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Lab Notes- October 2018

 

Mike & Pam Nardolilli
(Farewell Salamander Cake by Martine McNabola)

President’s Letter – 

Mike – “Thank you for your service”!

After 17 years on the Board of Directors for the Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) 14 as President-Mike Nardolilli has “retired.”  Mike’s stewardship of the Lab during this period has been profound and long lasting.  His many accomplishments include:
* Negotiation and execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Arlington Public Schools (APS) (Instead of an annual $1 rent payment – the MOU began with a formula of essentially $10 for each APS student visiting the lab – approximately 9,000 annually).
* Purchase of an additional 36 acres of land adjacent to the Lab.
* Repairs to the pond/dam, Striker Cottage, boat dock and fishing platform, new entrance to the Lab with safer bus passage, two tiny houses for staff overnight accommodations, and the replacement of the animal Lab with a $750,000 LEED-certified building.
* Increase in an additional APS staff member at the Lab.
* Partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to perform trail work at the Lab.
* Raised over $100,000 during 50th Anniversary celebrations that will be used for other capital programs at the Lab including land acquisitions and the replacement of the Striker Cottage.
During the June AOEA Board meeting, Todd Parker, was elected President, Mike Maleski Vice-President, Claire Hardie Treasurer and Mary Ann Penning as Secretary.  We all appreciate the dedication and hard work that Mike and his family provided to the AOEA and the Outdoor Lab over the last 17 years.  We will continue to build on the solid foundation that he has developed.
Todd Parker, President AOEA

fishing pier

Fall Open House
Friends and families, come out to the Lab for our Fall 2017 Community Open House.  It is scheduled for Sunday, Oct 29, 12-4 pm. In addition to activities on the pond, we’ll have fishing, a cookout, hiking and the animal lab.  Check our web site (Outdoorlab.org) in case in inclement weather.
Hope to see you there!

Hail

Jessica Leslie
Our new staff member is long time Outdoor Lab volunteer, Jessica Leslie (Ms. Bat).  She has a long connection to the Lab as a parent and now as a staff member!
Farewell
Clare
Clare McLean
This Summer we said “good bye” to Clare McLean (Mrs. Fox), an Outdoor Lab staff member since 2010.  She accepted a new position at Abington Elementary school. We wish her the best in the future and hope she will still occasionally visit the Lab.
Learning at the Outdoor Lab!
By Christine Payack (Miss Turtle)
Look! A long sinewy millipede crawls under decaying bark.
Feel! Soft caterpillars and slimy slugs undulate across our hands.
Listen! Nocturnal owls call while the stream gurgles in the darkness.
Sniff! The smell of moist leaves drifts through the air.
These are some of the learning moments that take hold of our senses at the Outdoor Lab –a place protected and far removed from urban encroachment. In this living classroom, we “explore, wonder and learn” and develop a deep love and respect for the natural world.
How can this jewel of nature be best investigated as an extension of the Arlington Public Schools’ science curriculum? How can the Outdoor Lab best support each school community as partners in learning?
With teacher input and advice, we are developing new lessons to tap into all that the Lab has to offer. By identifying key life science concepts that vertically integrate and spiral through the grades, our comprehensive and fluid activity choices will meet the needs of teachers and their students during the school year.
The Animal Lab is being transformed into a microcosm of our diverse 225-acre facility. It is here that students investigate the natural world through the lens of the indigenous animal ambassadors who reside there. Through their stories, the animals teach us all about the species that interact and depend on each other in their food webs, habitats and communities beyond the Animal Lab‘s doors.
Outside, students continue to explore the natural world through active and hands-on learning and observation. As scientific thinkers, they ask questions, build knowledge and expand on science principles, such as change, cycles, patterns and relationships in the living world.
What are some of the essential questions and themes that cycle through the seasons?
“What is an ecosystem?”
“How does energy flow through a food chain?”
“How do organisms depend on each other in their habitats and communities?”
“What are the roles of producers, consumers and decomposers in their environments?”
“What are the life cycles of living organisms?”
“How do specific adaptations and traits allow an organism to survive in its environment?”
“Why and how do scientists classify organisms into different categories?”
“What is the human impact on the natural world?”
“How can we positively impact the survival of the living world around us today and in the future?”
Come join us any day to investigate these questions while you . . .
Look, touch, smell and hear!
Explore, wonder and learn!
And protect the best classroom of all –the one that is outdoors!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!
 
Williamsburg Middle School PTA
Long Branch Elementary School PTA
Discovery Elementary School
Jamestown 5th Grade Gift
Oakridge Elementary School PTA
Arlington Traditional School PTA
Tuckahoe-Glebe Basketball Game
Arlington Retired Teacher’s Association
 
An important part of AOEA contributions come from schools and individual donations.  Donations can be made through “1st day packets” and on line (see below).  We also get “special” contributions – last year the Jamestown 5th grade class gave the Outdoor Lab support that was used to purchase new tents and life preservers.  For the past two years Tuckahoe elementary school has held a basketball fundraiser – this year it was against Glebe school – the Outdoor Lab was the biggest winner receiving over $3,900!   Big or small all donations are appreciated and show how passionate our supporters are!
AOEA BOARD MEMBERS
 
Are you passionate about outdoor education?  Want to help preserve the Outdoor Lab for the next 50 years?  Consider joining us as a member of the AOEA Board.  We are interested in attracting Board members with a variety of talents – social media, communications, IT/data base management, fund raising/grant management, volunteer coordination, and APS liasion.  Contact us through the e-mail (link below).
 
President:          Todd Parker
Vice President:  Mike Maleski
Treasurer:          Claire Hardie
Secretary:          Mary Ann Penning
Committee Chairpersons
Facilities & Maint.:    Bob Schrider
Fundraising:             Ron Oleynik
Outreach:                 Carol Goodloe
Other Board Members:
Paul Diehl,  Felix Herrera, Sarah Jensen,
Scott Kovarovics, Anita Scott
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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
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Schools Support the Outdoor Lab

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!

An important part of AOEA contributions come from schools and individual donations.  Donations can be made through “1st day packets” and online.  We also get “special” contributions – last year the Jamestown 5th grade class gave the Outdoor Lab support that was used to purchase new tents and life preservers.  For the past two years Tuckahoe elementary school has held a basketball fundraiser – this year it was against Glebe school – the Outdoor Lab was the biggest winner receiving over $3,900!   Big or small,  all donations are appreciated and show how passionate our supporters are!

School, Parent, Alumni related donations for 2017

You too can Support the Outdoor Lab.  Whether through a personal donation or through another group.  Check out our Support Page for more info.
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Open House-Sunday October 29 2017

Due to Rainy weather, the Open House on October 29th has been cancelled.

El Laboratorio al Aire Libre ha cancelado las puertas abiertas debido al clima.

Arlington Families join us at our semi-annual Outdoor Lab Open House, Sunday October 29th from 12-4pm.

In case of bad weather, we will post whether the Open House is cancelled right here on the web.

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!

If you’d like to Volunteer during the Open House, contact Carol Goodloe, AOEA Volunteer Coordinator at cagoodloe@comcast.net.

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!

 

[pdf-embedder url=”https://outdoorlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fall-2017-Open-House-English.pdf” title=”Fall 2017 Open House – English”] [pdf-embedder url=”https://outdoorlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fall-2017-Open-House-Spanish.pdf” title=”Fall 2017 Open House – Spanish”]

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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.

HISTORY DISPLAY CASE @ $20,000
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.
50th ANNIVERSARY FRIENDS OF PHOEBE @ $5,000 EACH
 

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
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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!

 

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Summer Camp 2017

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 2017

  • Session A- Elementary School  (for students who just completed GR 4 and GR 5): June 26 to June 30
  • Session B- Middle School  (for students who just completed GR 6, GR 7, and GR 8): July 10 to July 14
  • Session C- Elementary School:  (for students who just completed GR 4 and GR 5): July 24 to July 28