Hazel Stark

Hampden Academy, 2007
College of the Atlantic, 2011
Current town: Cherryfield

“Take a class in a subject that you don’t think you’ll end up having a career in, but that interests you.”

For Hazel, that meant taking a science requirement that led to her passion for outdoor education and botany. She co-founded Maine Outdoor School, L3C in Washington County where her favorite part of the job is facilitating outdoor learning experiences. A Registered Maine Guide, Hazel inspires curiosity about and stewardship for the natural world and our place in it.

What is your favorite spot in Maine?
How could I possibly choose? As a child, it was probably the fiddlehead and nettle patch along a nearby stream. After college, it was Damariscove Island, where I was an island caretaker for two seasons. Now, it is being on, in, or near any of the crystal clear lakes and ponds near Tunk Mountain.

How are you having an impact on your community, through leadership roles or otherwise?
I co-founded Maine Outdoor School because I wanted to use my experience as a trained outdoor educator, systems-thinker, and naturalist to provide additional educational opportunities in a part of the state that so often lacks access to diverse resources, yet is so rich in natural and cultural assets. Before starting programming, we asked community members what educational opportunities they wished for that we could provide, and we consistently heard that having more outdoor learning time in the public schools was important. So we have worked hard to customize all our program offerings to provide options that are useful and wanted.