Fall Family Hikes @ the ODL

Looking for somewhere to go on a weekend?  The Outdoor Lab invites members of the Arlington Community to hike our Trails and enjoy the Outdoors. Sound like a good time?  Here are the details:

  • Sign up before you come.  (Click HERE for our EventBrite 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 this Fall.

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

Cultural History Project launches for Black History Month

As part of the Outdoor Lab’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, we’re launching a Cultural History Project during Black History Month.

The goal of this project is to research, document, and share the stories of ALL the families who called the mountain gap home..

On a visit with the Afro-American History Association of Fauquier County, Outdoor Lab staff learned that part of the Underground Railroad went through our property.  The oral history was that enslaved people escaping through Fauquier were told “Follow the Pine Mountains” to freedom.

Recent research into our Land Records revealed the names of property owners of our parcels back to the founding of the Colony of Virginia.  These names are a key fact that kick started the research project.  By finding the families, we can reconstruct who lived on and worked the land through time.  We can then build the stories of these families through the artifacts they left on the property and ways they shaped the land.

We will partner with other researchers, families and organizations as we progress with the Cultural History Project.  Please check back to see our progress.  If you have an interest in helping please contact president@outdoorlab.org.

June 17- By-Law revision mtng

Please join us June 17 at 7 pm to discuss and vote on revisions to the AOEA bylaws. 

If you are interested in participating send an email to arlingtonoutdoorlab@gmail.com and a link to the virtual “zoom” meeting will be provided. 

All AOEA members in good standing can participate/vote.  Members in good standing would be those that paid annual family/individual membership dues since September 2019 or are “Acre/Hectare” savers (life time members).  Proxy votes can also be sent to arlingtonoutdoorlab@gmail.com by 6 pm on 17 June 2020.

AOEA By-Laws were last changed in 2001 and just need minor changes.  Current revisions are below and in red-lined file here.

— Todd Parker, AOEA President


(As Amended June 17,  2020) 


Section 1 – Name                                

The name of the Corporation is “Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc.” 

ARTICLE II-Purposes 

Section 1 – Purposes                               

 The purposes for which this Corporation is formed are as follows:

  1. To provide and advocate for enriched educational opportunities for students of Arlington Public Schools in Arlington County, Virginia.
  2. To provide a facility and support a school program designed to give urban children an opportunity to learn math, science, arts, humanities, and vocational skills in a natural setting.
  3. To encourage conservation by preserving a natural area and supporting an instructional program that will give young people a better understanding of nature.
  4. To exercise such power as may be necessary for the furtherance of the above purposes.

 ARTICLE III – Membership 

Section 1 -Eligibility and Term

The membership of the Corporation shall be open to all persons interested in and supporting the above purposes. All members in good standing shall have the right to vote on all matters coming before any Annual or Special Meeting of the Corporation. A member in good standing shall mean a member who has paid their dues for the current membership year, or who retains a Lifetime membership. The membership year runs concurrently with the Arlington Public Schools school year. 

Section 2 – Dues 

Annual dues shall be set by the Board of Directors. 

ARTICLE IV – Officers 

Section 1 – Officers

The officers of this Corporation shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. 

Section 2 – Election and Term of Office

The officers shall be selected by the Board of Directors from among the Board of Directors. The officers shall serve for a period of one year unless removed earlier by the Board of Directors.  

Section 3 – Legal Counsel

A legal counsel may be appointed by the Board to advise as necessary. The legal counsel need not be a member of the Corporation. 

Section 4 – Vacancies

If the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall succeed to the office and the Board shall elect a new Vice-President. If any other officer position becomes vacant, the Board shall elect a replacement officer as applicable.

ARTICLE V – Duties of Officers 

Section 1 – Duties of the President

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Corporation and the Board of Directors, and perform all duties usually appertaining to such an office. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint all Committees and may appoint assistants to the Officers.

Section 2 – Duties of the Vice-President

The Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President if the President is absent or unable to perform their duties. 

Section 3 – Duties of Secretary

The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Corporation and of the Board of Directors; conduct the correspondence of the Corporation; carefully preserve all documents, and electronic records appertaining to their office and shall deliver same to their successor in good condition; and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the President, Vice-President and Board of Directors. 

Section 4 – Duties of Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the maintenance of the financial records of the Corporation; receive all dues; deposit all funds in the name of the Corporation in some depository satisfactory to the Board of Directors; disburse the funds of the Corporation upon the authorization and approval of the Board of Directors; submit an annual budget to the Board and present a financial status report at all meetings of the Board and general membership. The Treasurer shall deliver to their successor, when duly qualified, all financial records, papers and monies pertaining to their office. 

ARTICLE VI – Board of Directors 

Section 1 – Composition

The Board of Directors shall be composed of a minimum of nine (9), including officers, and a maximum of fifteen (15) members in good standing of the Corporation. The exact number shall be determined annually, at the first Board meeting following the Corporation’s Annual Meeting. 

Section 2 – Election and Term of Office

The Directors shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for three (3) year terms so that the expiration dates of the terms will require, as closely as possible, that 1/3 of the terms expire each year. 

Section 3 – Board Vacancies

A vacancy on the Board of Directors shall be filled by the Board on an interim basis until the next Annual Meeting, at which time the vacancy shall be filled by election for the remaining portion of the term.  

Section 4 – Absenteeism 

If a Board member is absent from 1/2 of the regularly scheduled Board meetings during the 12-month period from July 1 to June 30, the position of that member may be declared vacant by a majority vote of the Board. If a Board member is absent from four (4) consecutive regularly scheduled board meetings, the position of that member shall become vacant without further action; the Board may, by majority vote, reinstate that member. 

ARTICLE VII- Board of Directors – Meetings and Powers 

Section 1 – Meetings

The Board of Directors shall meet on call of the President or at the request of any group of four (4) members of the Board of Directors. It shall meet no less than six (6) times per year. The Board of Directors may, at any meeting, consider and act upon any matters brought to its attention by any Director or any member of the Corporation. 

Section 2 – Quorum

A quorum for transaction of business by the Board shall consist of six (6) members of the Board. 

Section 3 – Powers

  1. The Board of Directors shall have complete charge of and responsibility for all Corporate business and property.
  2. The Board of Directors may solicit and accept contributions, gifts, and donations from any and all persons, firms, and corporations, in order to raise funds to be used exclusively for the purpose of the Corporation as set forth in Article II.

 Section 4 – Indemnification

The Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc., will indemnify any:

  • 1)      director,
  • 2)      officer,
  • 3)      former director,
  • 4)      former officer, and
  • 5)      if the Board of Directors has extended this indemnification to such volunteer, any person who may have served as a volunteer against liability, cost, or expense incurred by them in the performance of their duties. This indemnification shall apply only to any actual or threat of civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative action, suit, or proceeding arising out of their service to the Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc. TheArlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc., may retain insurance to protect itself, any director, officer, former director, former officer, or indemnified volunteer against any such liability, cost or expense incurred in connection with any such suit, action, or proceeding. The Board of the Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc., shall have the right to approve any settlements or legal expenses incurred in connection with any such suit, action, or proceeding. This indemnification shall be to the fullest extent now or hereafter permitted by law. 

ARTICLE VIII – Auditing 

Section 1 – Auditing

All financial records and accounts shall be audited by a Committee or a professional commercial entity in the business of accounting and auditing at least once a year. The Committee, appointed by the Board of Directors, shall consist of not less than three members, one of whom shall be a Director of the Corporation. 

Section 2 – Fiscal Year

The Fiscal Year shall run from January 1 through December 31 and federal tax forms shall be filed for this period unless exempted by statute. 

ARTICLE IX – Annual and Special Meetings 

Section 1 – Annual Meeting

Meetings of the general membership may be called by the Board of Directors at such times and places as the Board may designate, but at least one such meeting, designated as the Annual Meeting, must be called within the period of each calendar year. The Secretary shall notify members at least ten (10) days in advance, giving the time and place of the Annual Meeting.  The Board shall select the date of the Annual Meeting at least sixty (60) days prior to the date so selected.  

Section 2 – Special Meetings

Special Meetings may be called by the President or by a majority of the Board of Directors or by 5 percent (5%) of the members in good standing. Each member shall be notified of the time, place and purpose of such a meeting at least ten (10) days in advance. Section 3 – QuorumFive percent (5%) or some lesser number, as reflected by the attendance at any Annual or Special Meeting, of the members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Corporation, and they are empowered to transact any business. 

ARTICLE X – Elections 

Section 1 – Nominating Committee[SJ18] 

The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee composed of not less than three (3) members who shall submit to the President a slate of nominees for the Board of Directors not less than thirty (30) days before the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall include the names of the nominees for the Board of Directors in the notice of the Annual Meeting sent to the members at least ten (10) days before the Annual Meeting. 

Section 2 – Nominations

Nominations may be made by petition signed by at least three (3) members in good standing. Such petition must be submitted to the President or Secretary not less than forty (40) nor more than sixty (60) days before the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall include the names of such nominees for the Board of Directors in the notice of the Annual Meeting sent to the members at least ten (10) days before the Annual Meeting. Nominations may furthermore be accepted from the floor during the course of an Annual Meeting in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Section 3 – Eligibility  

All nominees must be members in good standing. Only members in good standing may vote.   

Section 4 – Voting

Proxies must be submitted using a method prescribed by the Board, and received by the Secretary, before the election. Those candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to the Board of Directors. The Secretary will record all votes of the membership and certify the results of the election. 


Section 1 – Seal

The Seal of the Corporation shall be in the form of a circle and bear the name of the Corporation in its circumference.


Section 1 – Rules of Order

Robert’s Rules of Order shall be controlling at all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Corporation. 

ARTICLE XIII – Amendment of By-Laws 

Section 1 – Amendments

Proposed amendments to the By-laws of the Corporation shall be submitted in writing to the members in good standing at least (10) days before the meeting at which they are to be voted on. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those responding by proxy or written ballot shall be necessary to approve each amendment.

CANCELLED-Fall Open House- Sunday Oct 27th 12-4p

Due to weather forecast the Open House is cancelledfor Sunday October 27th.

Check back in Spring for our next open house.

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 October 27th 12-4pm.

We look forward to seeing you!

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

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.


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.

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!