About Our School
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. (Scroll down for more info)
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.
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
Amy Hay, Co-Founder
Amy was born and raised in Orange County, southern California in 1974. Spending time with her three sisters and four brothers outdoors or being creative was the foundation for a long relationship with art and the natural world. Throughout her life she has enjoyed seizing every opportunity to teach the children and adults around her about the joys of creativity.
Amy attended Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oregon where she found her life-long love in printmaking. After four years in Portland, she returned to her hometown and continued to explore printmaking at Orange Coast College. Here she delved further into the color reduction and chine colle processes and kept close to woodcuts.
In 2002 Amy started working for herself creating graphics, murals, and print materials for individuals, families, and businesses and continues to enjoy offering these services.
In 2010 she joined her husband Mark in founding Coast Live Oak School. Amy co-teaches the weekly home school classes and survival skills campouts. Through these classes, Amy strives to inspire the students to be resourceful, creative, thoughtful and empathetic.
Inspired by the many young people in her life, Amy also offers one-on-one art lessons which are student guided in subject matter. Amy mentors each student to assist them in finding their artistic voice