Astrophysicist talks of space, shares stories of Haystack Mountain

“From Haystack Mountain to the Stars” fundraiser to be held in Belfast, April 13

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    BELFAST — Friends of Haystack Mountain (FOHM) is holding “From Haystack Mountain to the Stars, ”a a unique presentation for all ages, Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m., at the Colonial Theater, in Belfast. The admission for this fundraising event is “pay what you can”. All proceeds will be donated to FOHM and used to purchase, preserve and protect Haystack Mountain, located in Waldo County, from development.

    The presenter, Justin Pierel, is a NASA Einstein fellow, who grew up in Waldo County, graduated from Mount View High School and Bowdoin College, and holds a doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of South Carolina. He will share his stories about spending time on Haystack Mountain in Montville and how this influenced his path to study the universe. Dr. Pierel now works with the Hubble and James Webb telescopes at Space Telescope Science Institute at John Hopkins. He will talk about his current research on gravitational lensing and show spectacular images from space at the Colonial Theater. 

    FOHM is a Waldo County grassroots group, established in June 2022. They began a capital campaign in earnest to raise $525,000 to purchase the mountain. With donor support from the community, local businesses, foundations, several successful grants, and a commercial loan from Bangor Savings Bank, FOHM has less than $35,000 remaining to reach their fundraising goal. Once all debt and expenses are paid, FOHM will deed Haystack Mountain to Midcoast Conservancy, a local land trust to manage in perpetuity.

    “This 57-acre property on the Montville/Liberty town line has easy trail access to the bald rock summit,” said FOHM, in a news release. “A beautiful panoramic view waits for those who hike to the top. The mountain has been a popular scenic destination for generations. Additionally, the Walker Elementary School teachers and students have frequently used Haystack Mountain as an outdoor classroom.”

    Recently, FOHM has negotiated with a local blueberry business to harvest the blueberries on the mountain, as well as provide a “pick your own” opportunity for hikers.

    More information on making tax deductible donations to FOHM and event details are available at

    Event Date: 

    Sat, 04/13/2024 - 2:00pm

    Event Location: 

    Colonial Theater


    Colonial Theater
    Belfast, ME 04915
    United States