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Late Bloomers at the Schrader Center

SunflowerphotoThe long awaited blooming of summer’s last flowers is here; the tall and mighty sunflower! All summer long Ms. Robin heard reports from various children from this past spring’s Preschool Days program, “Four Fingers and a Thumb”, where we learned about a plant‘s life cycle, made recycled pots and planted sunflower seeds in class. Reports included how tall their plantings were, “up to here” or “bigger than me”, often coupled with gestures to show height. Then, exciting news came in – they bloomed!

Four-year-old Allison beamed as she handed me a picture of her blooming sunflower when Preschool Days classes resumed last week. She also told me proudly that she now goes to preschool and nature preschool.  Allison has been attending Preschool Days programs at the Schrader Center with her grandmother, aunt or mother since she was just 2-years-old, and before words.

There are still openings in the Fall Preschool Days program, but look for a change in the name this winter.  Starting in January, the Preschool Days program (2- to 4-year-olds with an adult”) will be called “Roots and Shoots”.  “Roots” better reflects the often multi-generational participants (grandparents, grandchildren, parents and caregivers) in the program.  And “Shoots” captures the growth and transition of our smallest nature learners from no words to an understanding and interest in the natural world around them.

The “Budding Naturalists” program for transitional kindergartners without an adult will keep its name. Both programs will retain their high quality, interactive programming and educational outdoor components.  Check out our programs online, or call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855 to register. —By Robin Lee, Education Program Coordinator


Last Trail Maintenance Day for 2012

Last volunteer Trail Maintenance Day for 2012 will be this Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10am-12pm at the Schrader Center. We’re continuing to focus on the removal of invasive exotic species, such as European Privet, and to clean up the trail for visitors. Volunteers should wear long sleeves, work pants and boots. Work gloves will be provided, but volunteers may bring their own. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. Call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855 for more information.


Enviro Book Club to Discuss The Sacred Vision

Join the Environmental Book Club Thursday evening, October 18, 2012 for coffee and a discussion on The Sacred Vision: Native American Religion and Its Practice Today by Michael Steltenkamp.  The Sacred Vision is a personal venture into Native American Religion by the author. It is useful for anyone inquiring to where spirituality may lead them; specifically into Native American culture from an outsider’s perspective and as a useful gauge of the culture as of the 1980’s, in the pre-casino era.

We meet at 7pm at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park, Wheeling WV, typically on the upper floor. Check out our blog at www.ecobookclub.wordpress.com  for past discussions and future books.   Hope to see you there!

Arrows are Flying at the Schrader Center!

Archery is the art or skill of propelling arrows with a bow toward an intended target. A person who participates in archery is typically referred to as an archer or bowman, and according to Wikipedia, one who is fond of or an expert at archery can be referred to as a “toxophilite”. While archery has traditionally been the sport of  huntsmen, in modern times it has become a recreational activity enjoyed by all age groups. The Schrader Center’s resident toxophilite is none other than our own Greg Park, senior naturalist and birder extraordinaire.

There has been recent rise in the popularity of archery attributed to movies such as The Hunger Games and the success of 2012 Olympic silver medalist and American archer Brady Ellison. According to the Associated Press, NBC ranked archery as the most popular sport of any that it aired on its cable networks during the first few days of the 2012 Olympics– bigger even than basketball.

So what’s really got us going at the Schrader Center these days? You guessed it — archery! With the addition of two youth archery programs, that completely filled within the first two weeks, we’ve set up the targets and are preparing to see the feathers fly (arrow’s feathers, or course!) during the months of September and October. The programs, taught by Greg Park, are targeted to students between the ages of 9-12. Students meet on Tuesday or Wednesday from 4-5pm and are instructed in proper shooting technique, stances, form, range estimation, safety and more.

Several corporate groups visiting Oglebay Park have booked archery programs through the Schrader Center as team-building experiences for employees. Imagine being lined up beside your boss, suited up in archery gear with a bow and arrow?

We hope to be able to add additional archery courses that are available to the public in the spring 2013. Check out OI’s website for updated listings. Give us a call at the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855 for more information.