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 Adults

Soap Making Workshop
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. Participants will need to bring an apron, a quart container with screw-on lids, and a bag to take your products home. Dress for the weather; we’ll be outside for at least one hour. Program includes a homemade lunch.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 9am-2pm Saturday, April 25 (lunch provided)
Begins: Sat., Apr. 25
Duration: 5 hours
Instructor(s): Cindy & Molly Check

$35/$30 OI members

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.

Daisy Badge Fest (NEW!)
Join us for a fun and exciting morning of badge work! This program will cover the Daisy Trail Adventurer, Eco Learner, Outdoor Art Maker, and Space Science Adventurer badges. Adults can stay for the program or drop off scouts. Plan to swing by the Native Plant Sale while you’re here!

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Ages: Daisy Girl Scouts
Meets: 9am-12pm, Saturday, May 9
Begins: Sat., May 9
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$20 per scout

Junior Badge Fest
Join us for a fun and exciting day of badge work! The morning session (9:30am-11:30am) will cover the Animal Habitats and Space Science Investigator badges. The afternoon session (12-2pm) will cover the Flowers, Gardener and Outdoor Art Explorer badges. Sign up for one or both sessions! If you come to both sessions, please bring your own lunch.

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Ages: Junior Girl Scouts
Meets: 9:30am-2pm, Saturday, March 28
Begins: 9:30am Sat., Mar. 28
Duration: Full-day 4 hours; half-day 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$20 per scout per session, or $30 per scout for both
sessions.

Nurturing Naturalists Spring Series
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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March 27: Energy Flows
April 3: Who Makes a Mud Pie?
April 10: The Chicken or The Egg?
April 17: X-Stream Experience
May 1: Amphibian Fun!

Ages: 4-6 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm, March 27, April 3, 10 & 17 and May 1
Begins: Fri., Mar. 27
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 5 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$55/$40 OI members ($25 for each additional child)
Limited Walk-ins: $12/$10 OI members; $5 for each
additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Roots ‘N Shoots Spring 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. Topics include:

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March 27: Here Comes the Sun
April 3: Inside a Raindrop
April 10: Who Hatches?
April 17: Are You My Mother?
May 1: Amphibian Fun!

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am, March 27, April 3, 10 & 17 and May 1
Begins: Fri., Mar. 27
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 5 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$55/$40 OI members ($25 for each additional child)
Limited Walk-ins: $12/$10 OI members; $5 for each
additional child

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Seuss-ical Science!
Join us for a fun morning with Dr. Seuss and some Seussical science projects! We’ll read stories by Dr. Seuss (who would celebrate his 116th birthday this March!) and then honor his work with some STEM projects. Make some Ooblek slime, have an egg drop after Horton Hatches an Egg, and plant some Lorax inspired seeds.

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Ages: Grades 1-6
Meets: 10am-12pm Saturday, February 29
Begins: Saturday, February 29
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$12/$10 OI members

Nature Programs for Families

Be Unique, Be You, and Live Workshop
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. David is back to create a community support to help people connect and grow through the healing power of music, nature imagery, and time spent together in nature. David will speak about how critical it is to reduce negative, bitter and cynical thoughts and feelings in our community and replace them with more positive thoughts and feelings. This can help bring people together more consistently to appreciate the simple and joyous things that make us more human and help generate that “Chicken Soup for the Soul” feeling! Copies of David’s book, Be Unique, Be You, and Live! will be available for sale.

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Ages: All
Meets: 6:30-7:30pm Monday, April 20
Begins: Mon., Apr. 20
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): David George

$5 suggested donation per person

Daylight & Nightime 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,” 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).

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

Free

Earth Day Morning Nature Hike
Celebrate Earth Day and head outside! Start your day off right and join us on the Schrader Center trails. We’ll look for wildflowers, birds, animal tracks and more as we celebrate the Earth with a morning spent in nature. Pace is mild, terrain is easy.

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Ages: All
Meets: 8:30-9:30am Wednesday, April 22
Begins: Wed., Apr. 22
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 per person

Earth Day Afternoon Nature Hike
Join us at Bear Rock Lakes Wildlife Management Area for a nature walk along the trails. We’ll look for wildflowers, birds, animal tracks and more as we celebrate the Earth with time spent in nature. Pace is mild, terrain is easy.

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Ages: All
Meets: 1-2:30pm Wednesday, April 22
Begins: Wed., Apr. 22
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 per person

Family Camping Trip
Can’t find the time to plan a classic family camping trip? We can help! Bring sleeping bags and a tent, or contact us about rentals, and we’ll provide the rest. Activities include a live animal presentation, dinner, s’mores around the campfire and a short night hike. In the morning, enjoy a relaxing bird walk and breakfast before packing up camp. A Schrader Center naturalist will coordinate activities and be on-site for the entire experience. Preregistration required.

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Ages: All
Meets: 4pm Saturday, June 6 – 10am Sunday, June 7
Begins: 4pm Sat., June 6
Duration: 18 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$20/$15 OI members (Group discounts available. Call for details.)

Maple Campfire
Maple sugaring season provides an opportunity to sweeten up our world! In this tasty program, we will slow bake sweet potatoes in the coals of the campfire, and then enjoy them with a drizzle of maple syrup from the Schrader sugar bush. Crispy bacon and maple-glazed nuts round out our delectable menu. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Adults and families
Meets: 5:30-6:30pm, Tuesday, March 3
Begins: Tues.,March 3
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$8/$5 OI members

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 14
Begins: Sat., Mar.14
Duration: 60 minute tours, leaving every 30 minutes from 9am-12pm
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$12/$10 OI members; Children under 3 are free

Native Plant Sale (NEW!)
Choose from a variety of native flowers to beautify your yard. Sun loving and shade loving perennial plants will be available, as well as a selection of culinary herbs.  Call in advance with your requests. Reduced price plants will be sold throughout the following week.

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Ages: All
Meets: 9am-4pm Saturday, May 9
Begins: Sat., May 9
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

Free admission

On The Bunny Trail
Our classic family Easter event is back! Craft an Easter bag, then head outside to see how many Easter eggs you can find. Certain ones will win you a prize. Inside, check out the exhibit on real bird eggs and nests, then swing by the physical science table for some “egg”credible demonstrations. Best of all, the Easter Bunny will be stopping by to visit with everyone! Admission includes face painting, drinks and freshly popped popcorn. Adults must accompany their children.

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Ages: All
Meets: 2-4pm Friday, April 10
Begins: Fri., Apr. 10
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 per child (adults are free)

Project FeederWatch
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long bird survey that helps scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. With FeederWatch, your observations become part of something bigger. Join a Schrader Center Naturalist as we count the birds that visit the feeders just outside the windows. Project FeederWatch dates are Nov. 13, 14, 20 & 21, and Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19. No experience necessary – beginner and expert birders welcome. Stop by for as little or as long as you would like!

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Ages: All
Meets: 10am-12pm, December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19; January 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23; February 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27
Begins: Ongoing
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

No cost; donations accepted.

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)