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

Soap Making Workshop (POSTPONED)
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. Packages include 1 hour of designated classroom time for presents and food with unlimited “on your own” access to the Schrader Center’s hands-on exhibits, animal displays, puppet area, gift shop, outdoor picnic tables, butterfly gar-den, wooded trails directly behind the building, and the field across from the center for large group games or other activities. 

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Ages: All
Times: 1 hour
Package A: $175 – 3 classrooms, 90 seats
Package B: $125 – 2 classrooms, 50 seats 
Package C: $100 – 1 classroom, 30 seats 

$50 non-refundable deposit required at booking. Balance due on day of party.
Call 304-242-6855 for details and inclusions.

Junior Badge Fest 2020 (RESCHEDULED)
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, Sept. 26 (Rescheduled from 3/28/20.)
Begins: Sat., Sept. 26
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

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.

Nature Programs for Families

Family Nature Programs Summer 2020
Family nature programs provide household groups of four or more a fun and safe environment to experience the wonders of nature. Programs are scheduled in advance by appointment. See below for information on programs. Visit our calendar of events for information on Summer of Wonder Programs

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Frog Frolic – Join us on our frog foray as we gently catch, study and release tadpoles, frogs, and turtles at Schenk Lake. Nets and collection buckets provided. Meet at parking lot by lower Schenk Lake, near the paddleboats.

Bird Walk – Enjoy a 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.

Guided Nature Walk – Learn to identify animal tracks, flowers, birds, edible plants and other elements of forest ecology on a guided walk along the trails of Oglebay.

Nature Story Time – Grab a book from our Children’s Library and find a cozy spot outside to read. Our Naturalist will connect the stories to the natural world around you. We’ll be sitting on the ground, so bring your own sitting blanket.

Salamander Search – Join as we gently catch, study, and release salamanders, crayfish, aquatic insects and fish. Nets and collection buckets provided. Wear boots and cloths that can get wet. Meets at the pull-off by intersection of Warden Run Road and Falls Drive.

Live Animal Show – Meet the amphibians and reptiles that call the Schrader Center home. Learn natural history information of each species as you get a chance to visit with and touch a toad, turtle and snake!

Campfire – Relax around a crackling campfire on a warm summer evening Roasting sticks and s’mores provided.

Ages: Families & household groups of all ages
June 1-August 14, by appointment
1 hour programs
Schrader Center Naturalists

$10 per person, per program ($40 minimum.)

Call 304-242-6855 to register.

Family Camping Trip (CANCELED)
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.)

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)