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Good Zoo Master Naturalists conducting Monarch Research


Master Naturalist at Oglebay Good Zoo

A monarch butterfly is tagged by Zoo Master Naturalist Carol Sasseen just before being released. Classes are held at the zoo on Saturdays and Sundays and often involve walks in the woods and occasional field trips to a farm, university, woodlands or streams.

Monarch butterfly populations are plummeting nationwide, and a federal petition was filed yesterday by environmental groups, urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.  Good Zoo director Penny Miller said zoo staff and zoo Master Naturalists are part of a project to study the decline, and to create more milkweed habitat to support the butterflies.  Good Zoo Master Naturalists study, rear, tag and release monarchs prior to their migration to Mexico for the winter; they also raise and plant several species of milkweed in home gardens, local farms, and in locations throughout Oglebay Resort including golf courses, the Good Zoo, resort gardens and at the Schrader Center.


Any area residents interested in learning more about the monarch project and many other citizen scientist projects can attend Master Naturalist classes that begin September 6, 2014.  Classes cost just $6 per hour of instruction and under $400 for the entire certification program; students participate at their own pace and take up to three years to complete the program, or finish in one year. The fall classes are held at the Good Zoo or West Liberty University on Saturdays and Sundays. Fall classes include Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats; Screech Owls; Insects; Dressing for the Outdoors in Winter, and more.

Classes can be taken in any order, and students can join the program by enrolling in any class.


Students are all nature lovers and represent a wide range of ages and backgrounds from college students, teachers, scout leaders, farmers, fisherman, to retired folks and nature photographers. “Anyone of any age or background fits into the group, you just have to be a nature lover,” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, the zoo’s curator of education.


Spring 2015 classes will include core classes by area naturalist Dr Scott Shalaway teaching WV Birds; Bill Beatty teaching Trees; Wildflowers; and Medicinal Plants. Electives taught by Good Zoo staff include WV otters; Box Turtles; Monarch Butterfly Conservation; and many more.


Master Naturalist Daniel Caron said, “The program is a fun and interesting way to learn about nature.  I enjoy the program’s interactive, hands-on format.  The classes teach me to see something different every time I step outside.”


Students conduct 16 hours of volunteer work on nature projects of their own choosing in order to become certified. “Our students participate in backyard bird projects, put up bluebird boxes, survey and report frog calls, raise and tag monarch butterflies, and improve their garden and property to attract wildlife,” said Penny Miller, zoo director. “Others like to help out at state or zoo wildlife events, or pass on their knowledge to children,” she said.  “I enjoy teaching my grandkids and neighbors about the monarch butterflies I rear and tag,” said certified Master Naturalist Carol Saseen.


The curriculum was developed by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to develop citizen scientists and naturalists across the state. Students from Ohio and Pennsylvania are welcome to participate also.


Those interested in learning more can visit the or by calling Vickie Markey-Tekely at 304-243-4033 or Penny Miller at 304-243-4027.

Green Efforts Continue

Ferris Wheel Display at the Festvial of Lights

All displays at the Winter Festival of Lights use energy-efficient LED lights.

Oglebay is proud to announce that all the displays at this year’s Winter Festival of Lights, which begins next week on November 9, will be using energy-efficient LED lights.  Four years ago the Winter Festival of Lights entered a new “green” era with the commitment to use LED lights in all new displays and to begin converting all existing displays to LED. “We expected the conversion to take five years so we are actually ahead of schedule,” said Caren Knoyer, Marketing Director for Oglebay.  LED lights use 85% less energy than traditional bulbs and last five times longer.


The use of LEDs at the Festival of Lights is just one of the many green initiatives that Oglebay has implemented in the past few years.  “Oglebay has 1,700 acres of year-round recreational opportunities and picturesque natural beauty, and the resort is committed to preserving and sustaining this natural beauty for generations to come,” added Knoyer.


A committee of key personnel at Oglebay meets regularly to research and discuss new ways to reduce the resort’s environmental footprint and oversees long and short-term stewardship programs.


Penny Miller, director of the Good Zoo at Oglebay said more than 4,600 pounds of electronic items were collected at the Green Halloween Recycle Day held at the zoo on October 13.  “Visitors were invited to bring in unwanted electronics free of change for recycling,” said Miller. “Electronics Recycling Services of Ohio collected the discarded PC’s, workstations, servers, laptops, printers, VCR players, cameras and other electronics, and therefore kept all these items out of the waste stream.”


The golf department at Oglebay recycled 2,400 pesticide containers last week.  Nick Janovich, Superintendent of the Jones Course at Oglebay’s Speidel Golf Club said a company from Texas comes in at the end of every golf season with a tractor trailer and grinds the material here on site.  “This keeps the plastic container and any residual chemical out of the landfill,” said Janovich.  “Our containers were ground here on site and are destined to be the plastic blocks that are used between roadside guardrails and the posts that they are attached to.  The recycled plastic absorbs impact better than the treated lumber that is traditionally used and is also a great use for pesticide-contaminated plastics.”


Janovich added that this Texas company specializes in the recycling of pesticide containers.  “I call other courses in the area and they bring their containers, too,” said Janovich.  “We’ve seen great participation from other golf courses.  The West Virginia Department of Agriculture got us involved in the program a few years ago and it is free in exchange for the recycled material.”  The material from the pesticide containers has been recycled as drainage pipe in the past but this time it was headed to be made into plastic blocks for guardrail posts.

For a complete list of our green efforts please visit

Labor Day Weekend Activities at Oglebay include Symphony Performance with Fireworks plus new Drool in the Pool Dog Swim

Fireworks after Wheeling Symphony

Fireworks display at the amphitheater after the Wheeling Symphony free performance

An exciting Labor Day Weekend Celebration is planned at Oglebay on Saturday, September 1, Sunday, September 2 and Monday, September 3.  “The most-anticipated event, Wheeling Symphony’s free performance, ‘Music Under the Stars’, will take place on Sunday,” said John Hargleroad, Director of Operations for the Wheeling Park Commission.  The Suzuki Strings will perform at the amphitheater on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Wheeling Symphony’s performance at 7:30 p.m.  A brilliant fireworks display will take place at the amphitheater at the conclusion of the symphony.


A Labor Day weekend favorite, “Fort Henry Days”, returns to Site One at Oglebay on Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. on both days.  A battle reenactment will be held at Camp Russel at 3:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.



Oglebay Woodcarvers

The Oglebay Woodcarver’s Show is 10 am- 5 pm at the Pine Room on Saturday and Sunday

The Oglebay Woodcarver’s Show, another long-time favorite Labor Day event, will be held at the Pine Room on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The show features sales, demonstrations and exhibits.


Hargleroad noted that there is no admission to the Wheeling Symphony performance, Fort Henry Days and the Woodcarver’s Show, although donations are appreciated at the Woodcarver’s Show.


Inflatable rides and a rock-climbing wall will be at the Schenk Lake area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. each day.  The inflatable rides are $1.00 per ride and the rock wall is $5.00 for each climb.  


Daily Activity Wristbands will be available at the Good Zoo and Visitors Center all three days. The wristbands provide all day use at the Par III Golf, Good Zoo and Train Ride, Miniature Golf, Pedal Boats, Fishing, Outdoor Pool, Tennis, Glass Museum, Trolley, and the Mansion Museum. The wristbands are $16.00 each plus applicable fees and taxes.  One free ride on the inflatable rides is included with the purchase of a wristband.


“The Labor Day Weekend is a great time to visit the Good Zoo,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. “The zoo will offer a ‘Creature Feature’ on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.”


Drool in the Pool

Drool in the Pool is a new event at Oglebay that allow dogs to swim in the outdoor pool when it closes for the season on Monday at 4 pm

The zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and features 50 different species including zebras, Komodo dragons, kangaroos, wild African dogs, lemurs, otters, spectacled bears and more. Admission to the zoo is $8.00 for non-member adults and $5.50 for ages 3-12.  Zoo members and ages 2 and under are free.


New this year is “Drool in the Pool” at the Oglebay outdoor pool on Monday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  “Dogs, like humans, can enjoy the refreshing water and exercise a public pool provides and many areas across the country allow dogs to swim in a public pool after the pool season is over,” said Hargleroad.  “We are excited to offer this special dog swim when the outdoor pool closes for the season on Monday at 4:00 p.m.” There is no admission to “Drool in the Pool” and complete rules are listed below: 

  • All owners must have proof of their dog’s current Rabies vaccination.
  • All dogs must be current on all other vaccinations: Parvovirus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV), Canine adenovirus (CAV).
  • One human is permitted in the pool with one dog.
  • No human swimming – wading only.
  • No one under 16 may wade in the pool.
  • Participants who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems may not enter the pool.
  • No dogs or humans with open wounds may enter the pool.
  • Activity is confined to the shallow end of the pool.
  • Owners are responsible for any and all accidents and injury to their own dog.
  • Vicious or aggressive dogs may be required to leave.
  • Retractable leashes are not permitted.
  • Dogs must be clean and brushed before entering the pool.
  • Owners must pick up their dog’s waste.
  • Participants must bath after the event.