Environmental Leadership Program 

Travel brings joy to learning

Our all school trip for both 2022 and 2023 was to Catalina Island. The unique ecosystems that surround Catalina create living classrooms, ideal for hands-on, experiential learning. Whether snorkeling, hiking, kayaking or tide-pooling, students observe first-hand how each ecosystem they visit, while unique in many ways, operates according to similar ecological principles. Woven into each lesson, the following principles are shown to be a recipe for a sustainable system.

Everything runs on energy
There is no waste in nature
Biodiversity is good
Everything is connected

After recognizing the important role that each creature plays in an ecosystem, students are inspired to think about the important role they can play in bettering their communities back home.

It was hard to say goodbye to Catalina Island, after spending 5 adventure-filled days exploring underwater kelp forests, hiking through Chaparral ecosystems, kayaking to emerald coves, snorkeling in bioluminescence, discovering organisms in tide pools and under the microscope, and challenging our comfort zones through high-ropes team building. The island gave us a special send off as we encountered hundreds of jumping dolphins on the ferry ride home!

These were our first trips to Catalina, but definitely not our last.