The Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) is proud to announce a new partnership with the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists (ARMN)!
ARMN’s mission is to increase the quantity and quality of healthy, biodiverse, high-functioning ecosystems. They work directly in the field to restore native habitat by removing invasive plants and cultivating natives. They provide education and outreach to the public and communicate to various audiences about habitat restoration, local wildlife, and related topics. We collect data to measure the health of our ecosystems and share results to contribute to scientific research. They are an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to the vision of a healthy and vibrant system of natural lands.
ARMN’s Master Naturalists, like the AOEA, already partner with Arlington Public Schools (APS) to educate students and their families on their natural environment and improve school yards in Arlington. They also work with a multitude of Arlington agencies and non-profits to improve Arlington’s ecosystem. This new partnership leverages both the AOEA’s and ARMN’s similar missions to extend stewardship to the “little slice of Arlington” that is the Outdoor Lab.
The AOEA is welcoming ARMN volunteers to the Outdoor Lab to extend their professional development on our 226 acres with a variety of sub-ecosystems- both healthy and endangered. The Outdoor Lab staff will share their ODL specific knowledge with ARMN volunteers and learn from the vast experience of the Master Naturalists and their network of experts. For example, ARMN volunteers will meet at the Outdoor Lab for a salamander and amphibian night hike and learn about research conducted by former ODL Director Neil Heinekamp on our mascot- the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum).
The AOEA and ARMN are also working on Volunteer Days at the Outdoor Lab where Arlington students, families, and citizens can help remove invasive species, plant native alternatives and improve the ODL ecosystems enjoyed by Arlingtonians for over 50 years.