- Seventh Grade

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation's Environmental Stewardship Program provides hands-on classes that stress responsible interaction with our natural surrounding and creates awareness of the environmental impact of day to day activities. Students will break into smaller groups and rotate through stations taught by educators who engage students with interactive activities that bring the lessons to life!


AHLF programs are aligned with Common core, History/Social Science, Next Generations Science Standards and STEAM curriculum.


  • $17 per student

Student Lessons:

  • 2nd Grade

    • Understanding the Earth’s Systems

  • 3rd Grade

    •  Live the Past

    •  Experience Today

    • Honor the Future

  • 4th Grade:

    •  Colonization

    •  Adaptations

    • Origins

  • 7th Grade: 

    • Human Impacts on the Environment ​

*All programs can be modified for any age group.


PRE-K & Kindergarten

Join us in-person for a 90-minute interactive field trip. The field trip is composed of two 45-minute lessons with the option of eating lunch or snack on Newell's Terrace!


  • $5 per student if 10 or more

  • $8 per student is less than 10      (6 student minimum)

Student Lessons:

  • Animal Interactions

  • Nature Hike

  • Who Polluted the Lagoon

  • Pollinator Perspective



Any Grade!

The Academy for Environmental Stewardship goes virtual! Join us via virtual media for a 90-minute field trip. The field trip is composed of three 30-minute lessons per Academy program. The 90-minute program can be taught over the course of 2 or 3 days (60 minutes one day, and 30 minutes the other day or 30 minutes per day). Field trip programming can be shortened to individual 30-minute lessons too. 


For grade levels other than 2nd or 3rd Grade, please email, for customized virtual programming.


The field trip is limited to 25 students max.​

  • 90 minute virtual field trip (3 lessons): $239.99

  • 30 minute field trip (1 lesson): $79.99

Student Lessons:

  • 2nd Grade

    • Understanding Earth's Systems

      • Different Strokes for Different Folks

      • Incredible Water Journey

      • Seed Design

  • 3rd Grade

    • Program 1: Live the Past

      • Purpose of Plants

      • Rock Art

      • Weaving

    • Program 2: Experience Today

      • Animal Interactions

      • Bird Beak Design

      • The Times, They are a-Changin’

  • Virtual & on-site field trips are offered Monday-Friday (subject to availability)

  • EST & PST can be accommodated for virtual field trips

  • On-site field trips are offered between 9:30am-2:30pm

  • Build your own field trip: a la carte

    • Design your own field trip by mixing and matching the offered lessons. Choose only 1 or 2 lessons or 3 lessons (virtual) or 4 lessons (on-site). Each lesson is 30-45 minutes long so your field trip can best accommodate the amount of time you want. Cost will be dependent on length of field trip and number of students participating. Don’t see a lesson you want to learn? Email or call for specialization.

Field Trip Cancellation Policy: 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 Emily Bonds.

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.

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Emily Bonds, Director of Education 

Emily grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and her love for the great outdoors developed at a young age. The warm weather and ocean drew Emily to Southern California, where she attended Chapman University. She received her B.A. in Integrated Education Studies with an emphasis in Leadership Studies and a Minor in Environmental Science. She also studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she studied marine science and tourism. Her passion for outdoor education and marine science drew her to the AHLF Discovery Center for their Academy of Environmental Stewardship. Emily is excited to be teaching and learning at the AHLF Discovery Center!

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. 

Emily Gallego 

Emily is a San Diego native, with a deep love for the environment and education. She is currently a student at Cal State San Marcos majoring in Liberal Studies and minoring in Spanish, with the hopes of continuing her career in education. Teaching at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon has completely changed the way that she looks at education and is entirely grateful for the opportunity to be an Environmental Stewardship Teacher. Being able to educate students outdoors with hands-on activities is a privilege that Emily is excited to be a part of!   

Olivia Rojas
Olivia began her passion for the natural environment in North Carolina. After moving to California, she couldn't wait to explore new places and admire the earth's diversity of life. The breathtaking sceneries of Alaska, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico are a few places that have inspired her to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies. She is currently a sophomore at California State University at San Marcos and has an interest in conserving and educating about native species. This passion drove her to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Discovery Center, where she thoroughly enjoys teaching and learning more about the environment.
Emily Bonds Headshot.JPEG

What are folks saying about their Field Trip experience at AHLF

This field trip was so valuable to our school in bridging our students' in-class learning to real life
applications. Our classes have been studying the local Native Americans, and they were able to use so
many new vocabulary words during the field trip. We loved how they got to take artifacts home that they
created! I was so impressed that even throughout the field trip, the students were able to learn new
facts as evidence through the post assessment given by the venue. An amazing experience!
It was a pleasure to work with ABX again!

Kristen Haw 3rd

Integrity Charter School

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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