News

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.

Open House- Sat May 15th 10a-4p*

The Outdoor Lab Open House is scheduled for Sunday October 17th 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!)
  • 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 Oct 24th 10a-4p. 

We look forward to seeing you!  

Share your pictures and tag #LovetheODL 

Join the AOEA Board!

The Outdoor Lab is a partnership between the Arlington Public Schools (APS) and the non-profit Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA).

  • APS provides the teachers, educational program and buses.
  • AOEA owns and manages the land and buildings as well as advocates for outdoor education, STEAM curriculum, and hands-on, experiential leaning.

We need  members of the Arlington community to step-up and help us in this critical time for educating our students.  We need Board Members for the AOEA!

Current and past Board Members have a variety of experience and skills.  Many are parents, teachers or staff of Arlington schools.  Others are scientists, marketing professionals, real estate agents/builders or consultants.  We need a variety of experiences to challenge our organization to improve and grow.

If you are willing to help Arlington children and the Outdoor Lab (or know someone who might) please contact Todd Parker the AOEA President to learn more about our Board of Directors at president@outdoorlab.org.  We will elect a slate of Directors at our annual meeting May 15th.

If you’d like to volunteer to help the Outdoor Lab learn more HERE.

 

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

 

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 

CasualAdventure Sock-tober for ODL

Casual Adventure, a long-time Outdoor Lab Supporter and an APS family, has chosen to donate 20% of their Sock-tober promotion to the Outdoor Lab.

Casual Adventure Outfitters is teaming up with @Smartwool and celebrating #Socktober by donating 20% of our sock sales to the @arlingtonoutdoorlab @apsvirginia.

So you can get great deals on great socks and support the ODL! Get your socks:

Get outfitted for your next Outdoor adventure and support the Outdoor Lab!

ODL celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The Arlington Outdoor Education Association and the Outdoor Lab Staff celebrate national Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15 annually)

We honor the many Hispanic Americans who have contributed to our schools, community and country.  And celebrate our Latinx students who contribute their talents, skills and culture in all schools every day.

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

Fall Events- Visit the ODL

We love to welcome families to the Outdoor Lab on Weekends.

Come see what your APS students are raving about.  Enjoy the fresh air, immerse yourself in nature, and relax in the mountains.

We’re only 45 minutes from Arlington.(directions here)  Pack a lunch and plan a family activity.

Fall 2021 activities are below.  Due to COVID, we need all visitors to register via Eventbrite.  (check back for links to each event below.)

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