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Cupcakes for Volunteers!

Oglebay Falls By Jake Francis, Director of Environmental Education–One thing that sets the Ohio Valley apart from other places I have lived is the intense pride that many of us hold for our natural resources.  It might have something to do with the massive body of water that we use as a reference for almost everything, or perhaps it has something to do with the rich tradition of sportsmanship in this valley. But I believe it has a lot to do with the amazing and unique city parks that are inextricably tied to our city’s identity.

In my two years here, I have met students who are willing to slave in the heat of summer working to conserve our forests, young adults shaping our food landscape and bringing green space to our downtown, and octogenarians who have given their entire life over to the our city parks and Oglebay Institute.  And, as I was trying to write a post about our upcoming volunteer opportunities, all I could think of was how much thanks we owe to you all!

In light of that, I want to share a couple of organized volunteer days we will be having at the Schrader Center which will focus on doing some much-needed maintenance on our trail systemphoto2 and continuing our battle with invasive exotic plant species that are threatening our forests.  We will be holding workdays from 9am-3pm on February 23 and April 20.  We will have all of the tools needed and can provide work gloves, as well as some hot beverages, snacks, and congratulatory cupcakes to thank you all for everything you do.  If you can’t make those days, don’t fret. You can call me at the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855, and I’ll make sure you get a cupcake, but you’ll have to spend some time discussing birding, botany, herpetology, or the like!  I hope you can forgive this departure from my normally scientific blog posts, and that you can come see us in the next couple of months!

What: Volunteer Days at the Schrader Center

When: February 23 & April 20

Where: Schrader Center, Oglebay Park

Time: 9am-3pm

Info: 304-242-6855

 Chocolate_cupcakes

 

Spring Seed Sowing Topic of Public Garden Lecture Series

Pink_petuniasIt’s the time of year when gardeners are eager to get back to the soil. Wheeling Park High School’s Floriculture Instructor, Don Headley, will give a hands-on demonstration of starting seeds for the upcoming gardening season Monday, Feb. 25 at the  Ohio County Master Gardeners’ February Public Garden Lecture Series held at the Schrader Environmental Center at 7:00 pm. All lectures are free and open to the public.Tomatoseedlings

Mr. Headley will show different ways to get seeds to germinate, whether on a windowsill or in a greenhouse, and he is even experimenting with something called a “seed sock.” (No, it’s not footwear–it’s made of woven agricultural fabric.) Mr. Headley is also planning to bring various types of vegetable and flower seeds and will address the differences between hybrid and heirloom varieties, as well as explain how to time your seed-starting so your plants are ready to be transplanted into the garden at the right time and how to protect the seedlings from frost if you happen to jump the gun a bit.

220px-CabbageMr. Headley says his students already have cabbage, tomato, pepper and petunia plants popping above the soil in the greenhouse at Wheeling Park High School. He’s been teaching at WPHS for 22 years, both floriculture and auto body collision repair. He’s hinted that he may have a free gift for everyone attending the lecture–something to take home and put on a windowsill…

For more information about the Public Garden Lecture Series, please call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855.