A lot of visitors, from kindergarden children to groups of pensioners, are interested in our Outdoor Laboratory. A visit to thehas become an important event in the programs of many institutions. Formerly a derelict plot of land (61.78 ac./ 2.5 ha in size), it was turned into a green oasis in the heart of the city of Flensburg thirty years ago, and has become home to many plants and animals.
The Outdoor Laboratory is particularly important for teacher training, as students can try out their lessons with visiting school classes. Particular attractions for both younger and older visitors are mountain climbing and the snail races.
After three long hours of research and scout activities you often hear the participants say, "It's so nice here, we don't want to go home yet" The beaming faces of our visitors are an inspiring incentive to develop new ideas and projects. Learning with the head, the heart and the hands is an important part of the process of creating the social world.
has been managing the Outdoor Laboratory in her capacity as the permanent educational supervisor since April 1998. The number of visitors has grown steadily and in 2006 almost 3000 people visited the Outdoor Laboratory, which by then had already changed from wasteland to green oasis in the southern part of Flensburg.
The snail as its symbol
The Outdoor Laboratory's symbol is the snail, many of which can be found on the grounds of the Outdoor Laboratory. The spiral shape of a snail shell is fascinating, and one could say that spirals and screws are some of the archetypes that particularly influence human consciousness. Even the most ancient magical drawings show spirals and they have been, and still are, frequently used as symbols of deities, certain natural phenomena and rituals. Spirals are symbols of evolution, life (DNA double helix) and development. The snail with its spiral shell is therefore a particularly suitable symbol for our Outdoor Laboratory. We intend to continue pursuing our goals with the perseverance and determination of a snail. Its spiral shell is a symbol of gradual, but steady progress, a symbol of life and the evolution of beings, which are the focus points in our lessons and it is our aim to reconnect people with nature through first hand encounters.