As the SLGC Liaison for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, I recently met up with Kay Carlson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Center, and Julia Mitchell, Grants Manager. We had a wonderful conversation about the Center’s community outreach, programming, and current initiatives happening on the 20 acres at 2600 South Park Blvd. Please find a few fun facts taken from my conversation which I have put in the format of “Did you know?”
Did you know? …. Every year the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes hosts over 5,600 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 1st from the Cleveland Municipal School District and their teachers in a program called Applied Science for Kids (ASK!). The program offers professional development in science for teachers and field trip experiences and hands-on classroom activities for these young scientists and environmental stewards. Over the last couple of years, the ASK! program has grown at a rate of 30% more students each year.
Did you know? …. The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has over 12,000 school children and 40,000 visitors a year who traverse the trails, watch for birds, and explore a variety of habitats. The All People’s Trail elevated boardwalk helps visitors travel through woodlands and over marshes and streams while they hike. It was built in the 1980s and up until now has stood the test of time. They are looking to replace the boardwalk in the near future and hope to make it wider with larger gathering spaces to accommodate school classes and allow for easier access for more visitors.
Did you know? .… The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has recently constructed a brand new outdoor amphitheater that has easy access from multiple entry points so that all people can come to hear outdoor music or other public programs, or just to view the beauty and natural diversity of our urban park.
Did you know? .… The Nature Center has an educator-in-residence who visits 4th and 5th graders and soon-to-be Kindergarten classrooms once a week at the new Stonebrook Montessori School and the Michael R. White School, both located in the Glenville neighborhood. Students have special classes and field trips to the Nature Center to culminate their lessons.
More fun facts to come…but while you are out and about this winter make sure you stop by the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes to walk and hike the trails. You might even see several minks that live in the neighborhood.