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Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
The story of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is one that is rich with history. It is a small but mighty Nature Center founded to prevent a massive freeway from slicing through four cities and destroying the Shaker Parklands and surrounding communities valued native habitats and green space. The Nature Center espouses their significant history that is rooted through the community and permeates the culture that continues to inspire and draw people together there today for programs, events, camps, classes, birdwatching, nature walks, hikes, playdates, and picnics. More than a Nature Center, this is a community hub and the organization works to ensure the beloved oasis remains the vibrant, enriching, and mesmeric place its founders set out to create.
Today, the Nature Center remains free and open to the public. They continue to educate and nurture the next generation of freeway fighters, outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists, naturalists, and land stewards. One noteworthy program in particular is the Applied Science for Kids (ASK!) Program with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). The program combines hand’s on classroom activities, field experiences at the Nature Center, and professional development for teachers to help enhance CMSD’s science curriculum. The ASK! Program has been growing over 30% each year. During the 2017-2018 school year, they served 1,500 more Cleveland Students than the prior year. These children often otherwise do not have access to explore nature in this profound and exciting way.
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