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

Astronomy 101 Workshop (NEW!)
Learn some tricks of stargazing and how to identify the brightest stars and constellations. This program will cover star life cycles and basic “star movement” patterns. If the skies are clear, we’ll step out at the end for some star gazing.

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Ages: Adults & children ages 10 & up
Meets: 6-7pm, Tuesday, December 17
Begins: 6pm Tues., Dec. 17
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$12/$10 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.

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 Winter 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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Jan. 10: 5 Pine Tree Rings
Jan. 24: All that Scat 
Feb. 7: Bird Brains
Feb. 21: Snow Big Deal 
Mar. 6: It’s the Glacial Meltdown
Mar. 20: Winter Moon

Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm, Jan. 10 & 24, Feb. 7 & 21 and March 6 & 20
Begins: Fri., Jan. 10
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Courtney Commack

$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. 10: Jolly Holly & Other Evergreens
Jan. 24: Tracks in the Snow 
Feb. 7: Feathers in the Snow
Feb. 21: Inside a Snowflake 
Mar. 6: Some Like it Cold
Mar. 20: Owl Moon

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am, Jan. 10 & 24, Feb. 7 & 21 and Mar. 6 & 20
Begins: Fri., Jan. 10
Duration: 1 hour sessions, for 6 alternating weeks
Instructor(s): Courtney Commack

$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 Fun! (MLK Jr. Day- Mon. Jan.20)
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!

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Ages: Grades 1-8
Meets: 9am-1pm Monday, January 20
Begins: Monday, January 20
Duration: 4 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$20 child, $10 additional child
$16 child, $8 additional child OI members

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

Bows & Boughs Evergreen Wreath Workshop (NEW!)
Create a beautiful holiday wreath for your home! We provide an assortment of fresh evergreen boughs, berries, pinecones and ribbons, plus the frame and wire to tie it all together. Different techniques and styles of making your holiday wreaths will be demonstrated. Please bring your own ribbon and bows to share! Coffee, cocoa, cheese and crackers provided. BYOB. This is also a great opportunity to identify different evergreen plants. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Adults & families
Meets: 6-8pm, Wednesday, December 4
Begins: 6pm Wed., Dec. 4
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$35/$30 OI members

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 populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish). Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts. You can participate from your backyard or anywhere in the world. Join us at the Schrader Center as we count birds at our feeders and around the building. Results will be sent to Audubon to be included in the national tally.

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Ages: All
Meets: 10am-12pm Saturday, Feb. 15 (stop by anytime and stay as long as you like)
Begins: Sat., Feb. 15
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

FREE

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. March 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

Mrs. Claus Explains it All
How does Santa get into houses that don’t have chimneys? What is his favorite kind of cookie? Where do his elves come from? Can all reindeer fly? Answers to these questions and more as Mrs. Clause visits the Schrader Center to read Mrs. Clause Explains It All. After the book reading, make a keepsake holiday craft and enjoy some cocoa and cookies while you wait for Santa Clause himself to stop by! Spaces limited, register early!

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Ages: Families
Meets: 6:30-7:30pm, Saturday, December 7
Begins: 6:30pm Sat., Dec. 7
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$12/$10 OI members (per child)
$8/$5 OI members (per adult)

Night Tree Children’s Book Reading & Crafts
Sure to become a holiday favorite, this beautifully illustrated story of a family’s unusual tradition brings to life the true spirit of Christmas. Enjoy some cocoa and cookies while listening to a reading of Night Tree by Eve Bunting, then make some all-natural holiday decorations to put out on the Schrader Center’s own night tree!

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Ages: Families
Meets: 4-5pm, Saturday, December 14
Begins: 4pm Sat., Dec. 14
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members (per child)
$5/$2 OI members (per adult)

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.

Winter of Wonder Nature Programs (NEW!)
November 7 – December 19 at the Schrader Center. No pre-registration required. All ages welcome. $5 per person. Programs include:

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Live Animal Show: 1-2pm Mondays, Nov. 11, 18 & 25 and Dec. 2, 9 & 16
Take an in-depth look at the natural history of the animal ambassadors who live at the Schrader Center. Meet our toad, turtles, and snakes up close and personal, while learning about their incredible adaptations.

Bird Walk: 9:30-10:30am Tuesdays, Nov. 12, 19 & 26 and Dec. 3, 10 & 17
Enjoy an early morning 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: 1-2pm Wednesdays, Nov. 13 & 20 and Dec. 4, 11 & 18
Our Naturalist will lead you along the trails of the Schrader Center forest, identifying animal tracks, birds, edible plants, and other elements of forest ecology. Nature is always changing – you never know what we may see!

Nature Story Time: 2-3pm Thursdays, Nov. 7, 14 & 21 and Dec. 5, 12 & 19
Visit our Children’s Library for a cozy afternoon with many delightful stories about the natural world in the wintertime. Includes hot cocoa and a visit with one of our live animals.

Bird Walk: Fridays, Nov. 8, 15 & 22 and Dec. 6 & 13
Enjoy an early morning 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.

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)