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Giving Tuesday- Support the Outdoor Lab!

The Outdoor Lab has been providing Arlington students hands-on, experiential outdoor learning for over 50 years!  The Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) is run soley by volunteers and depends on donations from the community to maintain and operate the Outdoor Lab.

Help us grow the Outdoor Lab to keep pace with growth in Arlington Schools.

Check out our SUPPORT page for ways to give or Donate below.

Please select the membership level that’s right for you and press Donate Now Button.

Join the AOEA

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Donation Total: $15.00

The Outdoor Lab Appreciates your Support!

The Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc (AOEA) was founded in 1967 to own, operate and maintain the Phoebe Hall Knipling Outdoor Laboratory (The Outdoor Lab).  The AOEA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 54-0840089) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law

The Outdoor Lab is a 225-acre facility created to provide a place for environmental education of Arlington school children in support of the Science Program.  It includes hiking trails, streams, a lake, an observatory, camp sites and classroom and kitchen facilities.

AOEA is run soley by volunteers.  AOEA depends on donations from the community to maintain and operate the Outdoor Lab, while Arlington Public Schools provides teachers and staff who work at the Lab.

The Annual Report of AOEA, Inc. is available upon request from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs.

The AOEA earned GuideStar‘s Bronze Seal of Transparency.


 

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Holiday Fundraiser at Barnes&Noble

Book Fair Fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in Clarendon for Outdoor Lab Camp Supplies

Looking for meaningful, holiday gifts? Join us for a special Book Fair Fundraiser, December 1 & 2,
at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Clarendon or online, to help raise money for needed camp
supplies for the Outdoor Lab. Tents, rain ponchos, rubberized boots for the children, and
sleeping bags are among the needed items.

A percentage of the sales at the store and online, will be donated to the Arlington Outdoor
Education Association (AOEA), the non-profit that owns and operates the Outdoor Lab.

Gift wrapping will be available, too, at the store on both days. Look for us at the store on December
16 too, from 4:00 until 10:00, for gift wrapping service only.

The AOEA has been in partnership with Arlington Public Schools (APS), serving the children of
APS, for over 50 years.

Sharing this information with your family and friends would help us tremendously.

The in-store Bookfair dates:

  • Saturday, December 1st  10:00a-10:00p
  • Sunday, December 2 from 10:00a-9:00p

The on-line Bookfair dates:

  • Saturday, December 1 – Thursday, December 6.
  • Go to bn.com/bookfairs and use Bookfair ID #12465506 at checkout to link your purchase to our fundraiser

If you would rather send the AOEA a donation to help support this fundraiser go to our SUPPORT page.

Thank you for your continued support. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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Fall 2018 Open House Highlights

Thanks to all who braved the cool, windy temperatures and participated in the Fall Open House at the Outdoor Lab.

Families enjoyed catching fish in the pond, roasting hotdogs and S’mores by the Cottage fireplace, and learning about the animals who reside in our Animal Lab.  Others joined a hike lead by Lab Directors Christine Payack and Kate Sydney and many played tether ball and frisbee at the Pondside Meadow.

We saw many familiar faces as families returned to experience the outdoors, volunteers took up familiar spots helping our anglers, selling Outdoor Lab shirts and honey and sharing their stories about our treasured space in the woods.  We were also joined by our APS partners from the school board and central office.

We took time to recognize Clare McLean as our 2018 Volunteer of the year!  Clare first came to the Outdoor Lab as a kindergartner, then joined the lab staff during the year and for Summer Camp and now is a member of the AOEA Board of Directors.  Thanks to Clare for her limitless support of the Outdoor Lab.

All enjoyed their time on a crisp fall day and left energized by their time experiencing nature.

Mark your calendars for our Spring Open House Saturday May 4th from 12-4pm!  We hope to see you there!

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Fall Open House- Sunday October 21st 12-4pm

The Outdoor Lab Open House is scheduled for Sunday October 21st 12-4pm.

Enjoy nature with your family as you hike the trails, try fishing in the pond, paddle a canoe, or visit with the animals in the Lab. We’ll have a cookout with hot dogs and smores or you can bring a picnic to enjoy. It’s fun for all ages and free for Arlington Families and friends.

While at the lab, talk to AOEA board members about the upcoming capital projects or how you could volunteer. We’re looking for additional board members and have lots of great projects on our plate!

Consider carpooling with neighbors or friends to reduce your carbon footprint. Directions can be found here and parking info will be posted closer to the event.

In case of inclement weather, check back here for cancellations or updates.  An Open House Rain Date has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday November 4th.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Spring Open House Highlights

Thanks to all who came out for the Outdoor Lab Spring Open House!  We welcomed Arlington Families, Neighbors and Friends.

We held our annual meeting and welcomed State Senator Barbara Favola who presented the Outdoor Lab with recognition by the General Assembly with SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 262 which read in part

  • “That the General Assembly hereby commend Arlington Outdoor Lab for offering unique educational opportunities to young Virginians on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.”
The AOEA would like to thank the General Assembly,  Senator Favola and Senator Howell and Delagates Hope, Levine, Lopez and Sullivan for their on-going support.

The Annual Meeting continued with the election of  the proposed slate of Board Members.

The group then adjourned outside as we thanked retiring director Neil Heinekamp for his 25 years of service to the lab with the unveiling of a tree planted in his honor and the results of a fund raiser to create a young birders library to cntinue his love of birds for generations to come.

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Spring Open House- Saturday June 16th 1-5pm

Open House has been Rained Out, rescheduled for Saturday June 16th 1-5pm.

Enjoy nature with your family as you hike the trails, try fishing in the pond, paddle a canoe, or visit with the animals in the Lab. We’ll have a cookout with hot dogs and smores or you can bring a picnic to enjoy. It’s fun for all ages and free for Arlington Families and friends.

While at the lab, talk to AOEA board members about the upcoming capital projects or how you could volunteer. We’re looking for additional board members and have lots of great projects on our plate!

Consider carpooling with neighbors or friends to reduce your carbon footprint. Directions can be found here and parking info will be posted closer to the event. In case of inclement weather, check back here for cancellations or updates.

We look forward to seeing you!

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VA Sec of Education @ Outdoor Lab!

As part of his 2018 Commonwealth Listening TourSecretary of Education,  Atif Qarni, visited the Outdoor Lab as Patrick Henry Elementary’s 5th graders started their overnight field trip.  Secretary Qarni’s mission is two-fold: celebrate all of the great work that’s being done for learners around the Commonwealth, and get a firsthand experience with the challenges and needs across Virginia.

The Secretary was met by Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy and APS Science Supervisor Dr. Dat Le and the Staff of the Outdoor Lab.  Discussions about the opearation of the lab, its challenges and its benefits for Arlington students were had as the group toured the Outdoor Lab facilities.  The visit was set-up by Chidi Uche, Special Assistant to the Secretary, and former Jamestown Elementary teacher.

The  Secretary welcomed the 5th graders and teachers from Patrick Henry (including a group selfie) and participated in their hands-on, science activities.

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Open House RESCHEDULED- Saturday June 16th 1-5pm

Open House has been Rained Out, rescheduled for Saturday June 16th 1-5pm.

Enjoy nature with your family as you hike the trails, try fishing in the pond, paddle a canoe, or visit with the animals in the Lab.  We’ll have a cookout with hot dogs and smores or you can bring a picnic to enjoy.  It’s fun for all ages and free for Arlington Families and friends.

While at the lab, talk to AOEA board members about the upcoming capital projects or how you could volunteer.  We’re looking for additional board members and have lots of great projects on our plate!

Consider carpooling with neighbors or friends to reduce your carbon footprint.  Directions can be found here and parking info will be posted closer to the event.  In case of inclement weather, check back here for cancellations or updates.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Lab Notes- October 2018

 

Mike & Pam Nardolilli
(Farewell Salamander Cake by Martine McNabola)

President’s Letter – 

Mike – “Thank you for your service”!

After 17 years on the Board of Directors for the Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) 14 as President-Mike Nardolilli has “retired.”  Mike’s stewardship of the Lab during this period has been profound and long lasting.  His many accomplishments include:
* Negotiation and execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Arlington Public Schools (APS) (Instead of an annual $1 rent payment – the MOU began with a formula of essentially $10 for each APS student visiting the lab – approximately 9,000 annually).
* Purchase of an additional 36 acres of land adjacent to the Lab.
* Repairs to the pond/dam, Striker Cottage, boat dock and fishing platform, new entrance to the Lab with safer bus passage, two tiny houses for staff overnight accommodations, and the replacement of the animal Lab with a $750,000 LEED-certified building.
* Increase in an additional APS staff member at the Lab.
* Partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to perform trail work at the Lab.
* Raised over $100,000 during 50th Anniversary celebrations that will be used for other capital programs at the Lab including land acquisitions and the replacement of the Striker Cottage.
During the June AOEA Board meeting, Todd Parker, was elected President, Mike Maleski Vice-President, Claire Hardie Treasurer and Mary Ann Penning as Secretary.  We all appreciate the dedication and hard work that Mike and his family provided to the AOEA and the Outdoor Lab over the last 17 years.  We will continue to build on the solid foundation that he has developed.
Todd Parker, President AOEA

fishing pier

Fall Open House
Friends and families, come out to the Lab for our Fall 2017 Community Open House.  It is scheduled for Sunday, Oct 29, 12-4 pm. In addition to activities on the pond, we’ll have fishing, a cookout, hiking and the animal lab.  Check our web site (Outdoorlab.org) in case in inclement weather.
Hope to see you there!

Hail

Jessica Leslie
Our new staff member is long time Outdoor Lab volunteer, Jessica Leslie (Ms. Bat).  She has a long connection to the Lab as a parent and now as a staff member!
Farewell
Clare
Clare McLean
This Summer we said “good bye” to Clare McLean (Mrs. Fox), an Outdoor Lab staff member since 2010.  She accepted a new position at Abington Elementary school. We wish her the best in the future and hope she will still occasionally visit the Lab.
Learning at the Outdoor Lab!
By Christine Payack (Miss Turtle)
Look! A long sinewy millipede crawls under decaying bark.
Feel! Soft caterpillars and slimy slugs undulate across our hands.
Listen! Nocturnal owls call while the stream gurgles in the darkness.
Sniff! The smell of moist leaves drifts through the air.
These are some of the learning moments that take hold of our senses at the Outdoor Lab –a place protected and far removed from urban encroachment. In this living classroom, we “explore, wonder and learn” and develop a deep love and respect for the natural world.
How can this jewel of nature be best investigated as an extension of the Arlington Public Schools’ science curriculum? How can the Outdoor Lab best support each school community as partners in learning?
With teacher input and advice, we are developing new lessons to tap into all that the Lab has to offer. By identifying key life science concepts that vertically integrate and spiral through the grades, our comprehensive and fluid activity choices will meet the needs of teachers and their students during the school year.
The Animal Lab is being transformed into a microcosm of our diverse 225-acre facility. It is here that students investigate the natural world through the lens of the indigenous animal ambassadors who reside there. Through their stories, the animals teach us all about the species that interact and depend on each other in their food webs, habitats and communities beyond the Animal Lab‘s doors.
Outside, students continue to explore the natural world through active and hands-on learning and observation. As scientific thinkers, they ask questions, build knowledge and expand on science principles, such as change, cycles, patterns and relationships in the living world.
What are some of the essential questions and themes that cycle through the seasons?
“What is an ecosystem?”
“How does energy flow through a food chain?”
“How do organisms depend on each other in their habitats and communities?”
“What are the roles of producers, consumers and decomposers in their environments?”
“What are the life cycles of living organisms?”
“How do specific adaptations and traits allow an organism to survive in its environment?”
“Why and how do scientists classify organisms into different categories?”
“What is the human impact on the natural world?”
“How can we positively impact the survival of the living world around us today and in the future?”
Come join us any day to investigate these questions while you . . .
Look, touch, smell and hear!
Explore, wonder and learn!
And protect the best classroom of all –the one that is outdoors!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!
 
Williamsburg Middle School PTA
Long Branch Elementary School PTA
Discovery Elementary School
Jamestown 5th Grade Gift
Oakridge Elementary School PTA
Arlington Traditional School PTA
Tuckahoe-Glebe Basketball Game
Arlington Retired Teacher’s Association
 
An important part of AOEA contributions come from schools and individual donations.  Donations can be made through “1st day packets” and on line (see below).  We also get “special” contributions – last year the Jamestown 5th grade class gave the Outdoor Lab support that was used to purchase new tents and life preservers.  For the past two years Tuckahoe elementary school has held a basketball fundraiser – this year it was against Glebe school – the Outdoor Lab was the biggest winner receiving over $3,900!   Big or small all donations are appreciated and show how passionate our supporters are!
AOEA BOARD MEMBERS
 
Are you passionate about outdoor education?  Want to help preserve the Outdoor Lab for the next 50 years?  Consider joining us as a member of the AOEA Board.  We are interested in attracting Board members with a variety of talents – social media, communications, IT/data base management, fund raising/grant management, volunteer coordination, and APS liasion.  Contact us through the e-mail (link below).
 
President:          Todd Parker
Vice President:  Mike Maleski
Treasurer:          Claire Hardie
Secretary:          Mary Ann Penning
Committee Chairpersons
Facilities & Maint.:    Bob Schrider
Fundraising:             Ron Oleynik
Outreach:                 Carol Goodloe
Other Board Members:
Paul Diehl,  Felix Herrera, Sarah Jensen,
Scott Kovarovics, Anita Scott
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Summer Camp 2018

Science Enrichment Summer Camp

The Outdoor Lab offers three, week-long camp sessions that provide a number of nature-related activities and experiences to Arlington Public School students who may not otherwise have such opportunities.

Campers sleep outdoors in tents and are provided three meals and snacks every day. Activities include nature hikes, survival skills, night walks, games, skits, arts and crafts, animal exploration, boating, fish, and much more.

Sessions for 2018

  • Session A- Elementary School  (for students entering 5th or 6th): June 25 to June 29
  • Session B- Middle School  (for students entering 6th, 7th or 8th):  July  9  to July 13
  • Session C- Elementary School:  (for students entering 5th or 6th): July 23 to July 27