Nature Classes & Public Programs

Schrader Environmental Education Center

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.

Spring 2022 Class Registration Opens Monday, February 21.

Nature Programs for Adults

Soap Making
Learn the steps of old-fashioned soap making! This hands-on program walks you through each step as you make shampoo, hand-soap, lard and suet cakes to take home. Participants will need to bring an apron, a quart container with screw-on lid, and a bag to take your handmade products home. Dress for the weather; we will be outside for at least one hour. Program includes a homemade lunch. Preregistration required. Space limited – register early! (Limit 13)

View Course Details/Register

Ages: Adults
Meets: 9am-2pm Saturday, April 30 (lunch provided)
Begins: Saturday, April 30
Duration: 5 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Cindy Check & Molly Check

$40/$35 OI members

West Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Beginning in January 2022, the West Virginia Master Naturalist certification program will be hosted at the Schrader Center. Contact Molly Check at 304-242-6855 or email for details.

Nature Programs for Children

Nurturing Naturalists Spring
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.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm Saturday, March 26 & April 16
Begins: Sat., Mar. 26
Duration: 1 hour sessions

$15/$12 OI members (per class)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Roots ‘N Shoots Preschool Program Spring 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. 

View Course Details/Register

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets:  9:30-10:30am Saturday, March 26 and April 16
Begins: Sat., Mar. 26
Duration: 1 hour sessions
Instructor(s): Courtney Commack

$15/$12 OI members (per class)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Girls in Science
We’re celebrating all things science with this fabulous hands-on science program for girls only! Each club session will include a snack and a spotlight on a female scientist who made major contributions to her field.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 4-8
Meets: 10am-Noon Saturday, April 2
Begins: Saturday, April 2
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$10/$8 OI members

Archery
Learn the basics of archery from a certified NASP instructor. Learn how to shoot arrows safely on a shooting range and enjoy a friendly competition with fellow archers in a shooting contest! All equipment provided, and safety procedures enforced. Preregistration required. Spaces limited – register early! (Limit 12 per time slot)

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 5-12
Meets: August 16, 17, or 18; register by session: 10-11:30am, 12:30-2pm, 3-4:30pm
Begins: Tuesday August 16, 10am
Duration: 1 ½ hour sessions
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$25/$20 OI members

Eco-thon
Calling all high school students with an interest in science and the natural world! Compete in different subject areas for a chance to win scholarships at local colleges and universities. Admission fee includes lunch and a t-shirt. Contact mcheck@oionline.com for details and a registration form; registrations due by April 8. (Limit 50)

View Course Details/Register

Ages: 11th & 12th grade high school students
Meets: Saturday, April 23, 9am-2pm (lunch provided)
Begins: 9am
Duration: 5 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$25 entrance fee

Nature Programs for Families

Maple Sugaring Day
Experience the history of maple syrup production at fun, educational stations along the forested trails of the sugar bush. See a wide variety of sugaring techniques, from the Native American way through modern methods. Each tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes a hot pancake breakfast. There will be a 50-50 raffle at this event. Pre-registration encouraged; this event typically sells out. Meets at Camp Russel in Oglebay Park.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: 9am-1pm Saturday, March 12
Begins: 9am Sat., Mar. 12
Duration: 60 minute tours, leaving every 30 minutes from 9am-2:30pm
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$12/$10 OI members (Children 3 & under are free)

On the Bunny Trail
Our classic family Easter event is back! Craft your Easter bag for the egg hunt, dye an Easter egg, and visit with the Easter Bunny! Event includes a 50-50 raffle, chocolate bunny raffle, and concessions for sale. Pre-registration required – sign up for a time slot. Adults must accompany their children.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: Friday, April 15, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, & 5pm
Begins: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, & 5pm
Duration: 5 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$5 child/free for adults

Nature Community: Talk & Campfire
Join David A. George, author, self-advocate and motivational speaker for people of all ages who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, autism or other learning disabilities. The Schrader Center has had a positive impact on David, and he seeks to share this community with others – to help people connect and grow through the healing power of music, nature imagery, and time spent together in nature. After the inside presentation, take a short nature walk that ends at the campfire ring, where we will enjoy marshmallows roasted over the fire.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: Tuesday, April 19, 6:30-8:30pm
Begins: 6:30pm
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): David George

$5 per person

Earth Day Morning Bird Walk
Celebrate Earth Day with an early morning walk with the birds! Our Naturalist will point out identifying field marks and songs of the local birds that visit our feeders and trails. Binoculars and field guides provided.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: Friday, April 22, 8-9am
Begins: 8:00am
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10 / $5 OI members

Daylight & Nighttime Astronomy
It’s National Astronomy Day! 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,” explore a scale model of the solar system, 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).

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: Saturday, May 7; 1-4pm & 8-11pm
Begins: 1-4pm (solar observing) and/or 8-11pm (constellations)
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructors: Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

Family Camping Trip
Can’t find the time to plan a classic family camping trip? We can help! You bring the sleeping bags and tent (or contact us about rentals), and we’ll provide the rest. Includes instruction on setting up a campsite, dinner and s’mores around the campfire. In the morning, enjoy breakfast before packing up camp. A Schrader Center Naturalist will coordinate activities and be on-site for the entire experience. Pre-registration required. (Limit 25)

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: 4pm Saturday, June 11 – 9am Sunday, June 12
Begins: Saturday, June 11, 4pm
Duration: 17 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$25/$20 OI members (group discounts available; call for details)

Orienteering
Do you have a good sense of direction? Learn how to use a map and compass, a life skill that will help you find your way anywhere in the world. Work in groups or on your own to complete the orienteering course in our forest – will you be able to find all the points? All equipment provided. Dress comfortably for walking off-trail through the forest – long pants recommended, and no open-toed footwear. Preregistration required.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: Adults or families
Meets: Saturday, June 18, 10-11:30am
Begins: June 18, 10am
Duration: 1 ½ hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$8 /$5 OI members

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.

View Course Details/Register

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

$25 per person ($125 minimum)