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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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Wind Storm Update

The Outdoor Lab has been hit hard by the wind storms blowing down trees and knocking out power to all buildings at the lab.

Please check with your school’s coordinating Teacher for trips to the Lab for week of March 5th.  Some trips will be cancelled.

The Lab Staff, AOEA Board, APS staff and various contractors are working hard to get power restored and the Lab back in safe operating condition.

Power to the Outdoor Lab was restored Monday afternoon by NOVEC and its contractors from Charlotte, NC!

Some repairs, especially to Animal Lab will take longer to complete, but deck and porch have been safely blocked off from student access so programs can continue.   A vintage canoe and lawn tractor were also damaged.

Check out pictures below:

        

 

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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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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
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Winter 2018

We’re off to a cold but wonderful start to the new year!

Classes from Arlington Public Schools 3rd and 7th grades are taking the bus out to the lab daily to experience first hand the wonders of nature in winter.  Checkout our Facebook page to see some of their winter discoveries.

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Advocate for the Outdoor Lab

President’s Letter

We have have many dedicated supporters and are very grateful for your support.  With the increasing school population, we want to ensure that we have facilities and resources to continue supporting Arlington Public School (APS) students.
We continue to have discussions with Arlington Public School staff to increase Outdoor Lab staff and transportation so we can maintain the current classes and possibly bring back more high school and 6th grade programs.  This year the Outdoor Lab staff has scheduled a record 43 5th grade overnights!  With the increasing size of 7th grade and 3rd grade classes we have no room left in the calendar for make-up days due to cancellations.  So inclement weather (ice, snow!) precludes a school from having the overnight experience – we are as disappointed as the students!  The Science Advisory Committee and AOEA have both recommended additional staff and transportation to provide additional flexibility in scheduling visits.
We are anxious to move forward with our cottage replacement and other facility projects – but as our past president, Mike Nardolilli, simply stated – “AOEA and APS are running a 3-legged race supporting the OL and if we are not working together – we just run in circles”.  The AOEA needs a commitment from APS (additional resources) to maintain the program for the future.
Express your support for the Outdoor Lab directly to APS staff:
 Your past support has made it possible for the Outdoor Lab to serve the Arlington community for 50 years! Please “pay it forward” and remember the Outdoor Lab at this time of year by making a tax-deductible contribution today!   (online at https://outdoorlab.org or mail to Arlington Outdoor Education Association Inc.,  P.O. Box 5646, Arlington, VA 22205)

 

Todd Parker, President AOEA