Zorniger Environmental Lab

Green Thumbs make for Great Minds

The Zorniger Environmental Lab is the heart of our campus, a learning space where every single division can learn, explore and live immersive learning. This lab celebrates the vital relationship between humans and the environment. Students plan, cultivate and harvest their minds and our land, sharing seeds and the fruit of their harvest across the Miami Valley community.


Meet Our Accredited Educator

Patti DeLotell

Director of the Zorniger Environmental Lab

“I want students to think about how to be good stewards to the earth. It’s more immersive to have the students learning directly from plants than reading about them in a book. It’s also a great opportunity for students to develop a greater level of responsibility beyond themselves.”

Patti holds an accreditation through the Environmental Education Council of Ohio.


In the Community

In the spirit of our core value of kindness, the Z lab works with Five Rivers Metro Parks Community Garden programs to partner with the following organizations to help jump-start and/or sustain vital garden projects in designated food desert areas:

  • Daybreak Youth Shelter Rooftop Gardens
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Court Garden Project
  • Muslim Sisters of Dayton Garden Project
  • Kettering Fairmont High School Garden Project
  • Scioto County Soil & Water Conservation District Community Garden
  • Shawnee State Park ~ Pioneer Cabin Garden Project
  • Vandalia Historical Society Food Pantry Garden Project
  • One Bistro Restaurant
  • South Community Behavioral Health Garden Project
  • Dayton Foodbank Gardens Project
  • West Minster Church/Eastmont Elem School (DPS) Garden Project
  • Cleveland Elementary School (DPS) Garden Project
  • Ruskin Elementary School (DPS) Garden Project
  • Horace Mann School (DPS) Garden Project
  • Stephenson Elementary (Mad River) Garden Project
  • Southdale Elementary (Kettering) Garden Project
  • West Carrollton Schools Garden Project
  • Northridge Schools Garden Project
  • Portage County Children’s Services Garden Project
  • House of the People Refugee Garden Project


Student-grown heirloom vegetable plants started from tiny seeds during the winter months in the greenhouse ultimately feed countless individuals throughout the Greater Dayton area and beyond.

Faculty, Student & Community Testimonies

The greenhouse space is an eye-opener. Students automatically know that something amazing is about to happen whenever we're there. Their intrigue is palpable!

-Steve Fout, Middle School Teacher


Z Lab Vision Statement

The Zorniger Environmental Laboratory serves as a setting for multidisciplinary, experiential, learning opportunities where our community can explore, dream, share, reflect, connect, and grow ideas for a more sustainable future.

Follow Us @mvszlab