Thank You Picnic- 50 Years

On Sunday, June 4, the AOEA board and Outdoor Lab staff thanked our generous longtime donors with a festive picnic celebration.  It was wonderful to see so many old friends and to recognize them for their years of service and support to the Outdoor Lab. Thank you to all who attended!
Special recognition was given via these two awards:
Volunteer of the Decade
Judy Collins and family
Volunteer of the Year
Marni Pennington Coleman

At the event, AOEA President Mike Nardolilli unveiled renderings of a planned replacement for Striker Cottage
and announced the availability of a number of “Naming Opportunities”
at the Outdoor Lab, including the following:
“TINY HOUSES” @ $50,000 EACH
The “Tiny Houses” are two small units that are able to provide sleeping
accommodations to Outdoor Lab Staff who stay at the Lab during
the Fifth Grade Overnights.

The Lab property includes Glasscock Gap that was used by troops during the Civil War.
We have discovered a number of Civil War and other historic artifacts on the Lab property that should be appropriately displayed.

Help us build the replacement for the Striker Cottage by becoming a 50th Anniversary Friend of Phoebe.
Your name will be placed on a plaque in the new structure as your legacy to the children of Arlington.

Please contact the Outdoor Lab if you are interested in supporting our Capital Campaign! 

Mail: P.O. Box 5646, Arlington, VA 22205

Open House, Saturday May 20 2017

Arlington Families- Help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Outdoor Lab at the semi-annual Outdoor Lab Open House, Saturday May 20th from 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.

We look forward to seeing you!


SCA trail crew 2016

For the last few years, the Outdoor Lab Board has partnered with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to sponsor trail crews at the Outdoor Lab.  The Lab property benefits as the crews help rebuild our trails, bridges and natural infrastructure while the crews learn valuable environmental and leadership skills.  Check out their report for the 2016 project below:

SCA Outdoor Lab Crew 2016 Final Report


Outdoor Lab at the Arlington County Fair

Come See Us!

Arlington Outdoor Lab staff and AOEA Board members will be at the Arlington County Fair this year.
Drop by and pick up coloring/activity sheets  or leave us a note about your favorite memory of the Outdoor Lab.
T-shirts will be be available for $10 & $15 – enter our free raffle and win a t-shirt – one winner a day will be chosen.


  • Friday, August 19: 4:00 -10:00 pm
  • Saturday, August 20: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Sunday, August 21: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm


Thomas Jefferson Community Center
3501 S. Second Street, Arlington Virginia
For more info, check out the Arlington County Fair Website.

Outdoor Lab named “Virginia Treasure”

The Arlington Outdoor Lab has been designated a “Virginia Treasure” by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The announcement was made last week at the Annual Retreat of the Board of Directors of the Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA), owners of the environmental education facility in Broad Run, Virginia.

The Outdoor Lab property is part of the Broad Run/Little Georgetown Rural Historic District in Fauquier County which is now officially listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The Treasure Award was created to recognize outstanding conservation, cultural heritage and recreation projects in Virginia.

“We are delighted that the Outdoor Lab has received this important recognition as a Virginia Treasure,” AOEA President Mike Nardolilli said at the announcement. “The fact that this designation comes just as we have kicked off a year-long celebration of our 50th anniversary is the icing on the cake,” he added. Last month, the Outdoor Lab held an event to start the year-long commemoration of the founding of the AOEA on July 6, 1967. At the Board Retreat, Nardolilli reported that the June 4th fundraiser netted $100,000 for the capital needs at the Outdoor Lab, almost double the goal of the all-volunteer organization.

The Arlington Outdoor Education Association is the 501c3 entity that owns and maintains the Arlington Outdoor Lab, a 225-acre facility in Broad Run, Virginia. Each year, 9000 Arlington County public school children are brought to the Outdoor Lab to learn about the environmental sciences and to have fun while doing so. For more information, visit

Spring Open House Cancelled

Due to the rain for the past two weeks we will have to cancel the Spring Open House that was scheduled for Saturday May 14
Friends and families, come out to the Lab for our Fall 2016 Community Open House.
In addition to activities on the pond we’ll have fishing, a cookout, hiking and the animal lab.
Check back on our web site!