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

Food Preservation Workshop
Preserving the harvest was essential for our ancestor’s survival, and it can still enrich our lives today! This hands-on program walks you through the steps of freezing, fermenting, canning with a water bath, and using a pressure canner. Leave with sauerkraut, dill pickles, hot pepper jelly, canned tomatoes and more! Bring an apron if you have one. Program includes a homemade lunch. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 9am-2:30pm Saturday, August 28
Begins: 9am Sat., Aug. 28
Duration: 5 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Cindy & Molly Check

$45/$40 OI members (includes lunch)

Nature Photography Workshop
Learn how to take great nature pictures! Start in the classroom, covering the basics, and then head outside to find your perfect shot. Nature trails along the water provide a great background for working on macro and landscape shots.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 9am-12pm Saturday, September 25
Begins: 9am Sat., Sept. 25
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Michael Harvilla

$25/$20 OI members

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.

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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

Nature Programs for Children

Girls in Science Club (Nov. 6) This program was originally scheduled for Sept. 18 and is now taking place Nov. 6
We’re celebrating all things science with this fabulous hands-on science program for girls only!  Each club session will include hands-on science activities, a snack, and a spotlight on a female scientist who made major contributions to her field. 

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Ages: grades 4-8
Meets: 10-12pm Saturday, November 6
Begins: 10am Sat., November 6
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$12/$10 OI members

Nurturing Naturalists Fall 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:  1pm Saturdays, September 25, October 23, November 20 and December 18
Begins: Sat., Sept. 25
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.

Roots ‘N Shoots Preschool Program Fall 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, September 25, October 23, November 20 and December 18
Begins: Sat., Sept. 25
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.

Nature Programs for Families

Fall Astronomy
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,” 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 (weather permitting). Jupiter and Saturn will be high in the sky together that night. It should be a great night for planet viewing! 

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-4pm (solar observing) and/or 8-11pm (planets & constellations) Saturday, October 9
Begins: Sat., Oct. 9
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructors: Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

Haunted Trail (Oct. 9)
Celebrate Halloween with a special, one-night event on our haunted trail! 

Early Session (4-6pm): Designed for families with small pumpkins. Dress in costume and visit our trunk-or-treat area, then head out on the “not so spooky” trail. Complete a scavenger hunt as you visit activity stations along the trail, pick a prize from our special Halloween treasure chest, then enjoy Halloween games and a craft!

Late Session (9-11pm): Recommended for children ages 12+ and adults who enjoy a good, dark and spooky trail. Follow the lit pumpkins down the trail for traditional jump scares and spooky fun with an extended trail for even more scares! Bring a flashlight.

Both sessions include a campfire and concessions available for sale. Trail is NOT accessible with a stroller.  Pre-registration encouraged; walk-ins welcome. (Rain date is October 16.)

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Ages: Families with young children and adults & families with older children
Meets: Saturday October 9
4-6pm for families with young children 
9-11pm for  adults & families with older children
Begins: Sat., Oct. 9
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$10 per child, adults free (family session, 4-6pm) 
$10 per person (later session, 9-11pm)

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

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)