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 Nurturing Naturalists teach children to act in a caring and responsible way towards their environment, themselves and others through hands-on educational activities.

Our public programs foster an interest and knowledge of the regional environment while strengthening the relationships of family members to nature.

Winter 2023 Class Registration Opens Wednesday, November 23.

Nature Programs for Adults

Holiday Wreath Making Workshop
Create a beautiful holiday wreath for your home! We’ll provide an assortment of fresh evergreen boughs, berries, pinecones and ribbons, along with the frame and wire. Bring your own ribbon and bows to share. We’ll show you how to craft your wreath and share how to identify different evergreen trees. Coffee, hot cocoa and cookies provided. BYOB. Pre-registration required. While you’re here, shop the Holiday Art Show and check out all the great gifts made by local artists! (Limit 20) 

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Ages: Adults & Families
Meets: Thursday, December 1, 6-8pm
Begins: Thursday, December 1
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$40/$35 OI members

Candle Making
Learn how to create nature-based soy candles with different scents. Take home two and have fun decorating them! We’ll be exploring the use of different scents, herbs, and plant material to achieve a desired mood or effect. All supplies provided but bring your own small jar(s) if you have a special one that you’d like to pour into!

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Ages: Adults & supervised children 9+
Meets: Saturday, January 14, 10am-1pm
Begins: Sat. Jan. 14
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Katie Molinengo

$45/$40 OI members

Cheese Making PLUS
This hands-on program walks you through the steps of making mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and butter! Participants will also learn how to make easy, fresh sausage, a simple bread, and more! Bring a 1-qt. container with lid, two 1-pint containers with lids, and a small cooler with ice pack to take your handmade products home. Bring an apron if you have one! Program includes lunch. Led by mother-daughter duo, Cindy & Molly Check. Preregistration required. Register early; space is limited!

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, February 25, 9am-3pm
Begins: Sat. Feb. 25
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Cindy & Molly Check

$65/$60 OI members

WV Master Naturalist: Fish (Core)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). The Fish class gives an overview of the general biology, ecology, and evolution of fishes (diversity, classification, behavior, and adaptations) and a description of the families of WV fishes.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, January 14, 9:30am-12:30pm
Begins: Sat. Jan. 14
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Mike Vernon, WVU Professor Emeritus

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

WV Master Naturalist: Trout  (Elective)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). The Trout class provides an in- depth look at trout behavior, what they eat, and how fly fishers can use this information.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, January 14, 1:30-4:30pm
Begins: Sat. Jan. 14
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Mike Vernon, WVU Professor Emeritus

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

WV Master Naturalist: Habitat Improvement for Wildlife (Core)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). The Habitat Improvement for Wildlife class will explore the changes a landowner can make to encourage wildlife to use their property, be it a back yard or large acreage.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, January 21, 9am-12pm
Begins: Sat. Jan. 21
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Dr. Sheldon Owen,
WVU Extension Wildlife Specialist

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

WV Master Naturalist: Aquatic Habitats (Core)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). The Aquatic Habitats class examines the important properties of water that make aquatic habitats unique. Examine the few types of WV habitats that exist in still and moving water, as well as their characteristic plants and animals. This class meets at West Liberty University.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, January 21, evening time TBD, at WLU
Begins: Sat. Jan. 21
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Dr. Zac Loughman, WLU Professor of Biology

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital
manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

WV Master Naturalist: Mammals (Core)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). Participants at the Mammals class will get an overview of West Virginia mammals – their diversity, classification, status, behavior, and adaptations.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, February 4, 9am-12pm
Begins: Sat. Feb. 4
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Dr. Sheldon Owen,
WVU Extension Wildlife Specialist

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

WV Master Naturalist: Nature Interpretation & Teaching (Core)
The mission of the WV Master Naturalist Program is to train interested people in the fundamentals of natural history, nature interpretation and teaching, and to instill in them an appreciation of the importance of responsible environmental stewardship. Everyone is welcome to attend individual Master Naturalist classes, or you can attend them all to earn your Master Naturalist certification (contact the Schrader Center for more details on certification). Participants of the Nature Interpretation & Teaching class will learn what it means to be a nature interpreter and acquire a broad understanding of the goals, techniques, and attributes required to provide an effective interpretive program.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: Saturday, March 25, 1-4pm
Begins: Sat. March 25
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Karen Cox, WVU Extension Service (Agriculture and Natural Resources)

$15, plus optional manual cost ($40 for paper manual or $20 for digital manual)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Nature Programs for Children

Nurturing Naturalists Winter
Designed for our youngest independent naturalists, who are ready to attend without an adult. Create meaningful connections and memories through hands-on nature activities, crafts, stories, songs and outside exploration.

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Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm Saturdays January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15
Begins: Sat., January 21
Duration: 1 hour sessions

$55/$45 OI members (4 week series) OR $15/$12 OI members (per class)

Roots ‘N Shoots Preschool Program Winter Series
The Roots ‘N Shoots series provides adults and their children the opportunity to connect with nature in all seasons. Create meaningful connections and memories through hands-on nature activities, crafts, stories, songs, and outside exploration. 

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Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets:  9:30-10:30am Saturdays January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15
Begins: Sat., Jan. 21
Duration: 1 hour sessions
Instructor(s): Courtney Commack

$55/$45 OI members (4 week series) OR $15/$12 OI members (per class)

Seussical Science Night
Celebrate the one and only Dr. Seuss on his 119th birthday with some Seussical science! We’ll read stories by Dr. Seuss and then honor his work with a corresponding STEM project. Includes dinner and s’mores over the campfire!

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Ages: Grades 1-6
Meets: Thursday, March 2, 5:30-7:30pm
Begins: Thurs. March 2
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15/$12 OI members
$8 additional sibling/$6 additional sibling OI members

Winter Nature Camp
Snow Fun! (MLK Jr. Day) Schools out! Give your kids the outdoor time that they crave at the Schrader Center. We’ll have lots of fun exploring the winter world outside, then we’ll warm up with some hot cocoa. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch. If there’s snow on the ground, bring your sleds! Call for pre and post care availability.

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Ages: 1st-8th grade (will divide into 2 age groups for activities)
Meets: Monday, January 16, 9am-3pm
Begins: Mon. Jan.16
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$20 per child/$18 child OI members
$10 additional sibling/$9 additional sibling OI members

Nature Programs for Families

Corporate & Group Programs

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)