Nature Classes & Public Programs

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.

Summer Class Registration is now open.

Spring 2024 session begins March 17, 2024.

Spring 2024 Class Registration Opens Wednesday, February 21.

Nature Programs for Adults

Candle Making
Learn how to create nature-based soy candles with different scents. Take home two and have fun decorating them! We’ll be exploring the use of different scents, herbs, and plant material to achieve a desired mood or effect. All supplies provided but bring your own small jar(s) if you have a special one that you’d like to pour into! (Limit 16)

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Ages: Adults and supervised older children 9+
Meets: Saturday, March 16, 10am-1pm
Begins: Sat. March 16
Duration: 3 hours
Instructor: Katie Molinengo

$45/$40 OI members

WV Master Naturalist Program
Beginning in January, the West Virginia Master Naturalist certification program will be hosted at the Schrader Center. Call 304-242-6855 for details.

Nature Programs for Children

Roots ‘N Shoots Preschool Program Spring 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 Wednesdays, March 20, April 10, May 1
Begins: Wed. March 20
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Courtney Comack

$15/$12 OI members (per class) (limited walk-ins)

Kids in Science Club
We’re celebrating all things science with this exciting hands-on science program for kids! Each club session will include a snack and a spotlight on a scientist who made major contributions to the science field!

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Ages: Grades 4-8
Meets: 10am-12pm Saturday, May 11
Begins: 10am Sat., May 11
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 for OI members

Nature Programs for Families

Maple Sugaring Festival 2024
Celebrate maple sugaring season with hot pancakes, maple syrup, and sausage, then experience the history and wonder of maple syrup production. See a wide variety of sugaring techniques, from the Native American way through modern methods, and learn all about the sweet side of the maple tree! There will be lots of fun, hands-on activities. Pre-registration strongly encouraged (register by mealtime); this event typically sells out. Meets at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park.

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Ages: All
Meets: Saturday, March 2, 9am-1pm
Begins: Sat. March 2
Duration: Register by mealtime
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$12 per person, ages 3 and under are free

On the Bunny Trail 2024
Grab your Easter basket for trail egg hunt, make an Easter craft, and visit with the Easter Bunny! Search for and collect 10 eggs along our forested trails, then turn in the eggs for candy and toy prizes! A more accessible egg hunt will be set-up closer to the building for families with strollers or mobility issues. Event also includes a cake walk and live animals. Concessions (hotdogs, popcorn, candy and drinks) will be sold at the event (cash only) Register by time slot – spaces limited; preregistration strongly encouraged. (Limit 40 children per time slot)

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Ages: All
Meets: Friday, March 29, 2024, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Begins: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/child; free/adult

Daylight & Nighttime Astronomy
It’s National Astronomy Day! Explore the solar and lunar skies at a special astronomy event at Speidel Observatory in Oglebay Park. Solar observing, space science activities, and observatory tours from 1-4pm. Telescope observing, constellation talk, and observatory tours from 8-11pm.

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Ages: All
Meets: Saturday, May 18; 1-4pm & 8-11pm
Begins: 1-4pm and/or 8-11pm
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructors: Oglebay Astronomy Club


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)