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OI Hosts “LEXICON OF SUSTAINABILITY” Pop Up Art Show at Farm to Table Event

csaGuests at the 3rd Annual Farm to Table Culinary Tasting Event set for Sunday, August 18 at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center will have an opportunity to view a beautiful and educational photographic exhibit highlighting the language of sustainable food.

The Lexicon of Sustainability Pop Up Art Show includes large format “information art” photo collages and educates, engages and activates people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America.

Designed to educate the fast-growing group of people who want to eat better but aren’t quite sure how, this groundbreaking exhibit illuminates concepts, terms and definitions of sustainable agriculture and is based on a simple premise – people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t understand the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability.

Dr. Vishakha Maskey, an associate professor of management at the Gary E. West College of Business at West Liberty University, is the curator for the August 18 show at the Farm to Table event. She has hosted previous shows in places such as the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley and the Ohio Valley Farmers’ Market.

The Lexicon of Sustainability Pop-Up Art Show is included with the Farm to Table admission fee.

farm_to_table eatingThe Farm to Table Culinary Tasting Event includes a variety of farm-fresh dishes prepared onsite by some of the area’s top chefs. Guests will enjoy a diverse menu of seasonally fresh produce, lamb, chicken and beef, cooking demonstrations, a farmers’ market, organic wine and live music on the lawn of the Stifel Fine Arts Center.

For more information or to register, visit www.OIonline.com/farmtotable.

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Earth Day Volunteering at the Schrader Center — April 20, 2013

IMG_1225Like the outdoors? Want to spend a little time helping improve the exterior grounds at the local nature center?

Schrader Center staff will host a volunteer work event in honor of Earth Day on Saturday, April 20 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Schrader Center. We’ll be pulling privet, and other invasive species, planting trees and clearing walkways, cleaning up around the butterfly garden, and more! We encourage volunteers all of ages to participate for any amount of time! 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 complimentary.

Bird Walk — We’ll start the day out with a morning bird walk hosted by Brooks Bird member and Bethany College Professor of Biology, Jay Buckelew, from 9:00 -10:00 am. Meet in the lower parking lot of the Schrader Center near the trail head a few minutes before 9:00 am.

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Astronomy Day Activities — Other activities include Oglebay Astronomy Club’s Astronomy Day program with two sessions. The daytime session will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Speidel Observatory and includes solar viewing (weather permitting– many sunspots are currently visible), meteorite display, space science demonstrations and activities, and Speidel Observatory tours. The nighttime session will be held from 8:00 to 11:00 pm, also at the Speidel Observatory, and will include telescope astronomy (weather permitting–Jupiter is spectacular now!), night sky tour of the constellations and special Speidel Observatory tours.

Call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855 for more information.

Sap is Flowing at the Schrader Center!

GmodrillingstationBy Erica McGrath–The sap season has begun at the Schrader Center and naturalists have been hard at work preparing for our upcoming harvest of maple syrup. During the warmer months, maple trees produce starches, which they store in their roots throughout the winter. As spring approaches the tree converts these starches to sugars which are carried to the rest of the tree in a fluid called sap. Sap flows through a portion of the outer trunk called the sapwood which is pressurized during the spring when temperatures rise above freezing during the day and drop below freezing at night. These fluctuations cause the sap to rise and allow us to safely collect sap without damaging the tree.

This sap, when collected and processed becomes the maple syrup we all enjoy. Here at the Schrader Center, we are putting the finishing touches on this year’s first batch of maple syrup. Sap was collected from our local stand of Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum) and processed by boiling the sap in a metal boiling machine called an evaporator. The evaporator boils away the water from the sap and leaves behind sticky, sweet syrup. It takes about forty gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. In the video below, naturalist Greg Park discusses the final steps of producing a batch of syrup:    To learn more about maple syrup production and its history, and to enjoy a hot pancake breakfast, be sure to come out to our Maple Sugaring Day on Saturday March 23. The event is held at Camp Russel in Oglebay Park and runs from 9am to 1pm. Admission: $7/$6 OI members. Call 304-242-6855 to book a one-hour tour.

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

 

Monarchs Flutter at the Schrader Center

"Flock", Miller University

“Flock”, Miller University

Getting to be the greeter of guests, one never knows who’s going to walk in the door at the Schrader Center!  It could be a community member or a visitor from Sarasota, FL.  It could be a child with a question about native animals or a family from Phoenix, AZ visiting Oglebay Park.  It could be someone wanting to walk our trails or a former Junior Nature Camper.  On this particular day, it was aerial artist Erica Loustau and her three- year-old daughter, Zoe.

Someone who finds inspiration from flocks of birds, Erica designs site-specific artistic displays that are suspended in mid-air by geometrically arranged wires.  Her three-dimensional mixed media is a nod to how nature inspires art.  Her suspended art is both magical enough to captivate kids and creatively alluring for adults.

“I have long been fascinated by the movement and organization of flocks of birds,” says Erica. “These birds in flight are like ant colonies or swarms of bees. Not only do they seem to have a distinct form, but also a sense of organization and purpose.”

"Monarch Rabble", Schrader Center

“Monarch Rabble”, Schrader Center

Erica recently designed a suspended work of monarch butterflies soaring over the exhibit hall of the Schrader Center.   “Monarch Rabble” includes 2,000 butterflies that begin at the door and guide guests into the exhibit hall which overlooks the Corson Butterfly Garden.

Erica’s art brings nature not only inside, but into our imaginations.  Her recent visit to the Schrader Center allowed her to see the panel that was created to honor those who donated “butterflies”.  Accompanied by her daughter, Zoe, the pair enjoyed playing in our puppet room and touring the Center.  It was great to meet the maker of the Monarch Rabble that soars above me while I work! ~Sara Fincham, Customer Service Representative at the Schrader Center 

"Scatter", West Chester University

“Scatter”, West Chester University

Annual Christmas Bird Count at Schrader Center This Saturday

Annual Christmas Bird Count

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, December 22
Schrader Environmental Education Center, Oglebay

northerncardinal1.jpgLove birds? Want to see how many you can locate around Oglebay Park? Join the Schrader Center staff and participate in the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, December 22 at the Schrader Center in Oglebay Park. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, the Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on bird health and population trends. We’ll be scouting the area for all types of birds and then submitting our collective data to the Audubon Society’s census.

Help make a difference for science and bird conservation. Participate in the Christmas Bird Count this year. We’ll even provide the snacks and coffee! For more information, contact Greg Park at the Schrader Center, 304-242-6855. You can also visit the National Audubon Society’s website.

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.

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