Every summer, ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) brings on naturalist interns to the Adirondak Loj and Heart Lake Program Center. Using their unique interests and experiences, they are each tasked with creating a guided walk program that focuses on a specific topic. In years past, we have had a Heart Lake paddling tour, a native tree walk, and other fascinating topics that help educate the public about what makes the Adirondack Park so interesting. They also run the Nature Museum on our property, which features interpretive exhibits that the naturalists create themselves each summer, in addition to daily guided hikes up Mt. Jo and weekly presentations. You can learn more about the program and see their scheduled walks here.

A special thanks to L.L. Bean who donated outdoor gear to our naturalist program this year. If you are interested in supporting our naturalists, you can do so with a donation today.

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Driftwood Daria is from Rochester, New York and is pursuing her master’s degree at SUNY Cortland in Outdoor and Environmental Education. She is currently writing her master’s thesis on outdoor navigation in the Adirondack Park. Using inspiration from her research, Daria is designing her naturalist programs on the navigational wonders found in nature. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, paddling, and backpacking. She’s excited to spend the summer in such a beautiful place.

Maple Molly is a student at the University of Scranton, where she is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in both Environmental Science and Philosophy. She has been involved in outdoor education since high school and is delighted to spend the summer working for an organization devoted to giving back to the landscape through educational experiences. Molly loves to run, hike, and talk about plants, which she looks forwards to doing with you this summer!

A portrait of a woman
A portrait of a woman

Mushroom Mia is originally from Syracuse, New York, but is very excited to be continuing her time in the Adirondacks this summer! Going into her senior year at SUNY Plattsburgh, she gets to enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks year round. Studying environmental science, planning and management, as well as economic and environmental sustainability, she intends to use her immense passion for environmental and social justice to bring everyone closer to each other, and to the natural world. She is ambitious, driven, and dedicated to making the world a healthier, happier place. Mia hopes to see you soon at ADK!

Nature Nate is originally from Oswego, NY, which is right on Lake Ontario. He spent a lot of his childhood in the swamps around town catching frogs and building primitive shelters. Luckily his father shared his love for the outdoors and brought him camping in the Adirondacks throughout the High Peaks region, which is where he really fell in love with the ADK. He now goes to college here in the ADK just up the road at Paul Smith’s College where he studies Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management (RAELM). He spends his free time mountain biking, hiking, backcountry backpacking, snowboarding and swimming in any water hole he can fit in!

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Photo Credit: Seth Jones