The Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of summer activities at Oglebay and John Hargleroad, Director of Operations, says that all the Oglebay facilities will be open beginning Friday, May 24 with some special activities planned for the Memorial Day weekend.
“The always-popular inflatable rides will be at the Schenk Lake area on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Doozy the Clown will also be at the lake area all three days from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,” said Hargleroad.
Oglebay will begin offering daily activity wristbands on Friday, May 24. The wristbands are available at the Good Zoo and Visitors Center through Labor Day and 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 will also provide one admission to the inflatable rides this weekend,” reminded Hargleroad. The wristbands are $16.00 each plus applicable fees and taxes.
The Memorial Day Weekend is also a great time to catch up with old friends at the Good Zoo and check out what’s new including the Dinosaur exhibit. On Saturday, May 25, the zoo will hold “Dino Discussions,” from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The zoo is also accepting entries for the second annual “Capture the Wild” photography contest. “We had a great response last summer to our photography contest and are looking forward to this year’s entries,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. “We’ll be awarding some great prizes!” Contest rules and entry forms are available on the zoo’s website at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo.
Miller also added that the zoo’s Animal Encounters programs are getting more and more popular. “This program allows guests to get into animal exhibits with the keepers to help feed and train some of the zoo’s animals including the new mongoose lemurs,” said Miller. Animal Encounters also include the ring-tailed lemurs, red pandas, river otters and kangaroos. The encounters must be scheduled in advance by calling 304-243-4030.
The Good Zoo is open daily at 10 am. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.75 for ages 3-12, and ages 2 & under and members are free.
The popular Segway Tours have also returned for another season. “Join our friendly guides for an exciting tour on a high tech personal transporter,” said Hargleroad. “It’s a great way to experience the picturesque natural beauty of Oglebay.” The tours begin at Schenk Lake at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Reservations for Segway Tours can be made by calling 304-243-4090.
The Easy Street Band will present a free concert at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater on Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. “This performance is the beginning of the Summer Sunday Entertainment Series featuring a different band every Sunday through Labor Day at the amphitheater,” added Hargleroad. The entire summer’s schedule is available at www.oglebay-resort.com/summer_ent.htm.
“For those who want to celebrate the weekend with an all-American picnic, many beautiful picnic sites are available at Oglebay and can be reserved by calling 304-243-4010,” added Hargleroad.
The Seafood Gala is available at the Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson Lodge on Friday evening and the new Smokehouse, featuring Prime Rib, is offered on Saturday evening. For dining reservations call 304-243-4080.
Wheeling Park’s 88-year old golf course, Wheeling’s first public golf course, was recently dedicated as the Bloch Memorial Golf Course. Stuart F. Bloch, Wheeling businessman/philanthropist, has established a generous endowment gift to provide annual improvements for the golf course at Wheeling Park.
The Bloch family has been involved with golf in Wheeling for many generations. Bloch’s great-great-grandfather, Samual S. Bloch, a co-founder of Bloch Brothers Tobacco, was also a founder of the Wheeling Highlands Course that became Wheeling Country Club. He learned the game from his grandfather, Jesse, and father, Tom. Tom Bloch also served as a charter trustee of the E.W. Oglebay Memorial Fund. This fund started with a gift from Sarita Oglebay Russel and it continues to support activities at Oglebay.
Bloch’s love for the game led him from caddying at local links to the presidency of both the West Virginia Golf Association and the United States Golf Association (USGA). He also learned to appreciate the benefits of this life-time sport. “A golf course like the one at Wheeling Park can suit a person all of his or her life,” Bloch said. “It’s both a good course on which to learn and a fine place to continue playing as a senior citizen.”
“Stuart Bloch’s endowment gift will assure the Wheeling Park course will be well preserved for future generations,” said Randy Worls, chairman of The Oglebay Foundation. “Stuart Bloch is a visionary, as shown by his civic volunteerism in many areas, and he appreciates those factors that make our community very livable for residents in all stages of their lives.”
Doug Dalby, CEO of the Wheeling Park Commission, reinforced that endowment gifts such as Bloch’s will assure the continued operation of the historic course and allow user rates to remain as low as possible. “Just as his family enjoyed participating in park activities, Stuart’s wish is that all residents can access golf at well-maintained facilities at a reasonable cost,” added Dalby.
The Bloch Memorial Golf Course remains as popular as the year it was built. The course was designed by the late Robert E. “Bob” Biery, the first employee hired by the Wheeling Park Commission (WPC). Park officials did not anticipate a rush to the links, but more than 6,000 rounds were played on the course between its opening on July 1, 1925 and October, when the park closed for the season.
Last fall, hundreds of tulip, daffodil and muscari bulbs were planted in the formal gardens at Oglebay Park, and now that the bulbs have finished blooming they have been removed from the ground to make way for summer annuals. The bulbs are now on sale to the public at the Oglebay Palm Room for $10 a bag.
“The money raised during the annual bulb sale helps us purchase new bulbs from The Netherlands that will be planted this fall,” said Marilyn Archer, Manager of the Greenhouse and Gardens at Oglebay.
Archer added that the Palm Room, located next to the greenhouse, is fully stocked with flowering plants, annuals and perennials plus unique garden accessories.
The Palm Room is currently open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 304-243-4098 for more information.
On Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2013, the Palm Room and Greenhouses, Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe, and Carriage House Glass Shops at Oglebay will celebrate May with “Dream … Discover Spring at the Hilltop.” Marilyn Archer, Palm Room and Greenhouse/Garden Manager said all the hilltop shops are filled with new arrivals for Spring including new flowering plants and merchandise at the Palm Room, and new fresh-made fudge at Farmhouse Sweets and Treats Shoppe.
Archer said the celebration will take place on both days from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with giveaways and lectures. The lectures will take place at the Palm Room and Saturday’s schedule is: 11:00 a.m. – Fantasy Miniature Gardens; 1:00 p.m. – Succulent Wreaths, Living Walls and Kokedama Moss Balls; 2:00 p.m. – Composting, Herbs and Vegetables; 3:00 p.m. – Designer Containers and Deer Resistant Plants and Chemicals.
Sunday’s lectures at the Palm Room are: 11:00 a.m. – Succulent Wreaths, Living Walls and Kokedama Moss Balls; 1:00 p.m. – Fantasy Miniature Gardens; 2:00 p.m. – All American Selection Plants; 3:00 p.m. – Designer Containers and Deer Resistant Plants and Chemicals.
“Visitors will have the chance to win a beautiful gift basket at the Palm Room, a gift basket at Farmhouse Sweets and Treats and decorative glass at Carriage House Glass,” added Archer.
For more information call 304-243-4098.
An informative meeting about the Safari to Tanzania will be held at the Good Zoo on Saturday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will include photographs, food, packing tips and provide answers to all questions!
The Good Zoo is offering an exclusive safari to Tanzania. The trip will be fully escorted by Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo, from October 27 to November 8, 2013. “This trip will allow you to discover quintessential African landscapes when you explore Tanzania, the perfect East African destination for any traveler with an open mind and heart to experiencing wildlife and culture, past and present,” said Miller. “A relaxed attitude combined with some of the best wildlife spotting on the continent is within affordable reach.” Miller has led previous zoo safaris to Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
This exclusive safari will cover unforgettable spots including the unique eco-system of Ngorongoro Crater, the vast savannahs of the Serengeti, and the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Manyara. Visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife including buffalo, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, zebra, black-maned lions, black rhinos and the elusive tree-climbing lions with glimpses of leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, elephant, and warthog. The trip will also include a visit to Olduvai Gorge where the roots of modern man were unearthed by the Leakeys, plus a visit to a Maasai village.
- Flights within Africa as specified. On the main safari in Tanzania: Serengeti to Arusha. On the extension, flight between Arusha/Zanzibar.
- Superior accommodations throughout.
- All meals on safari in Tanzania as well as in Zanzibar.
- All wildlife viewing by private 4X4 vehicle with photo roof, driven by a naturalist guide. A window seat is guaranteed.
- Visit to a Maasai village.
- Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals.
- Professional naturalist will accompany the group with 10 travelers on the main safari.
- Penny Miller will accompany the group with a minimum 10 travelers on the main tour and 6 travelers on the extension.
- All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities.
- All park entry fees.
- Complimentary passport wallets and luggage tags.
The cost of the trip is $5,695 per person for double occupancy plus $2,200 per person for round trip air from Pittsburgh. An optional six day extension to Zanzibar from November 7 to 12, 2013 is an additional $2,195 per person.
For the full itinerary and to make reservations visit the Good Zoo website or contact Penny Miller at the Good Zoo by calling 304-243-4027.
Good Zoo staff announced that highly endangered African Wild Dog pups born at the Good Zoo are now on exhibit. The female “Destiny” gave birth on September 30, 2012 to seven pups; it is the first litter she or her mate “Selous” have produced.
“All the pups were full term, but below normal birth weight, and were born with infections that affected their lungs and other organs,” said Good Zoo Manager Mindi White. “One pup was stillborn due to undeveloped lungs. The remaining pups were pulled for hand-rearing but four pups succumbed to the infection.” White said the remaining two pups were too weak to nurse from Destiny, so zoo staff located a lactating domestic dog from the Hancock County Animal Shelter and nursed the pups for several days until she stopped producing milk. Keepers took the pups back to the parents every day and let them see, hear and smell the pups through the fence to let them know the pups were still alive.
When the pups were stronger and healthier and the parents were still showing strong parental behaviors, the pups were put back with the parents. The pups still did not nurse adequately from Destiny, so animal care staff took the pups home every night for late night and 2:00 a.m. feedings. The pups were put back with the wild dog parents during the day. “This is the first time nursing wild dog pups have been hand-reared by zoo staff, yet kept with the parents during the day,“ said Penny Miller, zoo director. If the pups had been only hand raised, they imprint on people and do not learn correct wild dog behaviors. “This would have made it impossible to integrate them back into African Wild Dog conservation program, which is the whole point of our breeding efforts,” Miller added.
“These pups were born very compromised. It is a miracle two survived, and it is a testimony to the incredible problem solving and tender loving care they received from our keepers and managers,” Miller said. The domestic dog that helped rear the pups was adopted by a Good Zoo keeper. African wild dogs are Africa’s second most endangered carnivores. Once found in 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, wild dogs are no longer found in 25 countries. Habitat destruction, rabies and canine distemper spread by local village dogs, and other pressures threaten their survival. Only the dominant female dog in the pack produces pups, litters can be as large as 20 pups. Other females assist the mother in rearing the pups and catching wild game. It takes a large healthy pack of wild dogs to hunt enough game to feed large litters; many wild packs are now too small to rear large litters. Pup mortality in the wild is 90%. There are 125 African wild dogs exhibited in 37 U.S. zoos; approximately 3,500-5,000 remain in the wild.
The zoo is currently open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the Good Zoo is $9.00 for adults; $5.75 for children ages 3-12; and Good Zoo members and ages 2 and under are admitted free. Lorikeet Landing and the train ride are open Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, weather permitting. The train ride is $2.25 per person and a cup of nectar to feed to the lorikeets is $1.00. Additional information can be found on the on the Good Zoo website including the new Dinosaur Exhibit featuring life-sized, moving and roaring dinosaurs.
Five life-sized dinosaurs, and one off-spring, have arrived at the Good Zoo at Oglebay, and will greet zoo visitors throughout the summer. “The dinosaurs are fitted with an electric brain so they move and roar, and can be discovered in the woods near the Australian Exhibit,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo.
Miller said the entire zoo staff has been working with a paleontologist. “The staff is well-versed on the dinosaurs that are currently on exhibit and are prepared to pass on this information to all visitors,” said Miller. Paleontologists continue to find new dig sites and new dinosaur species, and advanced tools and new discoveries have led to new conclusions about dinosaurs. “Museums have had to change exhibits numerous times as paleontology forms a more accurate picture of dinosaurs,” said Miller.
The dinosaurs at the Good Zoo this summer include a large Styracosaurus and her baby, a Dilophosaurus, a Juvenile T –Rex, a Deltadromeus and Parasaurolophus. The Parasaurolophus is non-robotic so visitors can sit on it and take their photo or video, but all other dinosaurs are robotic and move and roar.
The Styracosaurus, whose name means “Spiked Lizard” was found in North America and Asia during the late cretaceous period. This species had six large spikes coming from the large frill on the back of the head, two horns on the upper mouth, and one horn on the nose. The spikes were arranged differently for each individual. Styracosaurus had a beak to eat plants and fossil beds show tracks where multiple individuals walked together and laid eggs together. Functioning in groups allowed them to defend themselves from predators and to be less vulnerable. Miller said the Styracosaurus functioned ecologically like today’s rhino.
The Dilophosaurus, whose name means “Two-ridged Lizard” was 20 feet long and about 6 feet tall. It was a medium sized, fish-eating dinosaur that scavenged.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T-Rex, means “Tyrant Lizard King” and is one of today’s most recognizable dinosaur species. Most of the specimens of T-Rex were found in fossil beds in Montana and South Dakota. One of the largest land carnivores, a full-grown T-Rex was 40 feet long and 13 feet high. “Many thought that the T-Rex was an active hunter but evidence supports the hypothesis that they were mostly scavengers,” said Miller. Because T-Rex was one of the most recent dinosaurs to go extinct, its bones were well-preserved and a great deal is known about it.
The Parasaurolophus, whose name means “Near Crested Lizard” was a herbivore that walked on four legs to forage for food and ran on two legs. Parasaurolophus had beak-like mouths for breaking down grasses and ate in groups to avoid predation, functioning ecologically the same as a herd of gazelles today. Specimens were found in North America, from Mexico to Canada.
“The Deltadromeus, whose name means ‘River Runner’ has claimed the top of the wetlands waterfall as his prehistoric perch for the summer,” said Miller. Deltadromeus was also a carnivore and walked on two legs, and was about 30 feet long. Very few have been found and only partial skeletons can be studied, so not much is known about this species. For a close up view of the Deltadromeus Miller suggested a train ride but the creature can be seen and heard from the wetlands.
The zoo is currently open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the Good Zoo is $9.00 for adults; $5.75 for children ages 3-12; and Good Zoo members and ages 2 and under are admitted free. Lorikeet Landing and the train ride are open Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, weather permitting. The train ride is $2.25 per person and a cup of nectar to feed to the lorikeets is $1.00. Visit the Good Zoo website to view a video on the dinosaurs and for more zoo details including dinosaur-themed summer camps. The dinosaurs go extinct on Labor Day.
The dinosaurs are from Billings Productions, North America’s leading provider of life-size animatronic dinosaurs for zoos, museums and theme parks. According to their website the company aims to encourage discovery and create awareness of prehistoric life in both young and old by making learning fun and entertaining.
The Oglebay Good Zoo Treasure Hunt is Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, and in addition to the Easter Bunny some other special guests will be on hand during the hunt. “The Good Zoo has been invaded by four life-sized, moving and roaring dinosaurs which can be discovered in the woods out near the Australian exhibit,” said Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo. “Come enjoy the Treasure Hunt and take a sneak peak at our new dinosaurs!”
The dinosaurs will be at the zoo through the summer and include a large Styracosaurus and her baby, a Juvenile T –Rex, a Dilophosaurus, a Deltadromeus and Parasaurolophus. “The Deltadromeus, whose name means ‘river runner’ has claimed the top of the wetlands waterfall as his prehistoric perch for the summer,” said Miller. The Parasaurolophus is non-robotic so visitors can sit on it and take their photo or video, but all other dinosaurs are robotic and move and roar.
The Treasure Hunt is an annual favorite for children of all ages as the hunt is non-competitive so even very young children can participate. The hunt is from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each day. “Every child who participates in the event receives a treasure map and an Easter bucket to hold their treasures,” added Miller.
Admission to the Good Zoo, which includes the Treasure Hunt, is $9.00 for adults; $5.75 for children ages 3-12; and free for ages 2 and under. Good Zoo members are free but members’ children that participate in the hunt must purchase a ticket for $4.00.
Activities at Oglebay for Easter Sunday, March 31, begin with the Easter Sunrise Service at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater at 7:00 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, the sunrise service will be moved indoors.
An Easter Buffet will be offered at the Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Wilson from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. The cost is $29.95 for adults; $15.50 for ages 11-14; $12.50 for ages 5-10; and complimentary for ages 4 and under. Reservations for the dining room can be made by calling 304-243-4080.
Any area residents interested in learning more about birds, trees, wildflower identification, and all manner of other nature topics can sign up now for Master Naturalist classes beginning Saturday, February 23 at the Good Zoo. An introductory class Names and Identification taught by zoo director Penny Miller will teach students how to use field guides, internet resources, keys, and other resources to identify plants and animals seen in nature, taught from 9 am – noon. Popular bird expert Dr Scott Shalaway teaches Birds from 1 pm -5 pm the same day. The four hour class discusses bird biology, identification and back-yard feeding . Other spring classes include Turtles in Trouble-Conservation of the Box Turtle; Wildfowers, Trees, Citizen Science Investigators, and Nature Interpretation.
Students can pick and choose classes at their own pace and may take up to three years to complete the program, but it is possible to finish in one year. Classes cost just $6 per hour of instruction. Classes are held at the zoo on Saturdays and Sundays and often involve walks in the woods and occasional field trips to a farm pasture, wetlands or streams. The curriculum was developed by the West Virginia Division of Wildlife to develop citizen scientists and naturalists across the state.
There are 14 required classes such as Mammals; Trees; Wildflowers; Backyard Habitat Improvement, Insects, and 10 others, and a variety of electives to choose from including Box turtles; Medicinal Plants; Nature Photography; Spiders; Invasive Species; Mushrooms; Astronomy and many more. Instructors include Good Zoo staff, West Virginia Division of Wildlife biologists and area college professors. 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.
Student 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. This has helped me when working in my own backyard and everywhere I travel.”
“This is our 10th year, and many of our students participate in several 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. “I enjoy teaching my grandkids and neighbors about the monarch butterflies I rear and tag,” said certified Master Naturalist Carol Saseen.
For dates, times, and an application please visit the Master Naturalist section at www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo or call Vickie Markey-Tekely at 304-243-4033 or Penny Miller at 304-243-4027.
Madison Zoladz, a 12-year-old from Wheeling, will have her light display idea come to life for the 2013-14 Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay. Her design was selected from over 95 entries in this year’s Festival of Lights New Idea Contest. “We are looking forward to adding Madison’s design of a Christmas Tree Farm to the Festival of Lights,” said Andy Barger, Director of Planning for the Wheeling Park Commission and Chairman of the Oglebay Festival of Lights Committee. “It was a very difficult decision. All the designs were wonderful and we were so pleased to have such a great response.” In addition to having her design come to life, Zoladz received a $50.00 Oglebay Gift Card and a one-year family membership to the Good Zoo.
Charlize George, also of Wheeling, was the winner of the ages 10 and under category with her entry of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge during the Fourth of July Fireworks. Michelle Orcutt of Logan, West Virginia, won in the adult category with her entry of Santa on Vacation in the Tropics. Both of these winners received a $25 gift card and a one-year individual membership to the Good Zoo.
The designs were reviewed by members of Oglebay’s Festival of Lights Committee and the entries were judged on creativity, colors, originality, appeal to a broad audience, and how well the design would convert to a light display. The top ten designs will be hanging at Wilson Lodge until March 17. “We want to thank everyone that participated in the contest,” added Barger.