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.

Nature Programs for Adults

Holiday Wreath Making Workshop (SOLD OUT)
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.

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Ages: Adults & families
Meets: 6-8pm Thursday, December 2
Begins: Thurs., Dec. 2
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$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 Winter Series
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 Saturday, January 15, February 19, March 26 and April 16
Begins: Sat., Jan. 15
Duration: 1 hour sessions

$40/$35 OI members (4 week series)
$15/$12 OI members (per class) (limited walk-ins)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

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 Saturday, January 15, February 19, March 26 and April 16
Begins: Sat., Jan. 15
Duration: 1 hour sessions
Instructor(s): Courtney Commack

$40/$35 OI members (4 week series)
$15/$12 OI members (per class) (limited walk-ins)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Winter Nature Camp: Snow Fun! (MLK Jr. Day: Jan. 17)
Give your kids the outdoor time that they crave at the Schrader Center. Explore the winter world outside, then 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: grades 1-8
Meets: 9am-3pm Monday, January 17
Begins: Mon., Jan. 17
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15/$12 OI members (per child)

Mad Science Saturday (Jan. 29, 2022)
Dive into the world of physical science experiments! Engage in hands-on activities, watch spectacular demonstrations, and take part in mind-blowing experiments. Our winter session will include a glacier thaw race, an exploration of ice crystals, homemade snow cones, and more!

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Ages: grades 1-6
Meets: 10am-12pm Saturday, January 29
Begins: Sat., Jan. 29
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members

Nature Programs for Families

Winter of Wonder Nature Programs (Nov. 8 – Dec. 10)
No pre-registration required. All ages welcome. Prices vary.

Animal Meet & Greet
2-2:30pm Tuesdays,  Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30 & Dec. 7
Learn a little about the animal ambassadors living at the Schrader Center.  Meet our toads, turtles, and snakes up close and personal, while learning about their incredible adaptations! ($5 per person)

Candy Cane Hunt
4:30-5pm Wednesdays, Nov. 10, 17 & Dec. 1 & 8
Craft a holiday bag and explore around the Schrader Center to see how many candy canes you can find, then enjoy a cup of hot cocoa! ($5 per person)

Wreath Craft
2:15-3pm Thursdays, Nov. 11, 18, Dec. 2 & 9
Deck the halls! Create a simple wreath using fresh evergreen boughs, then decorate with adornments and a ribbon. This wreath will bring the beauty and joy of the season to wherever it is hung! ($10 per person)

Christmas Bird Count
Nature enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to help with this important citizen-science bird count. Look for birds on your own, or join a group of experienced birders. Birds are tallied within 7.5 miles of the Schrader Center. The count runs all day (and night). Count for as little or as long as you like. Binoculars and field guides provided. We’ll meet back at the Schrader Center at 4pm to share birding results and enjoy soup, bread and pie. Pre-registration required. Contact Molly Check for more information or to sign- up.

Can’t make it on the 15th, but have bird feeders at home? Contact us to learn more about becoming a feeder watcher. 

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Ages: Adults & families
Meets: 8am Wednesday, December 15
Begins: Wed., Dec. 15
Duration: All day and night
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

Free

Winter Forest Luminary Walk
Celebrate the new year at the Schrader Center with a delightful walk through the forest. Our trails are the perfect setting to explore the forest by the soft glow of luminaria! After your guided walk, warm up by the campfire with complimentary hot cocoa and s’mores, and stop by the craft corner to make a keepsake winter craft. Pre-registration encouraged. Popcorn and bottled water available for sale. Walk lasts 30 minutes. Please bring sturdy footwear and dress for the weather.

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Ages: All
Meets: 6pm, 7pm or 8pm Saturday, January 15
Begins: 6pm, 7pm or 8pm Sat., Jan. 15
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 per person

Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Join us at the Schrader Center as we count birds at our feeders and surrounding area. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish). Results will be sent to Audubon to be included in the national tally. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. You can also participate from your backyard or anywhere in the world.  

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Ages: All
Meets: 9-11am Saturday, February 19 (stop by anytime and stay as long as you like)
Begins: Sat., Feb. 19
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

Free

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.

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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)

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)