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 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 Children

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.

Candy Cane Hunt
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: 3-10 with accompanying adult
Meets: 4-5pm Saturday, December 8 OR December 15
Begins: Sat., Dec. 8 or 15
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

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

Brownie Badge Fest
Join us for a fun and exciting day of badge work! The morning session (9:30am-12:30pm) will cover the Hiker, Bugs, and Brownie 1st Aid badges. The afternoon session (1-4pm) will cover the Outdoor Adventurer, Outdoor Art Creator, and Home Scientist badges. Sign up for one or both sessions! If you come to both sessions, please bring your own lunch. Morning check-in begins at 9am; afternoon check-in begins at 12:30pm.

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Ages: Brownie Girl Scouts
Meets: 9:30am-4pm Saturday, November 17
Begins: Sat., Nov. 17
Duration: 6 hours (full day) or 3 hours (half day)
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15 per scout, per session OR $25 per scout for both sessions.

Nurturing Naturalists Homeschool Program
Designed for our youngest independent “naturalists” who are ready to attend without an adult. Each session will have an outside component. Please have children dress for the weather. Topics include:

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Jan. 11: Clan of the Cave Bear
Jan. 25: T-Rex and other Tall Creatures
Feb. 8: Shine on You Craaazy Crystal

Feb. 22: Feeding Frenzy
Mar. 8: Camouflage Critters
Mar. 22: Spring has Sprung

Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm Friday, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 22, Mar. 8 & Mar. 22
Begins: Fri., Jan. 11
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Courtney Comack

$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.

Roots ‘N Shoots Winter 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 our  weather policy: 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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Jan 11: Bear Snores On
Jan. 25: Life Around the Pond
Feb. 8: Webs of Wonder
Feb. 22: Litter Critters
Mar. 8: Color Me Camouflage
Mar. 22: Sap! ZAP the Trees are Waking Up!

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am Friday, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 22, Mar. 8 & Mar. 22
Begins: Fri., Jan. 11
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Courtney Comack

$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: Snow Creatures (Dec. 28)
Learn about the wild animals that share our forests and fields, and how the cold snow and ice affects their lifestyles in the wintertime. Play nature games, explore the forest, meet with our animal ambassadors, build forts and enjoy marshmallows and hot cocoa around the fire. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Grades 1-6
Meets: 9am-4pm, Friday, December 28 (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Fri., Dec. 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

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

School’s Out Child Care: Celebrating Biodiversity (MLK Jr. Day – Jan. 21)
A diverse forest is a healthy forest! What kind of plants and animals live in the forests, fields and waters of Wheeling? We’ll learn about all the different types with active nature games, crafts, and hands-on activities. Join us for a fun day of nature study, and then warm up around the campfire with some hot cocoa. Dress for the weather and bring a bagged lunch if you’re staying for the full day. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Grades K-6
Meets: 9am-4pm, Monday, January 21 (full day or half day options)
Begins: 9am Mon. Jan. 21
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

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Nature Programs for Families

Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count engages all ages of bird watchers to count birds to create a real-time snapshot of populations. Anyone can take part, from beginner bird watchers to experts. Count for as little as 15 minutes. Participate from your own backyard or join us at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park as we count birds at our feeders. Results will be set to Audubon to be included in a national tally. Stop by the Schrader Center anytime 10am-noon Saturday, February 16 to participate. Stay as long as you like.

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Ages: All
Meets: 10am-noon Sat., Feb. 16
Begins: 10am Sat., Feb. 16
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): self-guided

Free

Maple Sugaring Day
Experience the history of maple syrup production at fun, educational stations along the forested trails of the sugarbush. 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 in Camp Russel’s dining hall at Oglebay Park. Pre-registration required; this event sells out. Meets at Camp Russel.

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Ages: All
Meets: 9am-1pm Sat., Mar .16, 2019, 9am-1pm
Begins: Sat., Mar .16
Duration: 60 minute tours, leaving every 30 minutes from 9am to 12pm
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$12/$10 OI members. Children 4 & under are free.
Group rate available. Call 304-242-6855 for groups of 15+.

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)