Coast Live Oak
Coast Live Oak offers classes for all ages, outdoors, year round
in Orange County, California and surrounding counties.At Coast Live Oak School our classes integrate history and ecology with native and ancestral skills.
All human beings have the basic needs of shelter, water, fire, and food. Native American Indian ancestors, and your own ancestors at some time in the past, lived close to the earth and knew how to meet these basic needs using the gifts that Nature provides.
These are the skills we practice and teach at Coast Live Oak School. They are time tested skills that enable a human being to be at home on Earth, in accord with the needs and limitations of the Earth and the ecosystems that support us.
We integrate history so that we can remember how things change, and to remember the great struggles, great achievements, great hopes of the diverse cultures from which we have come.
We integrate ecology so that we can understand the needs of the trees, plants, animals, insects, and micro-organisms who support us and enable us to breathe, eat, and enjoy the gift of life.
The skills and knowledge that allowed our ancestors to live close to the Earth, in accord and in partnership with Nature, is a deep and ancient connection that all human beings share.
Basic Native and Ancestral Wilderness Skills and their academic connections
Listening and Observing… language studies, ecology, and communication skills
Knowing Plants… botany, ecology, and hydrology
Building Shelter... mathematics, physics, art, history, and archaeology
Finding Water… hydrology, botany, and ecology
Finding and Making Tools… botany, art, geology, physics, math, archaeology, and basic problem solving
Making String and Rope… botany, art, music, physics, history, archeology, and basic problem solving
Making Fire with the Hand Drill and Bow Drill… botany, physics, history, archaeology, and basic problem solving
Animal Tracking and Bird Language… language studies, art, physics, ecology, and biology
Cooking and Nutrition… ecology, music, nutrition, physics, and knowing where food comes from
Communication and Cooperation… language studies, conflict resolution, communication and social skills,
history, and basic group problem solving
Problem Solving and Decision Making… creating strategies and plans as an individual and as a group,
overcoming life challenges and understanding how to assess problems
Bio: Mark Hay, Founder, Coast Live Oak School
I have been teaching in classrooms and outdoors since 1993, and have dedicated myself to understanding many different approaches to teaching and learning. I have been learning and practicing native and ancestral skills since 1996, and teaching them since 2004. I love learning and teaching native and ancestral skills because they are a way for us to connect very directly to plants and animals, to other people and cultures, to our own ancient ancestors, and to the living Earth.
I am very interested in how we as human beings learn and create meaning and connection in our lives… especially how we connect to nature and wilderness.
The first wilderness I ever explored, and the first wilderness that nearly ate me, was the Pacific Ocean. Our coastline is a vast wilderness.
As I explored our local deserts, mountains and rivers, I found more wildness and mystery.
I am beginning to understand what it is like to truly be at home here in Southern California... to know the histories, the hidden stories and the secrets of small things; to understand the connections between things that others might overlook. I am always excited to learn and understand more about this place, and to share this learning experience with others.
For me, Southern California is a living library of memories and stories connected to the people and places I have known over many years.
My academic background is in history and archaeology.
My most important teachers have been and continue to be:
-My mother and father
-My wife, Amy
-And, of course, the great living Earth
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