Women’s History Month @ODL

The Women who make the Outdoor Lab Great

Phoebe Hall Knipling

The Outdoor Lab owes its existence to Phoebe Hall Knipling. Her vision and determination that children should experience science first hand, led to the creation of the Outdoor Lab and other pillars of Arlington science education like the Brown Planetarium, Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers. Learn more from a recent story from Arlington Library’s Womens Work series.

Anita Knipling Scott

Phoebe’s daughter Anita has served on the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Lab for years. She’s continued to build on her mother’s vision and helped thousands of Arlington families experience the joys of the Outdoor Lab.

Recently, Anita was interviewed for the Biscuit Mountain Breakdown and shared some of the early history of the Outdoor Lab. Click here to listen to podcast “Walking Down Memory Lane.”

Michele Karnbach

Michele re-joined the Outdoor Lab staff in 2019 as its new Director. She’s guided the ODL through some of the most challenging months in its existence.

She has reorganized the Lab staff and operations, created new curriculum and lessons for synchronous and asynchronous learning, and launched a podcast as well as new weekend activities for families.
Michele is charting the Lab’s path for the next 50 years of the Outdoor Lab.

Kendra Liddicoat

Michele created the Biscuit Mountain Breakdown podcast and interviewed leaders in the field of outdoor education.  Such as Dr. Kendra Liddicoat who researches memories as outcomes for programs like The Outdoor Lab.  Learn about how memories are an important feature of what happens at nature centers and how we can use that research to improve our program.  Click HERE for Podcasts.

Hike the Outdoor Lab-Saturdays in March

Looking for somewhere to go on a weekend?  The Outdoor Lab invites members of the Arlington Community to hike our Biscuit Mountain trail every Saturday in March.  The trail takes approximately 1.2 hours to hike.  Sound like a good time?  Here are the details:

  • Sign up before you come.  (Click HERE for our SignUpGenius Page)
  • Each sign up slot admits one carload of people.
  • Sign up slots for morning OR afternoon.  Check the date and time carefully!  (show up at any time during your morning or afternoon window.)
  • No pets!  Sorry!
  • Masks are required when in the bathrooms and when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Follow the arrows to keep traffic flowing in one direction on the trails. This keeps everyone safe!
  • Protect the land by following the “leave no trace” philosophy. Dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, be considerate of other visitors, stay on trails, and respect wildlife
  • Release Form must be signed by all participants.  Find Release Forms HERE.  (Save time and fill out before you arrive.  We’ll have some on hand as well )
  • Check in with an AOEA board member before you get started.
  • Gates close at 4 pm sharp, don’t get locked in!

Every little bit helps!  To support the Outdoor Lab’s educational programs and help reach more Arlington students, a suggested donation of $20 per car is welcomed but not mandatory.  We can always use help collecting kindling, just leave neatly stacked by wood piles. (Thanks!)

So put on your hiking shoes, dress for the weather, and come and enjoy the beauty of The Outdoor Lab on a beautiful weekend in March!

Directions can be found on our website.  Click Here for DIRECTIONS

ODL supports APS LoveTheBus

As APS plans to start Hybrid learning for all students, many families are again focusing on the bus drivers, crossing guards, and transportation staff that get students to school safely.

When students come to the ODL, we rely on our dedicated bus drivers to transport kids to the magic that is the Outdoor Lab.  The APS transportation team coordinates getting a bus and driver out to the Lab, usually between their normal school runs, every school day.  They transport every 3rd, 5th and 7th grade student to the Lab over the school year.

Without a bus and driver, students can’t get to the Outdoor Lab.  APS Staff and the Arlington School Board supported the funding of a daily bus to the ODL and added a second bus for 5th grade overnights.  (about 40 days a year)

Often, one or two drivers are assigned to the ODL for the year and they have gone above and beyond their normal driving duties to make sure students have a great experience.  Even after they retire, some still help at the Outdoor Lab.  Former APS bus driver Paul Diehl joined the AOEA board after his career driving students to the Lab and has worked tirelessly for the Outdoor Lab ever since.

Please join the Outdoor Lab, the AOEA and Lab Staff in thanking all bus drivers, crossing guards and transportation staff during the month long Crossing Guard Appreciation and Love the Bus campaign.

ODL@home- The Great Backyard Bird Count

Help scientists from home by participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count

Outdoor Lab staff have participated in such events at the Outdoor Lab and have documented a large variety of bird species.  When students are at the ODL, staff helps them identify birds by sight and sound.  Now you can help scientists from your own backyard!  Show us your favorite backyard birds. #GBBC #LovetheODL

From Audubon.org:

The 24th annual The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will be held Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2021. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.

The  GBBC is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the  National Audubon SocietyCornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Recently, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

 

New OutdoorLab Podcast Launches

New Outdoor Lab podcast series: The Biscuit Mountain Breakdown

Welcome to the Biscuit Mountain Breakdown, the podcast where nature and education connect. Join us for discussions with researchers and experts that expand your understanding of outdoor education, nature, and science.

Check out the latest podcast  here

Or search your favorite podcast player for “Biscuit Mountain Breakdown.” 

Here is a link to Spotify.

 

AOEA Board- resolves to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At its December meeting, the Board of Directors of the Arlington Outdoor Education Association reflected on the issues that were spotlighted in our country during 2020.

The AOEA Board resolved that:  “The Arlington Outdoor Education Association is committed to building sustainable, inclusive, equitable, and resilient communities.”

The AOEA also committed also undertake Diversity and Equity training for all Board members.

The AOEA will continue to work with our partner, Arlington Public Schools, to ensure all programs, policies and endeavors reflect our common goals to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.

Barnes&Noble Fundraiser Dec 5-9th

The Outdoor Lab – Barnes & Noble online BookFair

Looking for meaningful holiday gifts? Shop online at Barnes & Noble and support the Outdoor Lab. Our Online Bookfair runs Dec 5th – 9th.

To help the Outdoor Lab, shop at BN.COM/bookfairs. Shop Barnes & Noble online for books, toys, and Holiday gifts. When you’re ready to checkout use Bookfair ID #12603981 and support the Outdoor Lab.

The on-line Bookfair details:

  • Saturday, December 5 – Wednesday, December 9.
  • Go to bn.com/bookfairs and use Bookfair ID #12603981 at checkout to link your purchase to our fundraiser

Share with your family and friends. Thank you for your continued support. Happy Holidays to you and your family.- 

Chipotle Fundraiser- Sat Nov 21 5-9p- Lee Heights

Save the Date for our Chipotle Fundraiser- Saturday Nov 21st from 5-9pm at the Lee Heights Chipotle!

The Outdoor Lab will receive part of the sales at the Chipotle in Lee Heights Shops (4520 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207)

Please share with your friends and family to help support the Outdoor Lab!  You can make it safer by ordering online for pickup.  Details and flyers below…

There are 4 ways to guarantee your purchase supports the Outdoor Lab:

  • Show the cashier a digital flyer prior to paying
  • Show the cashier a paper flyer prior to paying
  • Flying flyer-free? Just mention the fundraiser to the cashier prior to paying
  • Order online and pickup Chipotle by using the Promo Code 7TRDYRN on the Chipotle app or website.
  • Please note that fundraiser online ordering is only valid through pickup on Saturday Nov 21st from 5p-9p at the Lee Heights Chipotle location.
  • Ordering delivery for fundraisers is not permitted at this time. 

A few more notes:

  • Don’t order delivery or through a separate app – online orders will only count for pickup through the official Chipotle App or on our website.
  • Don’t place orders for your fundraiser on days other than your fundraiser date and time. Orders placed outside of your fundraiser date, time, or assigned restaurant WILL NOT be counted.
  • Don’t hand out flyers to our regular customers in or around the restaurant – that’s cheating! (Which may also lead to your fundraiser being cancelled)
  • Don’t alter your flyer in any way
  • Don’t be shy! Make sure you tell our cashier that you’re attending the fundraiser before you pay
  • Don’t purchase a gift card – gift card purchases during fundraisers do NOT count towards total donated sales, but purchases made with an existing gift card will count.

Welcome to New School Year!

The 2020-2021 school year has begun! It’s a “new normal” for the Outdoor Lab and Students of APS.

The Outdoor Lab staff are at the Lab getting ready for virtual learning.

They’re excited to help all students enjoy the Outdoor Lab in a whole new way!

May 16th- AOEA Annual Meeting

Since we had to cancel our Spring Open House, when we normally have the AOEA annual meeting, we will now meet virtually on Saturday May 16th at 12 noon. 

If you are interested in participating, send an email to Arlingtonoutdoorlab@gmail.com and details will be provided. 

The primary agenda item will be the AOEA board elections – but we will also provide information about the “State of the Lab”.  Hope you can join us – stay safe and “keep the fires burning”.