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 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.

Budding Naturalists Spring Series
This program is designed for our littlest independent learners (4 years – 1st grade) 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. Please dress to go outside each week. Topics include:

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March 31: Color Me Camouflage – Animals are very clever when it comes to not getting eaten by bigger animals and taking care of their young. Put their strategies into action to find camouflaged animals hiding and protect your babies from the big, bad, fish.

 April 7: Litter Critter Sampling – Gather a “sample” bucket of compost, pull out a magnifying glass and count/identify all the creatures you find. Check them out under the magiscope. Did you find a pseudo-scorpion?

April 21: Potato Patch Play – Do we really eat roots? Find out what plant parts we eat and bury a “tuber” tater in our “garden with a view”. Watch them grow all summer. The potatoes you plant will be made into fries for the Bees to Butter pre-k Nature Day Camp this August.

 May 5: ExSTREAM Earthwalk – Search for salamanders, crayfish and other strange looking stream creatures. Class will meet at the Schrader Center and pick up will be at Falls Drive. Bring a spare pair of clothes and shoes.

May 19: PrePONDerous Fun! – Explore animal life cycles as we capture tadpoles and observe wildlife at the upper pond. Class will meet at Schenk Lake.

Ages: 4 – first grade
Meets: 1-2pm Friday, Mar. 31, Apr. 7, Apr. 21, May 5 and May 19
Begins: Fri., Mar. 31
Duration: 1 hour sessions meet for 5 weeks
Instructor(s): Robin Lee

$57.50/$50 OI members ($25 for each additional child.)
Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $4 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 outdoor fun into all seasons. Lessons include a hands-on nature craft, story or song and a short walk, weather permitting, to outdoor areas around the Schrader Center. Please dress to go outside each week. Topics include:

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March 31: The Wiggly World of Worms – Discover the busy lives of worms as you explore a city of them (vermiculture bin). Find out the important job they do for us. Be prepared to get down and dirty!

 April 7: Here Comes the Sun – Things are waking up after their long winter nap, even plants! Experience a seed’s life cycle as you become a seed, a shoot, and finally grow into a plant.

April 21: Sunshine and Sunflowers! – Dig in and get dirty as you plant your own flower in a recycled container using recycled soil. Learn about plant parts and what they do for the plant you take home.

May 5: Earthwalk – Experience the forest floor as you never have before. Discover tiny creatures and see the tree tops from upside down!

May 19: PrePONDerous Fun! – Explore animal life cycles as we capture tadpoles and observe wildlife at the upper pond. Class will meet at Schenk Lake.

Ages: 2-4 with adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am or 10:30-11:30am Friday, Mar. 31, Apr. 7, Apr. 21, May 5 and May 19
Begins: Fri., Mar. 31
Duration: 1 hour sessions meet for 5 weeks
Instructor(s): Robin Lee

$57.50/$50 OI members ($25 for each additional child.)
Limited Walk-ins: $14/$12 OI members; $4 for each addt’l child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

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 at the Schrader Center front desk and complete the scavenger hunt to receive a prize. The hunt may be on the trails or in the center, weather dependent. Program ongoing noon-4pm.

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Ages: Families
Meets: Saturday Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Jan. 7, Feb. 4, Mar. 4, Apr. 1 and May 6
Begins: Sat., Sept. 3
Duration: ongoing
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Free

Spring 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., May 13
Duration: day long program
Instructor(s): Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

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)