Nature Classes & Public Programs

Nature classes and programs at the Schrader Center provide opportunities to celebrate and study the natural world, with a commitment to inspire individuals to develop and maintain a sustainable relationship with the environment.

Youth programs like Roots ‘N Shoots and Budding Naturalists teach children to act in a caring and responsible way towards their environment, themselves and others through hands-on educational activities.

Public programs such as Nature Scavenger Hunts are offered to foster an interest and knowledge of the regional environment while strengthening the relationships of family members to nature.

Nature Programs for Adults

Master Gardener Public Garden Lecture Series: Herbal Medicine
Join Dr. Roger Seeber, author of “The Medicine of Plants, from Potions to Pills,” for an up close look at some medicinal plants that are used in Western herbal medicine. How are they used and do they work.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Monday, August 28, 2017
Begins: 7pm
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Dr. Roger Seeber

$5 suggested donation

Fungus Among Us
Mushrooms are extraordinary organisms that come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  Learn about the different classifications that can be used to identify fungi, and then head outside to see how many kinds we can find.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 6-7:30pm Thursday, September 14
Begins: Thurs., Sept. 14
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$8/$6 OI members

Fall Birding: September
Many birds are migrating south for the winter. Begin with a brief overview of the birds we may see, and then walk our trails looking and listening for songbirds and raptors that are moving through our area. Binoculars and field guides provided. Beginner and experienced birders encouraged to join!

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 9-11am
Begins: 9am
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center naturalists

$5/$4 OI members

Fall Birding: October
As the days grow shorter and cooler, many birds are heading south.  Learn about the residential birds that will visit our feeders this winter, as well as the migrants that are traveling through, as we walk the Schrader Center trails looking for birds.  Binoculars and field guides provided.  Beginner and experienced birders encouraged to join!

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9-11am
Begins: 9am
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center naturalists

$6/$5 OI members

Live Animal Show & Nature Walk
Meet some of the turtles and snakes that act as our animal ambassadors, and learn about their unique adaptations during a hands-on animal presentation. After the show, enjoy a guided nature walk along the Schrader Center trails as we look for birds, animal tracks and other signs of wildlife.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 1:30-3pm
Begins: 1:30pm
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$8/$5 OI members

Nature Programs for Children

Birthday Parties at the Schrader Center
Celebrate your child’s next birthday with a hands-on, nature-themed party led by an experienced naturalist. Parties take place partly indoors, partly outdoors as weather permits, and you can choose a theme that best meets your child’s interests. Parties include stories, activities and a craft based on the party theme to keep children involved and entertained while they are learning. Click here for information sheet.

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Ages: turning 5 – turning 12
Guests: Minimum of 8 and maximum of 15 children (Two adults must stay with the party. If you have more than four adults or more than 20 total guests, we ask that you consider a facility rental rather than a facilitated children’s party.)
Time Slots: 10am-12pm or 2-4pm Saturdays or 2-4pm Sundays

$230/$200 OI members
Call 304-242-6855 for details and inclusions.

After School Nature Care Fall 2017
A new program at the Schrader Center provides after school care for local school students!  Children may be dropped off or bussed directly from the school (contact us to confirm details; busing may not be available from all schools), and will have the opportunity to complete homework with individual help from our educators.  Most of our time will be spent outside – exploring along our wooded trails, working on science and gardening projects, and experiencing unstructured outdoor play on a daily basis. Critical thinking skills are developed with fort building, orienteering, map reading, creative games, and student-driven activities that allow children to be the leaders.  Healthy snacks provided.

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Ages: 1st -5th grade
Meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays (August 15-November 6), after school until 6 p.m.

$12 per child/$10 per child OI members (for one day/week)
$20 per child/$18 per child OI members (for two days/week)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Roots ‘N Shoots Fall Series
The Roots ‘N Shoots series provides adults and their children the opportunity to incorporate nature education and fun into all seasons. Lessons include hands-on nature activities, a combination of nature crafts, stories, or songs, and trips outside the nature center, weather permitting. Please note the weather policy for these programs: If Ohio County Schools are cancelled OR on a two hour delay the day of the program, that program will be rescheduled to the following Friday. Topics include:

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Sept. 8: Butterfly Garden Bonanza: Spikey, fuzzy, smooth or wrinkly…Explore the butterfly garden looking for seeds and their many different “coats.” Examine milkweed pods and plants for caterpillars, and maybe see a chrysalis too!

Sept. 22: Furry Forest Foragers: What is making squirrels and chipmunks go nuts this time of year? Forage the forest floor for nuts and hide them. How many will you find?

Oct. 6: The Leaf Man Cometh: Turn on your super color-detector eyes and explore the forest floor looking for pieces of your very own Leaf Man or Woman, or Leaf Mouse, or…..

Oct 20: I’m Not Scared, Not Really: Take a peek at “spooky” nocturnal animal art hanging around at Halloween. Find out why nocturnal creatures are not so scary.

Nov. 3: Oh for the Love of…Turtles? Find out the difference between a water turtle and a land turtle, and meet one of each. Say good night to our tortoise who will soon be sleeping through the holidays.

Nov. 17: Why do Some Birds Fly Away and Some Stay? Learn the names and calls of a few birds you may see this winter. Find out why they stayed and see if you can spot them eating the winter bird treat you make for them.

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: September 8 & 22, October 6 & 20, November 3 & 17, 2017; 9:15-10:15am OR 10:30-11:30am
Begins: Friday, September 8, 2017, 9:15am OR 10:30am
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$60/$45 OI members ($30 for each additional child) Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $4 for each additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Budding Naturalists Fall Series
Designed for our youngest independent “naturalists” (4 years – 1st grade) who are ready to attend without an adult. Each session will have an outside component, so please have children dress for the weather. Please note the weather policy for these programs: If Ohio County Schools are cancelled OR on a two hour delay the day of the program, that program will be rescheduled to the following Friday.

NEW! A second session of this popular program has been added. Note the dates for Session 1 or Session 2. Participants must attend the dates in the session in which they register. Walk-ins must call to assure there is space in class. Topics include:

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Sept. 8: So Many Seeds (Session 1)
Sept. 15: So Many Seeds (Session 2)
Hike into the woods to find tree seeds. Explore each seed to discover how it travels. Then design experiments to determine which seed travels the furthest.

Sept. 22: Animal Architects: Beaver Dams (Session 1)
Sept. 29: Animal Architects: Beaver Dams (Session 2)
Try your hand at building a beaver’s dam model. Find the supplies, slap on the mud, and block the speed of water traveling through your lodge. Expect to get wet on this one!

Oct. 6: Is it Bird or is it Beast? (Session 1)
Oct. 13: Is it Bird or is it Beast? (Session 2)
Listen to chipmunks talk to one another and decide – is it a bird or is it a small little beast? Look for chipmunk tunnels and bridges. Find a chipmunk colony. Explore the busy lives of these nutty little creatures.

Oct. 20: Dem Dry Bones Gonna Rise Again (Session 1)
Oct. 27: Dem Dry Bones Gonna Rise Again (Session 2)
Build a skeleton puzzle and learn a few common bones. Search the forest floor in search of natural objects you can use to build your own ‘nature’ skeleton.

Nov. 3: A Day in the Life of an Animal Keeper (Session 1)
Nov. 10: A Day in the Life of an Animal Keeper (Session 2)
Find out what it takes to keep the Schrader Center animals alive and well. Help feed them and explore how they stay alive in the wild.

Nov. 17: The Wonderful World of Woodpeckers (Session 1)
Nov. 24: The Wonderful World of Woodpeckers (Session 2)
What do woodpeckers eat? Learn the mysterious ways that a woodpecker’s body is designed to survive and to eat what they do. Make your own suet to take home as a treat and watch for woodpeckers around your own house.

Ages: 4-6 (without an adult)
Meets: Session One: September 8 & 22, October 6 & 20, November 3 & 17; 1-2pm;  Session Two: September 15 &29, October 13 & 27, November 10 & 24, 1-2 p.m.
Begins: September 8, 2017, 1pm
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$60/$45 OI members ($30 for each additional child.)
Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $4 for each additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Skulls Program
Join us for an up close look at our collection of animal skulls.  Learn the difference between the types of animals in our area and examine the features of each skull.

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Ages: Children ages 6+
Meets: Wednesday, November 1, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Begins: Wed. Nov. 1
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$8/$5 OI members (child)

Nature Story Time: Slithering Snakes
Some people think that snakes are spooky, but we know better! Learn all about these incredible reptiles as you listen to a book about snakes in our new Children’s Library, meet one of our live snake ambassadors, and make a fun craft to take home with you. Parents are welcome to stay or drop off their children for the program.

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Ages: 4-10
Meets: Saturday, November 4, 2017; 10-11:30am
Begins: 10am
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Mary Grey, retired reading specialist

$5 per child/$4 per child OI members

School’s Out Child Care: Leader of the Forest (Election Day)
Schools out!  Give your kids the outdoor time that they crave at the Schrader Center.  We will play nature games, explore the forest, meet with our animal ambassadors, build forts, and roast marshmallows around the fire.  Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day.  The votes are in!  Learn all about the different animals that call West Virginia home, and then advocate for your favorite.  We’ll have a democratic election and find out which animal will be crowned leader of the forest.

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Ages: K-6th grade
Meets: Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 9am-4pm (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am
Duration: full day 7 hours, half day 3 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Full day (9am-4pm): $30 child, $10 additional child / $25 child, $8 additional child OI members
Half day (9am-12:30pm or 12:30-4pm): $20 child, $7 additional child / $15 child, $5 additional child OI members

7:30am-5:30pm pre & post care available for $3/child/30 minutes. Preregistration required one week prior for before and after care

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

School’s Out Child Care: Giving Thanks (Veteran’s Day)
Schools out!  Give your kids the outdoor time that they crave at the Schrader Center.  We will play nature games, explore the forest, meet with our animal ambassadors, build forts, and roast marshmallows around the fire.  Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day.  It’s a good time of year to count your blessings, and we’re thankful for nature!  We’ll let the spirit of adventure guide us through a fun day of exploring the trails and exhibits at the Schrader Center.

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Ages: K-6th grade
Meets: Friday, November 10, 2017, 9am-4pm (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am
Duration: full day 7 hours, half day 3 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Full day (9am-4pm): $30 child, $10 additional child / $25 child, $8 additional child OI members
Half day (9am-12:30pm or 12:30-4pm): $20 child, $7 additional child / $15 child, $5 additional child OI members

7:30am-5:30pm pre & post care available for $3/child/30 minutes. Preregistration required one week prior for before and after care

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

FBI Investigation
It’s a tough job to break down all the dead things in the forests and fields, but someone has to do it! Enter the FBI (Fungus, Bacteria & Invertebrates), which keep all the nutrients cycling back into the earth. We will search for the FBI around the nature center while learning about the basics of nutrient cycling, decomposition, and energy flow.

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Ages: 5-10
Meets: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 1-3pm
Begins: 1pm
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$10/$8.50 OI members

Nature Programs for Families

Saturday Scavenger Hunts
Discover more about the natural world as you explore the Schrader Center and Oglebay Park as a family. Pick up a packet, learn from Schrader Center naturalists, and apply what you have learned at marked stations on the trail as you complete the outdoor component of the scavenger hunt to receive a prize. Program ongoing 12-3pm.

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Ages: Families
Meets: Saturday Sept. 2, Nov. 4, Dec. 2, Jan. 6, Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 7 and May 5
Begins: Sat., Sept. 2
Duration: ongoing
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5 per family/Free OI members

Full Moon Walk at Bear Rocks Lake WMA
Listen to nature’s symphony of sounds, and enjoy the views through WV woodlands as we walk under the “Full Corn Moon” at Bear Rocks Lake WMA. Easy & moderate terrain/slow pace. Walks take place on cloudy nights, but steady precipitation cancels. If walk is cancelled, we will contact preregistered participants and post on the Oglebay Institute Facebook page.

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Ages: Adults & Older Interested Children
Meets: Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, 7:45-8:45 p.m.
Begins: Wed. Sept. 6
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5 /Free OI members

Campfire Cooking
Cooking with a campfire is a life skill that connects you to the natural world. Learn the basics of cooking around, in, and over the campfire. We’ll make a variety of delicious treats for you to sample! Pre-registration required. (Limit 15)

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Ages: Adults & children ages 6+
Meets: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 5:30-7 p.m.
Begins: Tues. Sept. 19
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15/$12 OI members (adult) & $5/$3 OI members (child)

National Public Lands Day
This is a day to celebrate the public land and parks that are available for you to enjoy year round!  Bring your family, friends, students, or coworkers to spend the day outdoors, giving back to your community by pulling invasive species, maintaining trails, picking up trash, and more. Your work will help ensure our public lands continue to be beautiful places for all to enjoy!

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Ages: Adults & families with children ages 8+.
Meets: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9-11:30am
Begins: 9am
Duration: 2 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Free

Full Moon Walk at Driehorst Trail
Listen to nature’s symphony of sounds, and enjoy the views through WV woodlands as we walk under the “Full Harvest Moon” at the Driehorst Trail.  Meet at the pull-off at the intersection of Falls Drive and Warden Run Road. Easy terrain/slow pace.  Walks take place on cloudy nights, but steady precipitation cancels.  If walk is cancelled, we will contact preregistered participants and post on the Oglebay Institute Facebook page.

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Ages: Adults & Older Interested Children
Meets: Thursday, October 4, 2017, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Begins: Thurs. Oct. 4
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5 /Free OI members

Fall Daylight and Nighttime Astronomy
Explore the solar and lunar skies at a special astronomy event at Speidel Observatory in Oglebay Park. Tour the facility (weather permitting), try your eye at “solar observing”, see a meteorite display and participate in space science activities from 1-4pm. Observe the evening sky through telescopes and learn about the constellations from 8-11pm.

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-4pm (solar observing) and/or 8-11pm (constellations)
Begins: Sat., October 14
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructor(s): Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

Nature Hike: Brooke Heritage Trail
This “rails to trails” hike winds along the Ohio River and provides stunning vistas of the river and the dramatic climbs and drops of the hills in Ohio just beyond.  Meet in Windsor Heights (park just south of the bridge off SR 2 at Stone Shannon Road. Use caution when crossing the highway to access the trail).  We’ll walk north, discussing the plants and animals we see, and then return to our starting location.

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Ages: Adults and families
Meets: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 9:30-11am
Begins: 9:30am
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5/Free OI members

Predators in your Backyard
Growing up in the wilds of NW Pennsylvania, there were plenty of foxes, bobcats, coyotes and black bears that traveled through Molly’s backyard. Before moving to West Virginia, she worked at nature centers in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Connecticut that provided opportunities to study wildlife up close. Join her for an informative look at the larger mammals that share our forests, fields, and neighborhoods.

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Ages: Adults and interested children (ages 14+)
Meets: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 6-7:15pm
Begins: 6pm
Duration: 1 ¼ hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$8/$6 OI members

Fall Birding November: Driehorst Trail
As the days grow shorter and cooler, many birds are heading south. Learn about the residential birds that will visit our feeders this winter, as well as the migrants that are traveling through, as we walk the Driehorst trail looking for birds. Binoculars and field guides provided. Beginner and experienced birders encouraged to join! Meet at the pull-off at the intersection of Falls Drive and Warden Run Road.

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Ages: All
Meets: Saturday, November 18, 2017, 10-11:30am
Begins: 10am
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$6/$5 OI members

Corporate & Group Programs

Archery
Targeted to adults at all skill levels. Participants are instructed in proper shooting technique, form, range estimation, safety and more. Equipment is provided and participants should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and clothing that is weather-appropriate. Groups of 10-15.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: by appointment
Begins: by appointment
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Staff

$50 per person ($250 minimum)

A.B. Brooks Nature Hike
Nature Hikes are part of a long tradition of nature study in Oglebay Park. The A.B. Brooks Nature Hike will focus on natural history and serves as a venue for socialization and the sharing of ideas.The Schrader Center staff will lead groups of up to 20 participants through 1 mile of trails around Oglebay. It is recommended to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and clothing that is weather-appropriate. Sunglasses are a plus. Field guides and binoculars will be provided.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: by appointment
Begins: by appointment
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Staff

$25 per person ($125 minimum)