Dr. Phoebe Hall Knipling was a remarkable woman by anyone’s standards: the science supervisor for Arlington County Public Schools (and first woman to hold the position in the Commonwealth of Virginia), she knew, well before the rest of us, that environmental education was absolutely essential to the development of young people. In 1967 she located and raised funds for what became the Arlington Outdoor Education Association's Outdoor Lab, a 225-acre facility that includes a spring-fed stream, pond, nature hiking trails, plant and animal identification areas, camping sites, a classroom, an animal lab, and an observatory with a 10" reflecting telescope. Each year 9,000 Arlington County Public School children come face-to-face with native creatures, walk the woods, learn about the terrain and plant life, and study the extraordinary skies. And perhaps most importantly, they learn that education is active and alive. AOEA’s brand-new animal lab houses its collection of native snakes and reptiles, as well as classroom space for environmental and science education. This exceptional resource touches thousands of lives. You can too.

Headquarters: VA-Arlington County

Where They Operate: VA-Arlington County

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Students

Schools They Work In: All Arlington elementary, middle, and high schools

Awards & Recognition



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Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Arlington Outdoor Education Association is: Less than $500k

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