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

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: 9-11am Saturday, October 21
Begins: Sat., Oct. 21
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5/$4 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: 1:30-3pm Saturday, November 4
Begins: Sat., Nov. 4
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$8/$5 OI members

Predators in Your Backyard (NEW!)
Join Molly Check 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 & up
Meets: 6-7:15pm Tuesday, November 14
Begins: Tues., Nov. 14
Duration: 1 1/4 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$8/$6 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-February), 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.

FBI Investigation (NEW!)
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: 1-3pm Saturday, November 11
Begins: Sat., Nov. 11
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$10/$8.50 OI members

Merry and Bright Candy Cane Hunts
Craft a holiday bag and then explore the nature trails around the Schrader Center to see how many candy canes you can find. Certain ones may win you a prize! Bundle up and bring a flashlight, too. If you get a little chilly on your hike, don’t worry. After you return, enjoy hot chocolate to warm you up. Adults must accompany their children.

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Ages: 3-8 with accompanying adult
Meets: 4-5pm Saturday, December 9 & 16
Begins: Sat., Dec. 9 & 16
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$7/$6 OI members per child with accompanying adult

Nature Story Time: Slithering Snakes (NEW!)
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: 10-11:30am Saturday, November 4
Begins: Sat., Nov. 4
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Mary Grey, retired reading specialist

$5 per child/$4 per child OI members

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: 9:15-10:15am Friday Sept. 8, Sept. 22, Oct. 6, Oct. 20, Nov. 3 & Nov. 17
Begins: Fri., Sept. 8
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 (CANCELLED)
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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: 1-2pm September 8 & 22, October 6 & 20, November 3 & 17
Begins: Fri., Sept. 8
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.

School’s Out Child Care: Leader of the Forest (CANCELLED)
The votes are in! 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. We’ll have a democratic election and find out which animal will be crowned leader of the forest. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day.

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Ages: grades k-6
Meets: 9am-4pm Tuesday, November 7 (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Tues., Nov. 7
Duration: 7 hours (full day) or 3 1/2 hours (half day)
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

Pre & post care available 7:30am-5:30pm for $3/child/30 minutes. Pre-registration 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)
Give your kids the outdoor time that they crave at the Schrader Center. We’ll play nature games, explore the forest, meet with our animal ambassadors, build forts, and roast marshmallows around the fire. Give thanks to nature with a fun day of exploring the trails and exhibits at the Schrader Center. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day.

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Ages: grades k-6
Meets: 9am-4pm Friday, November 10 (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Fri, Nov. 10
Duration: 7 hours (full day) or 3 1/2 hours (half day)
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

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

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

School’s Out Child Care: Who’s Hibernating? (December 27)
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. Many animals experience some kind of hibernation throughout the winter. We’ll learn about black bears, chipmunks, and other animals that curl up and sleep away the cold, snowy days, and then take our own hibernation break around the campfire with some hot cocoa.

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Ages: grades k-6
Meets: 9am-4pm Wednesday, December 27  (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Wed. December 27
Duration: 7 hours (full day) or 3 1/2 hours (half day)
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

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

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

School’s Out Child Care: Active Animals (December 28)
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 enjoy marshmallows and cocoa around the fire. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day. Not all animals curl up and sleep away the winter. Many animals stay active all year long, even through the long, cold days of the winter. We will hike through the snowy forest looking for animal tracks, and learn about the white-tailed deer, turkeys, squirrels, and other active winter animals.

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Ages: grades k-6
Meets: 9am-4pm Thursday, December 28  (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Thurs. December 28
Duration: 7 hours (full day) or 3 1/2 hours (half day)
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

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

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

School’s Out Child Care: Hunt for the Yeti (December 29)
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 enjoy marshmallows and cocoa around the fire. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day. We will read the book “Dear Yeti,” a delightful story about surviving in the winter forest, and then head out on the trails to see what we can find. We’ll discuss the folklore of the Yeti, compare some of the large mammals that live in WV, and learn some survival skills along the way.

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Ages: grades k-6
Meets: 9am-4pm Friday, December 29  (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Friday. December 29
Duration: 7 hours (full day) or 3 1/2 hours (half day)
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

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

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: 6 & up
Meets: 6:30-7:30pm Wednesday, November 1
Begins: Wed., Nov. 1
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$8/$5 OI members (child)

Nature Programs for Families

All Hallows Eve
Explore the Schrader Center trails on a self-guided tour lit with Jack o’lanterns. Fanciful and frightful creatures await you around the next turn! In addition to the haunted woods, enjoy a campfire with marshmallows, Halloween crafts for children and up-close visits with the Schrader Center’s spookiest animals! Halloween treats and cider will be available for purchase. Bring a flashlight and no strollers, please.

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Ages: all
Meets: 5-7pm (family-friendly scare) or 7:15-8:45pm (scarier for teens and adults) Saturday, October 28
Begins: Sat., Oct. 28
Duration: 4 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 adult/$8 child

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: 10-11:30am Saturday, November 18
Begins: Sat., Nov. 18
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$6/$5 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) Saturday, October 14
Begins: Sat., Oct. 14
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructor(s): Oglebay Astronomy Club

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: 6:30-7:30pm Thursday, October 5
Begins: Thurs., Oct. 5
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5 (Free for OI members.)

Hallow-Palooza Competition: Pumpkin Patch Picking & Scare Crow Building (NEW!)
Help prepare spooky, traditional, and creative Halloween props for the Schrader Center’s “All Hallows Eve” event as you compete for prizes. Build a scarecrow and/or paint a mini pumpkin. Awards will be given for scariest, most original, and most humorous creations. All the essential supplies (hay, twine, clothing, paint and pumpkins) will be supplied. Participants are encouraged to bring their own hats, clothes, masks, props, etc. Festive music, apple cider, snacks, and fun are guaranteed! Participate in one or both workshops. Must be pre-registered to participate. No walk-ins.

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Ages: Adults and children in 4th grade & up
Meets: 1-2:30pm Saturday, October 21 (Scarecrow Creations) and/or 2:30-4pm (Pumpkin Patch Painting)
Begins: Sat., Oct. 21
Duration: 1 1/2 hours or 4 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5/$4 OI members (Scarecrow Creations)
$5/$4 OI members (Pumpkin Patch Painting)
$8/$6 Both Sessions
(No walk-ins.)

Nature Hike: Brooke Heritage Trail (NEW!)
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: 9:30-11am Sunday, November 5
Begins: Sun., Nov. 5
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 (Free for OI members.)

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: 9-11:30am Saturday, September 30
Begins: Sat., Sept. 30
Duration: 2 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Free

Predators in your Backyard (NEW!)
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: 6-7:15pm Tuesday, November 14
Begins: Tues., Nov. 14
Duration: 1 1/4 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$8/$6 OI members

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

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)