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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.

observatoryatoglebay

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.

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A.B. Brooks Nature Follower and Friend Visits Schrader Center

We had a wonderful visitor today that tied present-day to our past.  Mr. Edwin R. “Ted” Spears of Wheeling came in to visit the Schrader Center and reminisce about the walks that he participated in with Mr. A.B. Brooks.  Alonzo Beecher Brooks was Oglebay Institute’s original naturalist from 1927 – 1944, and he started many traditions that we sustain today.  The current Astronomy program and Mountain Nature Camp were born from the foresight and efforts of Mr. Brooks, as well as the nature walks that Mr. Spears proudly participated in during the mid-1900’s.

Mr. Brooks had such a big following for his nature walks that the A.B. Brooks Nature Center was built in 1954 to provide shelter to nature program participants. That building stood for nearly 50 years before the Schrader Environmental Education Center was built in 2000. The Schrader Center pays tribute to Mr. Brooks by continuing his commitments through a Thursday evening volunteer-administered Astronomy program at 9:00pm and morning Guided Nature Walks every Tuesday at 10:00am. The Brooks Bird Club was named in recognition of Mr. Brooks, as well as Oglebay’s A.B. Brooks Discovery trails—the same trails that Mr. Brooks used during his notable time as naturalist.

Mr. Spears also knew Henry Stifel Schrader, a founding member of Oglebay Institute who presided over the dedication of the A.B. Brooks Nature Center.  As a tribute to Mr. Schrader’s commitment to both the company and the community, the Schrader Environmental Education Center is named in his honor.  The Schrader Center recognizes both remarkable men and the legacy they left.  Mr. Spears, 92, was accompanied by Mary-Bess Halford, librarian at Bethany College for 16 years. For more information about our Tuesday morning Nature Walks and Astronomy program, please call the Schrader Center at 304-242-6855.  – By Sara Fincham, Schrader Center Customer Service Representative.