Open House- Sat May 21st 10a-4p*

The Outdoor Lab Open House is REscheduled for Saturday May 21st 10a-1p OR 1p-4p.  

The Outdoor Lab welcomes all Arlington Families to the Open House. Grab your “pod” and explore our 226 acres of mountain trails, meadows, streams and pond.  While at the Lab, your family can: 

  • fish in the pond (cane poles & worms provided!)
  • paddle the boats
  • hike our trails (over 5 miles, various hiking abilities)
  • observe critters in our Nature Center (maybe pet a snake?)
  • find a perfect spot for a family picnic! (bring your lunch!
Get your Tickets!

Due to COVID, we need families to pre-register through Eventbrite here.

  • Please choose EITHER 10a-1p ticket OR 1p-4p ticket (NOT BOTH) This will allow us to meet COVID limits and allow as many families as we can.
  • Each ticket is for one Carload. Please do NOT register for a ticket for each person in your car.
  • Tickets are “donate what you can.” The Outdoor Lab is owned by the non-profit Arlington Outdoor Education Association (a 501c3, tax exempt organization)
  • We will create a waitlist if needed, if your plans change and you don’t plan to come, please let us know

For the Safety of Visitors:

  • all visitors must sign in
  • masks must be worn while inside and when social distancing is not possible
  • NO Dogs allowed
  • please leave only footsteps and take only pictures
Other Info

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! 

You can find Directions here, look for signs and volunteers on where to park.

Bad weather, check back here for cancellations or updates.  

We look forward to seeing you!  

Share your pictures and tag #LovetheODL

AAPI Heritage Month @ ODL

This May, the Outdoor Lab and the AOEA celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

With staff and directors with AAPI heritage in our families, we’d like to honor all Asian American and Pacific Islander families, their contributions to science and education and the building of our nation.

In this time of violence against AAPI individuals and communities, we stand together with all who speak out against hate, bigotry, and exclusion.

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.

ODL’s Amazon Wish List

For supporters who like to give something tangible, the Outdoor Lab Staff has created an AmazonSmile Charity List to use with students at the Outdoor Lab.

Shop online or on your app and help the students experience the Outdoor Lab with hands-on STEM learning.

 

While you’re there, you can select the Arlington Outdoor Education Association (the non-profit behind the Outdoor Lab) as your AmazonSmile charity.

Dec 4th 5-9p Chipotle Ballston Fundraiser

Save the Date for our Chipotle Fundraiser- Saturday Dec 4th from 5-9pm at the Ballston Common Chipotle!

The Outdoor Lab will receive part of the sales at the Ballston Common Chipotle (4300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203)

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…

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 V9EZR9M on the Chipotle app or website.
  • Please note that fundraiser online ordering is only valid through pickup on Saturday Dec 4th from 5p-9p at the Ballston Chipotle location.

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.

Chipotle Fundraiser Dec 2021 english 374040-flyer

Chipotle fundraiser Dec 2021 374040-spanish-flyer

 

ODL Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

The Outdoor Lab staff and board celebrate Native American Heritage Month.  We reflect on the great contributions of Native peoples to our Commonwealth and Country and strive to learn and tell their stories of achievement.  The land of the Outdoor Lab was originally settled by Manahoac peoples, a Siouxan speaking tribal alliance, which descended from Mississippian mound building cultures.  They originally inhabited the Ohio River valley region, with one group migrating east, sometimes called the Eastern Sioux, and another migrating West.

The Manahoac had little interaction with the English colonists in Jamestown and were shielded by the Powhatan confederacy on the coast and Tidewaters.  In addition to diseases introduced by Spanish and English explorers, the Manahoac faced pressure from the Haudenosaunee confederacy (Six Nations of Iroquois) and Susquehannock tribes (Iroquoian speaking, also known as Conestoga) who raided their Piedmont homes. The Manahoac migrated South toward the related Monacan tribes and eventually merged with them and the Siouxan speaking Tutelo, Saponi, and Occaneechi.

What we have learned about the Manahoac culture comes from the few interactions documented by Europeans, often through translators from rival tribes,  and their archaeological record.  They were semi-nomadic and followed the animals they hunted including Deer, Bear, and Eastern Buffalo.  They generally settled near streams and rivers and built palisaded villages with small round or oval dwellings covered with reeds and bark.  They grew the Three Sisters of corn, squash and beans and managed their game lands by prescribed burning of forests.

In 1608,  colonist John Smith explored up the Rappahannock river to its headwaters and documented various tribes and settlements of the Manahoac.  Smith captured a wounded Manahoac warrior named Amorolec who told Smith about the tribes of the Manahoac, their enemies and related tribes who lived from the Fall Line up to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia’s rivers. The Whonkentia were settled in current Fauquier County and we can assume from artifacts found at the Outdoor Lab that other Manahoac tribes were living along Broad Run and its tributaries here at the present Outdoor Lab.

In 1754, Thomas Jefferson observed native peoples conducting ceremonies at a burial mound near his Monticello home in Albemarle County, Virginia.    He later dug into the mound and recorded his findings in an organized fashion as part of his Notes on the State of Virginia (1787).  Jefferson is recognized as an early archaeologist for this work.

The Monacan nation exists today and in 2018 became a federally recognized tribe with tribal land at Bear Mountain in Amherst County, Virginia.  The Monacan nation recognizes the Manahoac as part of their ancestors.  A living history presentation of a Monacan Village can be seen at Natural Bridge State Park.

The Outdoor Lab encourages you to learn more about the Manahoac and other native peoples and their rich history, culture and accomplishments in our history.

Oct 17th OPEN HOUSE 10a-4p*

The Outdoor Lab Open House is scheduled for Sunday October 17th 10a-1p and 1p-4p.  

The Outdoor Lab welcomes all Arlington Families to the Open House. Grab your “pod” and explore our 226 acres of mountain trails, meadows, streams and pond.  While at the Lab, your family can: 

  • fish in the pond (cane poles & worms provided!)
  • hike our trails (over 5 miles, various hiking abilities)
  • observe critters in our Nature Center (admission in small groups)
  • find a perfect spot for a family picnic! (bring your lunch!)
Get your Tickets!

Due to COVID, we need families to pre-register through Eventbrite here.

  • Please choose EITHER 10a-1p ticket OR 1p-4p ticket (NOT BOTH) This will allow us to meet COVID limits and allow as many families as we can.
  • Each ticket is for one Carload. Please do NOT register for a ticket for each person in your car.
  • Tickets are “donate what you can.” The Outdoor Lab is owned by the non-profit Arlington Outdoor Education Association (a 501c3, tax exempt organization)
  • We will create a waitlist if needed, if your plans change and you don’t plan to come, please let us know

For the Safety of Visitors:

  • all visitors must sign in
  • masks must be worn while inside and when social distancing is not possible
  • NO Dogs allowed
  • please leave only footsteps and take only pictures
Other Info

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! 

You can find Directions here, look for signs and volunteers on where to park.

Bad weather, check back here for cancellations or updates.  An Open House Rain Date has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday October 24th 10a-4p. 

We look forward to seeing you!  

Share your pictures and tag #LovetheODL 

ODL @ the ArlCo Fair 2021

Visit the Outdoor Lab’s Booth (M13) at the 45th Annual Arlington County Fair starting Friday August 20 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and surrounding grounds, at 3501 2nd Street S.

After your Goat Yoga and before the Pig Races, cool off inside and visit the Outdoor Lab Booth!

Join us at the Arlington County Fair:

  • Fri   August 20 4p – 10p
  • Sat  August 21 10a – 9p
  • Sun August 22 11a – 7p

Sat June 5th- ODL CampIN!

The 2nd Annual Great Outdoor Lab CampIN!

Join us on Saturday, June 5th 5-8pm for the Great Outdoor Lab CampIN! Set up a pillow fort inside your home, or set up a tent in your yard.

We know the Outdoor Lab Camp-Out is a highlight for our 5th Grade Students. Since we can’t host them at the Lab this year, we wanted to share the fun — virtually — with everyone!

How to participate:

Make your plans for camping indoors or outside in your yard — planning is half of the fun!

    • What supplies do you need? Flashlights? Pillows? Sleeping bags or blankets?
    • How can your family pitch in to help?

JOIN US! Tonight from 5-8pm check our stream on Facebook to see how the Outdoor Lab celebrates the CampIN with snacks, games, and campfire stories!

    • What might you see and hear during your campIN? Check it out!
    • Dust off your best campfire stories and get ready to share with your family!
    • Visit the Outdoor Lab Trade Secrets page — we’re letting our secrets out for a limited time!

SHARE WITH US!!!  We want this to be a community event and to share (virtually) in the fun with you!

    • We’re using DropEvent for you to share pictures of you and your crew in the Great Outdoor Lab CampIN!
    • Ask an adult to share pictures to the Outdoor Lab’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages!
    • However you choose to share, remember to use #CampIN
Have a last minute need- Shop Local

Need new batteries for your flashlight or lantern?  Or a tarp or rope?  Local Arlington stores have all the supplies you need, check some out below:

Casual Adventure

A long-time supporter of the Outdoor Lab, and owned by an APS Family, Casual Adventure has everything you need for backyard camping, scouting or big adventures.

Ayer’s Variety & Hardware
Bill’s True Value Hardware
Cherrydale Hardware
Twins Ace Hardware