Nature Classes & Public Programs

Schrader

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

Arbor Day Tree ID Workshop (NEW!)
Learn some tips and tricks for identifying trees by their leaves, bark and seeds. We’ll move slowly down the forest trail, identifying trees and discussing the roles they play in our environment and in our culture.

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Ages: Adults and families with older children
Meets: 6-7pm Friday, April 27
Begins: Fri., Apr. 27
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$8/$5 OI members

Full Moon Walk at Wheeling Heritage Trail (NEW!)
Listen to nature’s symphony of sounds and enjoy views through the woodlands on a special guided nature walk along Wheeling’s Heritage Trail. Celebrate March’s full moon with an easy and slow-paced hike as we enjoy the nature around us. We’ll meet at 5:45pm at the parking area near the eastern end of the trail on Community Street. Walk will last approximately one hour. Only steady precipitation will cancel the walk. Check Oglebay Institute’s Facebook page for updates or call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855.

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Ages: Adults and older, interested children
Meets: 5:45-6:45pm Thursday, March 1
Begins: Thurs., Mar. 1
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 (Free to OI members.)

Health in Nature Workshop (NEW!)
Learn how being outside in nature can relieve stress, pain, and weariness. Experience the calming sensation of “grounding,” collect herbs from the butterfly garden to make a soothing tea, and engage in natural art activities that calm and focus your energies. Leave feeling refreshed and closer to the Earth!

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Ages: 18 & up
Meets: 9:30-11:30am Saturday, May 19
Begins: Sat., May 19
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15/$12 OI members

International Migratory Bird Day (NEW!)
Join us at Bear Rocks Lake WMA as we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. We’ll look for warblers and other returning migrants.

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Ages: Adults and interested children ages 12+
Meets: 8-10am Saturday, May 12
Begins: Sat., May 12
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5/$4 OI members

Master Gardener Public Lecture Series: Container Gardening (NEW!)
Short on garden space? Learn the secrets behind container gardening, and turn the smallest of spaces into a productive, green, growing area. Includes some great gift ideas for upcoming Mother’s Day!

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 7-8pm Monday, April 30
Begins: Mon., Apr. 30
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Ohio Co. Master Gardeners

$5 suggested donation

Rain Barrel Workshop
Capture those April showers in a rain barrel and discover all the good things “caught water” can do for your garden. You’ll be guided step-by-step to assemble your own rain barrel. All parts, including the barrel, are provided.

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Ages: 15 & up (Ages 14 & under must be accompanied by an adult.)
Meets: 10-11:15am Saturday, April 28
Begins: Sat., Apr. 28
Duration: 1 hour & 15 minutes
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$75/$70 OI members

Nature Programs for Children

After School Nature Care (NEW!)
Children may be dropped off at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park or bussed directly from school. (Call 304-242-6855 to confirm details; busing may not be available from all schools.) Students will have the opportunity to complete homework with individual help from our educators. Most time will be spent outside – exploring 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: grades 1-5
Meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays (August-May), after school until 6pm
Begins: Tues., Aug. 15
Duration: varies
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Staff

$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.

Birthday Parties at the Schrader Center
Celebrate your child’s next birthday with a hands-on, nature-themed party at the Schrader Environmental Education Center in Oglebay Park. Themes include Turtle Time, The Painted Lady, Slithering Snakes, The Lorax, Woodland Survival and Dino DiscoveryClick here for information sheet.

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Ages: Parties can be designed for any age, from toddlers to adults.
Guests: Price includes 20 children; additional children are $3 each.
Times: 1 hour of a facilitated program with a Naturalist and 1 hour for presents, food, cake, and activities.

$150 for up to 20 children. ($3 for each additional child.)
$50 non-refundable deposit required at booking. Balance due on day of party.

Call 304-242-6855 for details and inclusions.

Budding Naturalists Spring Series
Designed for our littlest independent learners (4 years-1st grade) to explore nature without a parent. Lessons include a hands-on nature craft, story or song and a short walk, weather permitting, to outdoor areas around the Schrader Center. Topics include:

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March 16: FIND Old Man Oak
March 23: A Day in the Life of an Animal Keeper
April 6: So Many Seeds
April 20: Potato Patch Play
May 4: X-Stream Experience
May 18: Amphibian Fun

Ages: 4-6 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm Friday March 16, March 23, April 6, April 20, May 4 and May 18
Begins: Friday, March 16
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 semi-alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$60/$45 OI members ($30 for each additional child.)
Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $5 for each additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Nature Night Out (March 10)
Drop off your children at the Schrader Center for a fun and educational evening of games, live animals, dinner and a night hike. We’ll provide dinner and s’mores around the fire. Dress in warm layers and bring a flashlight.

*Dietary restrictions must be shared at least one week before the program to be accommodated.

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Ages: 6-12
Meets: 5:30-8:30pm Saturday, March 10
Begins: Sat., Mar. 10
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$30 ($25 OI members) per child. $15 ($12 OI members) for each additional child.

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Nature Story Time: Bees (NEW!)
What’s the difference between a honey bee and a mason bee? Learn about these gentle and amazing pollinators as you listen to a book about bees in our new Children’s Library. Then, head outside to explore our bee-friendly garden, and make a bee home out of straws and paper towel rolls. Parents are welcome to stay or drop off their children for the program.

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Ages: 4-10
Meets: 10-11:30am, Saturday, April 21
Begins: Sat., April 21
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Mary Grey, retired reading specialist

$5/$4 OI members, per child (No cost for accompanying adults.)

Roots ‘N Shoots Winter 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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Jan 12: Bear Snores On
Jan. 26: Life Around the Pond
Feb. 9: Webs of Wonder  (CANCELLED) – Makeup session scheduled for Feb. 16.
Feb. 23: Litter Critters
Mar. 9: Color Me Camouflage
Mar. 23: Sap! ZAP the Trees are Waking Up!

Ages: 2-4 with adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am Friday, Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, Mar. 9 and Mar. 23
Begins: Fri., Jan. 12
Duration: 1 hour sessions meet every other week for 6 weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$60/$45 OI members ($30 for each additional child.)
Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $5 for each addt’l child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Roots ‘N Shoots Spring 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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April 6: “Are You My Mother?”
April 20: Here Cones the Sun
May 4: Sunshine and Sunflowers
May 11: Smells, Sights and Sounds of Nature
May 18: Amphibian Fun

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am April 6, April 20, May 4, May 11 and May 18
Begins: Friday, April 6
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 5 semi-alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$50/$37.50 OI members ($25 for each additional child)
Limited Walk-ins: $12/$10 OI members; $5 for each additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Nature Programs for Families

Daylight & Nighttime Astronomy
Explore the solar and lunar skies at a special astronomy event at Speidel Observatory in Oglebay Park. Tour the facility, 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 (weather permitting).

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Ages: All
Meets: Saturday, May 12
Begins: 1-4pm (solar observing) and/or 8-11pm (constellations)
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructors: Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

Earth Day Morning Nature Hike (NEW!)
Celebrate Earth Day with a morning nature hike at the Schrader Center. We’ll look for wildflowers, birds, animal tracks and more as we celebrate the Earth with a morning spent in nature. Pace is mild, terrain is easy.

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Ages: All
Meets: 8:30-10am Sunday, April 22
Begins: Sun., April 22
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 (Free for OI members)

 Earth Day Afternoon Nature Hike (NEW!)
Join us at Bear Rock Lakes Wildlife Management Area for a nature walk along the trails. We’ll look for wildflowers, birds, animal tracks and more as we celebrate the Earth with time spent in nature. Pace is mild, terrain is easy.

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-3pm Sunday, April 22
Begins: Sun., Apr. 22
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 (Free for OI members)

Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count engages all ages of bird watchers to count birds to create a real-time snapshot of populations. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginner bird watchers to experts. Count for as little as 15 minutes. Participate from your own backyard or join us at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park as we count birds at our feeders. Results will be set to Audubon to be included in a national tally.

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Ages: All
Meets: 10am-noon Saturday, February 17
Begins: Sat., Feb. 17
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

Free

Maple Sugaring Day
Experience the history of maple syrup production at stations along the trails of Oglebay. See a wide variety of sugaring technique from the Native American way through modern methods. Each tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes a hot pancake breakfast in Camp Russel’s dining hall at Oglebay Park. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Families
Meets: 9am-1pm Saturday, March 17
Begins: Sat., Mar. 17
Duration: 60 minute tours begin at 9am and leave every half-hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Staff
Location: Camp Russel, Oglebay Park

$12/$10 OI members (Children 4 & under are free.)
(Group rate available. Call 304-242-6855 to book groups of 15 or more.)

Master Gardeners Composting Workshop
Build a turning compost barrel to take home. All parts, including the barrel, are provided in this workshop. Please bring a vehicle suitable to transport your finished composter.

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Ages: 15 & up (Ages 10-14 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Meets: 10-11:30am Saturday, March 24
Begins: Sat., Mar. 24
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$87/$82 OI members (per barrel)

Master Gardener Public Garden Lecture Series: Indoor & Outdoor Composting
Explore indoor and outdoor composting systems at the Schrader Center. We’ll also discuss how to use compost for houseplants and gardening. An accompanying Composter Workshop follows on Saturday, March 24. Presented in partnership with the Ohio County Master Gardeners.

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Ages: All
Meets: 6:30-7:30pm Monday, March 19
Begins: Mon., Mar. 19
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Ohio Co. Master Gardeners

$5 suggested donation

National Trails Day Hike (NEW!)
Hit the trail, make new friends, and find an adventure as the Schrader Center celebrates National Trails Day. We’ll explore the waterfall trail while spending a beautiful morning in nature, learning about the local flora and fauna of our area. Be sure to bring your camera for pictures at the falls overlook. Easy to moderate terrain, pace will be slow.

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Ages: All
Meets: 9:30-11am Saturday, June 2
Begins: Sat., June 2
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 (Free for OI members)

Salamander Crawl
Search for elusive amphibians in the streams of Oglebay Park. We’ll learn interesting facts about salamanders and what they can tell us about our streams and watersheds. Wear clothes and shoes you are not afraid to get wet or dirty!

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Ages: 8 & up
Meets: 11am-12:30pm Saturday, May 12
Begins: Sat., May 12
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members, per child (No cost for accompanying adults.)

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

Spring Birding (March 3)
Beat the cabin fever and get outside as we hit the trails at the Schrader Center to look for birds in the fields and forests. Beginner and experienced birders encouraged to join. Binoculars and field guides provided.

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-2pm, Saturday, March 3
Begins: Sat., Mar. 3
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5/$4 OI members

Spring Birding (April 7)
The days are getting warmer and the birds are becoming more active. Take a stroll with us as we look for birds along the paved paths of Oglebay Park. Beginner and experienced birders encouraged to join. Binoculars and field guides provided. Meet at the Schrader Center.

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-2pm Saturday, April 7
Begins: Sat., April 7
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5/$4 OI members

Sugarbush Spring Children’s Program
Join us for a reading of the children’s book Sugarbush Spring by Martha Wilson Chall. Hear the story of why trees give their ‘extra’ this time of year. Then, take a short hike to listen to the sap drip and smell the maple steam. Finally, taste the sweet treat of Jack-Wax, hot maple syrup hardened over snow cones. Meets at the Children’s Library inside the Schrader Center.

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Ages: Families
Meets: 2:30-4pm Sunday, March 4
Begins: Sun., Mar. 4
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Mary Grey, Reading Specialist & Naturalist

$8/$7 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)