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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

 

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Jr Rangers Help Clean Up Trails in Oglebay Park

June 4, 2012 — The adventure started with a warm morning, about 68 to 70 degrees. As we headed down the trail, we stumbled upon areas of mud covered by wooden planks. In a couple of days, the Boy Scouts will be coming to put in new stepping stones so that the visitors will be more comfortable walking the trails.

The Trail Team helped the Boy Scouts today by cleaning up trash and taking out the wooden planks. We carried lots of trash, such as bottles, cans, clay sewage pipes, and palates from the woods to the road to help clean up the park.

After the planks were gone, mud was everywhere we stepped. In order to keep the trails in good condition so visitors would be happy, we made a stone trail covering most of the mud. Now when people walk on the trail, they won’t be hiking through the squishy mud.

The Schrader Center’s Junior Ranger program includes volunteers that are part of either the Trail or Teach teams, which will focus on ecology and forest improvement, or nature interpretation and instruction, respectively. The program develops volunteers’ speaking skills, increases their knowledge of the natural world, and gives them an opportunity to make an impact in our community.

The Trail Team monitors Oglebay’s forest, restores the Oglebay Ecosystem and learns about ecology and forest management. The Teach Team guides hikes and animal programs, develops and teaches Nature Day Camp activities and learns about nature education.