PRESERVING THE SHAKER PARKLANDS
Published in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Preserving the Shaker Parklands tells the story of the first half-century of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes—one of incredible vision, courage, and civic action. Even as the Cuyahoga County Engineer was busy designing a massive highway interchange, the residents of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights united to build the Nature Center at the heart of the former North Union Settlement, known by the Shakers as the "Valley of God's Pleasure." The interchange of the Clark and Lee Freeways would have loomed 70 feet above where the Nature Center now stands, carrying tens of thousands of cars and trucks, destroying the historic remains of the Shaker settlement and two of Cleveland's eastern suburbs.
Today, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes enjoys a position of national leadership among nature centers, enriching lives through education, innovative programs, and community involvement. Thousands of students visit the Nature Center each year. For many, these visits are their first experience in nature. With vintage and contemporary photography, the story is told by combining the authors' narrative with memories of former staff, hoard members, volunteers and visitors, and writings of some whose vision and determination made this story possible.