WHEELING, W.Va. (June 26, 2015)- – The public is invited to explore and discover the beauty and intrigue of the natural world by participating in the Summer of Wonder Nature Programs, sponsored by WesBanco, at Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Education Center, located in Oglebay Resort.

Nature walks, stargazing and evening campfires are just a few of the interactive, family-oriented programs taking place now through August 22 at the Center.

“The goal of our summer programming is to promote outdoor discovery by getting people outside to have fun and learn something about nature.” Alice Eastman, director of the Schrader Center, said.

Eastman said the Schrader Center is a valuable resource for families, helping them discover ways to celebrate, study and preserve the natural world together.

“Spending time in nature as a family is a valuable pastime. Some of the most cherished family memories are created in the outdoors,” she said. “It is a great way to unplug and bond as a family.”

She added that many parents want to explore the outdoors with their children but may need to brush up their skills and get ideas on how to engage their children in outdoor play.

“Parents, like children, often spend many hours a day indoors in front of some type of screen. In today’s busy world it is easy to become disconnected to nature. We strive to help families reconnect to the outdoors, learn together and increase their ‘green’ time,” she said.

Schrader Center naturalists and educators have years of teaching experience, Eastman explained, and are eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors.

The Summer of Wonder lineup, which is sponsored by WesBanco, includes a variety of activities led by naturalists such as guided nature walks, where participants learn to identify birds, trees and wildflowers and opportunities to observe the night sky with local astronomers.

Those interested in learning about birds and snakes native to this region will enjoy Feeding Frenzy and Snake Tales, where guest can observe – and even lend a hand- as Schrader Center staffers feed their feathered and scaled friends and discuss the important role they play in the ecosystem.

Geology programs and nature crafts are also offered along with the very popular Old Fashioned Family Campfires, which include storytelling, sing-a-longs and s’mores.

For families interested in exploring the trails on their own, the self-guided Nature Questprogram includes specially designed activities to be completed along the trails of Oglebay at your own pace. Hikers set out on missions that lead to hidden treasure chests along the trails.

“Thanks to our generous sponsor WesBanco we are able to keep fees low so that cost is not a roadblock to participation,” Eastman said.

For most programs there is a nominal fee of $5 to participate, and programs are free to Oglebay Institute members and those who purchase Oglebay Park activity wristbands.

“WesBanco is very happy to partner with Oglebay Institute in making the Summer of Wonder programs available for the public to enjoy,” said WesBanco president and CEO Todd Clossin. “The Ohio Valley is enriched by these and the many other programs offered by Oglebay Institute, and WesBanco’s involvement is one way in which we can carry out our commitment to the community.”

“Oglebay Institute is grateful to WesBanco for underwriting our Summer of Wonder programs at the Schrader Center this year,” said OI development director Kathryn Kelly. “Sponsorships such as this demonstrate the corporate spirit of philanthropy that continues to benefit the Ohio Valley.”

Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Education Center celebrates nature every day and offers hands-on nature fun for the whole family. Facilities include the A.B. Brooks Discovery Trail System, the Children’s Awareness Area, the EarthTrek Exhibit Hall and the Nutting Bird Café. The Center offers year-round classes, workshops, school programs, public events and day and residential camping experiences for all ages.

The Summer of Wonder Nature Programs continue through August 22. More information is available by calling the Schrader Center staff at 304-242-6855 or visiting on the web at