SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Conserve. Connect. Inspire is the motto for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. The 20-acre green space is located within a section of the Shaker Parklands that includes gardens and natural habitats.
The center was founded in 1966 to prevent a highway from destroying acres of green space. Since then staff, board members, and volunteers have worked to educate thousands of visitors and students about the environment and provide a free space for people to deepen their connection to nature.
“There are so many benefits to nature that just happen immediately and also long term. We strive to help people along their environmental journey wherever they are," said Kay Carlson, the CEO of the center said. "Whether they’re a hardcore conservationist or just learning about it we’re here to help in that process.”
Carlson said each year the center helps to educate more than 13,000 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students, expanding their horizons and providing an outside-the-classroom learning experience.
"It's been quite incredible to see the changes. As soon as the students get off the bus they are so excited to be in a space like this, where they may not have not access to open green space," Carlson said. "We've actually seen improvements in their science scores."
This weekend you can explore the Nature Center at the Winter Solstice Walk. Luminaries will be scattered from the Nature Center to the Shaker Historical Society.
“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to get out and explore both trails and the lovely abut half-mile walk between the nature center and the shaker historical society. Also, both gift shops will be open so you can get some Christmas shopping done," the CEO said.
The walk is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on Friday, December 17.
For more information about events and programming at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, click here.