AMC has new Piscataquis education programs coordinator

    GREENVILLE — Dawna Blackstone of Shirley has been named the new Piscataquis education programs coordinator for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC’s) Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project. 

    The project is part of AMC’s broader Maine Woods Initiative, a conservation effort focused on the 100-Mile Wilderness region that includes support for new recreational opportunities, community partnerships, sustainable forestry and land conservation. 
    Blackstone recently began her work with area teachers and youth service providers and is focused on creating outdoor learning opportunities that complement classroom curricula and help youngsters make a deeper connection with the natural world. 
    She is a native of Maine, born and brought up in the Greenville-area. She is a certified teacher, and holds a bachelor of science degree in physical education and a master of science degree in health education. Blackstone has been a school health coordinator and part-time health teacher in Greenville for the past eight years. She has run several activity-related before-school and after-school programs, including a cross-country ski program with Maine Winter Sports Center. 
    “Over the past four years, I have enjoyed bringing Greenville seventh-grade students out to AMC’s Little Lyford Lodge for overnight trips as part of the A Mountain Classroom Program, and I’m excited to be working with AMC to offer outdoor learning opportunities to all Piscataquis County students,” Blackstone said. 
    “I am thrilled to welcome Dawna to our staff. Her knowledge of the local area, her love of the outdoors, and her strong teaching skills should serve local students well and really help enhance our outdoor education efforts,” said AMC North Country Youth Education Director Andrea Muller. 
    Blackstone will be using AMC’s 66,500 acres of conservation and recreation land in the 100-Mile Wilderness region as well as community outdoor sites as outdoor classrooms and venues for such activities as hiking, snowshoeing and curriculum-based, hands-on lessons.
    AMC’s Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project is supported by funding from the family of Malcolm Hecht Jr. Providing outdoor learning opportunities for area youth is a component of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Also inspired by the initiative was AMC’s Moosehead Area Schools Project, kicked off in 2008, with the goal of offering outdoor experiences to every student in Piscataquis County at least three times during their years of schooling.
    Blackstone lives in Shirley with her husband, a Maine Forest Ranger; her twin sons, and two Airedale dogs. 
    She is based out of AMC’s Greenville office at 15 Moosehead Lake Road and can be reached at 695-3085. AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative seeks to address the ecological and economic needs of the Maine Woods by supporting local forest products jobs and traditional recreation, creating new multi-day recreational experiences for visitors, and attracting new nature-based tourism to the region. 
    With more than 4,000 members in Maine, AMC offers educational programs for children, adults, and families; operates its Maine Wilderness Lodges for the public in the 100-Mile Wilderness region; operates Knubble Bay Camp and Beal Island Campground in Georgetown and Echo Lake Camp in Acadia National Park; publishes the popular Maine Mountain Guide; and maintains offices in Portland and Greenville.

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