The Ecology Learning Center is a hub for collaboration, mentorship and earth craft in Waldo County, Maine.


Growing from a seed of homeschooling families in January 2018, we sprouted a two-day middle-high school program in September 2018.  


In June 2019 we dug deeper and applied to become a charter school.  


By September 2020, the learning center will have grown three interdependent branches:

a charter school for grades 9-12,

a homeschooling enrichment program for grades 7-8,

and community workshops for all ages.

Board of Directors


Ian Collins


Ian has over a decades worth of experience working in K-12 education and professional development. He has served as the lead teacher and director at an alternative residential high school and has extensive experience in outdoor science and environmental education. Ian is a strong believer in the transformative power of experiential learning and is excited to support the opportunities the Ecology Learning Center can offer to the Waldo County community.

Kelly Carey

Vice Chair

Kelly Carey is a parent of four who co-founded a homeschool learning cooperative in 2011. She's deeply interested in relational learning environments, humanistic education, and fostering a deep respect for children's ability for nuanced learning from a young age. Kelly currently serves as the administrative coordinator for United Midcoast Charities whose mission is to energize nonprofit agencies through finance and guidance in the areas of food, housing, health & safety and economic security.

Solomon Heifets


Solomon Heifets is an English teacher and teacher leader at one of Maine's first charter schools, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences. He holds a Master's degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and lives on a diversified organic farm in South China, where he operates small farm enterprises in his spare time.

Elizabeth Alma


Beth has worked as a bookkeeper for several non-profits, and as an income tax preparer. Her Bachelor's Degree and graduate study were in Environmental Science. She's a homeschooling mom who loves growing vegetables, fruit, and sheep at Still Roving Farm with her family.

Robin Chernow


Robin currently works as Science Education Manager for the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership and has been involved in the experiential science education sector in Philadelphia, PA and Maine. She is committed to ensuring that exceptional education opportunities are accessible and inclusive to all students.

Leon Garnett


Leon is a retired builder and elementary school teacher. He is interested in supporting the development of the alternative learning environment envisioned by the Ecology Learning Center. He thinks diverse, locally controlled public education programs are the best way to ensure the kinds of education our young people need.

Daniel MacPhee


Daniel is the STEM Education Specialist at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. He has a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University and an M.S. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT. Daniel has spent the past decade working at the intersection of farming and education, including as director of education at MOFGA. He is an organic farmer at Blackbird Rise in Palermo, specializing in the production of bioregionally-adapted seeds and nursery stock.

Nicole Reinholt


Nicole Reinholt the Director of Special Services for the Cornville Regional Charter School. She has worked in the field of special education for over twenty years and holds a Master's Degree in Special Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership. Nicole has a keen interest in the environment, the arts, and community sustainability.

Adam Williams


Raised in Maine, Adam has spent the past fifteen years working with thousands of students over hundreds of days in remote wilderness settings in North, Central, and South America. Adam earned his M.S. in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire where he taught undergraduate courses in backpacking and canoe touring. Currently Adam works as the Assistant Director of Unity College’s Outdoor Adventure Center and as an Instructor in the Adventure Education department.

Nancy Zane


Nancy has been involved in Adventure Education for over 25 years. She taught outdoor skills in the Adventure Education Program and ran a co-curricular leadership development program at Unity College, she also homeschooled her (now grown) children. Currently, she teaches an EMT course for high school students at the Waldo County Technical Center and runs her own Adventure business called North Star Adventures LLC. She is passionate about education and wants to bring the best possible opportunities to kids in Waldo County.

Public Board Meetings


The Board of Directors meets the second Tuesday of every month, 5:00-6:30 pm at the Mill at Freedom Falls to counsel the project.


Our board meeting scheduled for Tuesday April 14, will be held remotely, via Zoom, 4:00-5:30 pm.

If you would like to receive an invitation to this virtual meeting,

please contact our executive director, Lēza Packard, at ecologylearningcenter@gmail.com.

The Ecology Learning Center

P.O. Box 235, Unity ME, 04988   ❖   207.230.9275   ❖   ecologylearningcenter@gmail.com
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