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

Bat Box Workshop (CANCELLED)
Build your own bat box that can be hung-up to attract these helpful, flying mammals to your yard. All supplies are provided. Presented in partnership with the Ohio County Master Gardeners. Pre-registration required.

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Ages: adults
Meets: 9-11am Saturday, August 24
Begins: Sat., Aug. 24
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15 per person

Food Preservation 101 Workshop (NEW!)
Preserving the harvest was essential for our ancestor’s survival, and it can still enrich our lives today! This hands-on program walks you through the steps of freezing, fermenting, canning with a water bath, and using a pressure canner. Includes the basics of making sauerkraut, dill pickles, fruit jam, canned tomatoes, and more! Bring an apron if you have one. Program includes a homemade lunch. Pre-registration required, space is limited.

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Ages: Adults
Meets: 9am-4pm, Saturday, September 7
Begins: 9am Sat., Sept. 7
Duration: 7 hours
Instructor(s): Cindy & Molly Check

$50/$45 OI members (includes lunch)

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.

Nurturing Naturalists Fall 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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Sept. 13: Super Seeds
Sept. 27: Caching In, Squirrel Style!
Oct. 11: Is it Bird or is it Beast?
Oct. 25: What Lurks in the Night?
Nov. 8: A Day in the Life of an Animal Keeper
Nov. 22: Migration Nation

Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm, Sept. 13 & 27, Oct. 11 & 25 and Nov. 8 & 22
Begins: Fri., Sept. 13
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 Fall 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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Sept. 13: Metamorphic Munchers
Sept. 27: Furry Forest Foragers
Oct. 11: Leaves on the Breeze
Oct 25: I’m Not Scared, Not Really
Nov. 8: Turtle Time!
Nov. 22: Night Tree

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am, Sept. 13 & 27, Oct. 11 & 25 and Nov. 8 & 22
Begins: Fri., Sept. 13
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.

Brownie Badge Fest
Join us for a fun and exciting day of badge work! The morning session (9:30am-11:30am) will cover the Eco Friend, Bugs, and Senses badges. The afternoon session (12-2pm) will cover the Home Scientist and Space Science Adventurer badges. Sign up for one or both sessions! If you come to both sessions, please bring your own lunch.

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Ages: Brownie Girl Scouts
Meets: 9:30am-2pm, Saturday, November 9
Begins: 9:30am Sat., Nov. 9
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.

Candy Cane Hunts
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. Enjoy hot chocolate to warm you up upon returning from they hike! Adults must accompany their children.

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Ages: 3-10 with accompanying adult
Meets: 4-5pm, December 2, 7 & 11
Begins: 4pm Dec 2, 7, & 11
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$12/$10 OI members (per child with accompanying adult)

Nature Programs for Families

Seasonal Naturalist – Fall
This quarterly program will highlight phenology (seasonal natural phenomena) throughout the year with an inside presentation on plants and animals followed by a nature hike through the forest and along the stream.

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Ages: All
Meets: 9-10:30am Saturday, September 21
Begins: 9am Sat., Sept. 21
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$10/$5 OI members

Campfire Cooking Workshop
Cooking with a campfire is a life skill that connects you to the natural world. Learn the basics of cooking around, in, and over the campfire. We’ll make Cajun shrimp, foil packet potatoes, dutch oven BBQ chicken, pizza & dessert mountain pies, and s’mores! Pre-registration required.

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Ages: Adults and families with children ages 6+
Meets: 5:30-7pm, Tuesday, October 1
Begins: 5:30pm Tues., Oct. 1
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$15/$12 OI members (adult); $5/$3 OI members (child)

EcoFest
This family festival celebrates the earth with vendors, hands-on exhibits, live animal presentations, face painting, tie-dye, a scavenger hunt, bird watching, nature crafts, a 50-50 raffle, and more! Participating community groups include Grow Ohio Valley, Wheeling Children’s Museum, Primitive Notions and the Brooks Bird Club. Hotdogs, cider, popcorn and other treats available for sale. Bring your own shirt to tie-dye or purchase one on site. Free admission!

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Ages: All
Meets: 10am-4:30pm, Saturday, October 5
Begins: 10am Sat., Oct. 5
Duration: 6 1/2 hours
Instructors: Schrader Center Naturalists

Free admission (food and tie-dye shirts available for extra cost)

Be Unique, Be You, and Live Workshop
David George returns to the Schrader Center to celebrate the healing power of music, nature imagery, and time spent together in nature. David is an 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. This program seeks to create a community support system to help people connect with others through an inside discussion (30 minutes) followed by a short walk through the forest. The hike will end at the campfire ring, where we will enjoy roasted marshmallows.

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Ages: All
Meets: 6:30-8pm Monday, October 7
Begins: Mon., Oct. 7
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): David George

$12/$10 OI members

Daylight & Nighttime Astronomy
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, October 12
Begins: 1-4pm (solar observing) and/or 8-11pm (constellations)
Duration: 2 sessions, 3 hours each
Instructors: Oglebay Astronomy Club

Free

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.

Astronomy – Mercury Transit (NEW!)
Mercury is about to transit the Sun for the first time since 2016! The transit, or passage, of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence. Join the Oglebay Astronomy Club at the Speidel Observatory as they view the transit with telescopes.

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Ages: All
Meets: 7:30am-1pm, Monday, November 11
Begins: Mon., Nov. 11
Duration: 5 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Oglebay Astronomy Club

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, November 13, 14, 20 & 21, and December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19
Begins: Nov. 13, 14, 20 & 21 and Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

No cost; donations accepted.

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

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)

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)