Outdoor Learning Lab

The Northeast Iowa Community College Outdoor Learning Lab (OLL) is an ecosystem reconstruction project established in 2007 on what was former agricultural land. Our local region occupies a unique ecological transition zone with forests and wetlands of the Mississippi River valley dividing savannas to the east from prairies to the west. To represent this local diversity, the OLL includes these four separate ecosystems.

The Outdoor Learning Lab offers multidisciplinary education and enjoyment of the outdoors. The lab is open to the public for individual or group visits.

The Outdoor Learning Lab facilitates:

  • Multidisciplinary Education
  • Research
  • Conservation
  • Natural and Cultural Heritage
  • Outdoor Experiences
  • Sustainability
  • Cost Effective Grounds Maintenance

Mission and Goals

The mission of NICC is to provide accessible, affordable, quality education and training to meet the needs of our communities. The Outdoor Learning Lab serves this mission by creating an ecosystem laboratory accessible to students and the community. 

The lab has two goals: to offer education on the history and conservation of native ecosystems in a demonstrative setting and to cost effectively maintain our campus area.

Support the Outdoor Learning Lab

There are many ways to support the OLL. This includes gifts from organizations, sponsoring sections of the lab through our “Growing Gift” campaign or volunteering. Internship and community service opportunities are also available. To learn more, please contact the OLL manager.