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.


COVID-19 Safety Precautions:

Those entering OI facilities should expect the following:

  • Masks will be required or recommended to coincide with current state & CDC guidelines.
  • Temperatures may be checked upon entering.
  • A short health screening questionnaire may be required.
  • Class sizes and seating will be limited to accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Nature Programs for Adults

Nature Programs for Children

Birthday Parties at the Schrader Center
Celebrate your child’s next birthday 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. 

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Times: 1 hour
Packages:
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.

Nurturing Naturalists Winter Series (Canceled)
Designed for our youngest independent “naturalists” (4 years – 1st grade) who are ready to attend without an adult. Home schooled children are welcome. Each session will have an outside component, so please have children dress for the weather. Topics include:

View Course Details/Register

Jan. 8: Pine Tree Rings
Jan. 22: I’m “Lichen” Winter a Lot
Feb. 5: Bird Brains
Feb. 19: “Hour Out” Challenge
Mar. 5: It’s the Glacial Meltdown
Mar. 19: Winter Moon

Ages: 5-8 (without an adult)
Meets: 1-2pm, Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, Mar. 5 & Mar. 19
Begins: Fri., Jan. 8
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

Roots ‘N Shoots Winter Series (Canceled)
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:

View Course Details/Register

Jan. 8: Jolly Holly & Other Evergreens
Jan. 22: Bear Snores On
Feb. 5: Feathers In the Snow
Feb. 19: A Winter’s Walk
Mar. 5: The Science of Snow
Mar. 19: Owl Moon

Ages: 2-4 with an adult
Meets: 9:15-10:15am, Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, Mar. 5 & Mar. 19
Begins: Fri., Jan. 8
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

Winter Nature Camp: Snow Fun! (MLK Jr. Day)
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! Call for pre and post care availability.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 1-8
Meets: 9am-3pm Monday, January 18
Begins: Mon., Jan. 20
Duration: 6 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$15/$12 OI members (per child)

Mad Science Saturday (Jan. 30) (NEW!)
Dive into the world of physical science experiments!  Engage in hands-on activities, watch spectacular demonstrations, and take part in mind-blowing experiments.  Our winter session will include a glacier thaw race, an exploration of ice crystals, homemade snow cones, and more!

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 1-6
Meets: 10am-12pm Sat., Jan. 30
Begins: 10am, Sat., Jan. 30
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members

Girl in Science Club (NEW!)
Did you know that the United Nations declared February 11 as the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science?” We’re getting the party started with this fabulous hands-on science program for girls only! Projects will include exploring colors & density of different liquids, making your own flashlight, creating invisible ink to leave secret messages around the nature center, and more! Each club session will include a snack and a spotlight on a female scientist who made major contributions to her field.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 4-8
Meets: 10-12pm Sat., Feb. 20
Begins: 10am Sat., Feb. 20
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members

Mad Science Saturday (Mar. 20) (NEW!)
Dive into the world of physical science experiments! Engage in hands-on activities, watch spectacular demonstrations, and take part in mind-blowing experiments. Our spring session will include a myriad of rainbow explosions & reactions, pH exploration, and creating a bio-plastic coin that can be found at the end of the rainbow!

View Course Details/Register

Ages: grades 1-6
Meets: 10am-12pm Sat., Mar. 20
Begins: 10am, Sat., Mar. 20
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$10/$8 OI members

Junior Badge Fest
Join us for a fun and exciting day of badge work! The morning session (9:30am-12pm) will cover the Junior First Aid & Scribe badges. The afternoon session (12:30-3pm) will cover the Eco Camper badge. Sign-up for one or both sessions! If you come to both sessions, please bring your own lunch. Badges provided at no extra charge.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: Junior Girl Scouts
Meets: 9:30am-3pm, Saturday, March 27
Begins: 9:30am or 12:30pm Sat., Mar. 27
Duration: Full day: 5 1/2 hours; Half day: 2 1/2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalists

$25 per scout, per session
$40 per scout for both sessions

Nature Programs for Families

Project Feeder Watch
Project Feeder Watch is a winter-long bird survey that helps scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. With Feeder Watch, 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 Feeder Watch dates are January 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21; 27 & 28; February 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25.  No experience necessary – beginner and expert birders welcome. Stop by for as little or as long as you like!

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: 10am-12pm, January 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21; 27 & 28; February 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25
Begins: 10am
Duration: 2 hours

Free (donations accepted)

Winter Forest Luminary Walk (NEW!)
Celebrate the new year at the Schrader Center with a delightful walk through the forest. Our trails are the perfect setting to explore the forest by the soft glow of luminaria! After your guided walk, warm up by the campfire with complimentary hot cocoa and s’mores, and stop by the craft corner to make a keepsake winter craft. Pre-registration encouraged. Popcorn and bottled water available for sale.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm or 9pm January 9 & 16
Begins: 6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm each night
Duration: 1 hour walks
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

$5 per person

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 bird 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, and 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, and we’ll send our results to Audubon to be included in the national tally.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: All
Meets: 9-11am Sat., Feb. 13 (stop by anytime and stay as long as you like)
Begins: 9am Sat., Feb. 13
Duration: 2 hours
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Naturalist

Free

Maple Campfire Dinner
Learn the basics of cooking over a campfire, then enjoy the sweets of your labor! In this tasty program, we’ll slow-bake sweet potatoes and top them with a drizzle of maple syrup. Maple-glazed ham and cornbread round out our delectable menu. Water served with dinner; BYOB. Pre-registration required.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: Families & adults
Meets: 5:30-6:30pm Thursday, March 4
Begins: 5:30pm Thurs., Mar. 4
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Molly Check

$15 ($5 per addtl. person)/$12 ($4 per addtl. person) OI members

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.

View Course Details/Register

Ages: Adults
Meets: by appointment
Begins: by appointment
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor(s): Schrader Center Staff

$25 per person ($125 minimum)