Explore the Nature Center at Shaker LakesMichelle McQuade | March 1, 2019
Located in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is a nonprofit organization that aims to conserve the natural environment, promote environmental stewardship, and inspire and educate visitors about nature.
The center was founded in 1966 and was created through the cooperation and efforts of volunteers to prevent the Shaker Parklands from being converted into a construction site for a new freeway between Cleveland’s East Side and downtown area.
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes provides a variety of curriculum-related programs including an early childhood program designed for the students of Cleveland Public Schools and East Side school districts. The center is also a popular venue for walkers, joggers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts of all ages looking forward to getting fresh air and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Events at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
Visitors at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes can check out some of the many special events hosted at the center throughout the year. Some of the events and activities offered include nature walks, bird walks, brown bag lunches, photography tours, and a summer camp series for kids.
For information on upcoming events at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, visit this page.
The Center’s Picturesque Nature Trails
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is home to a network of scenic trails meandering throughout a section of the Shaker Parklands. Boasting over 1,760 feet of accessible trails, the center features 20 acres of green space with gardens and eight mapped natural habitats which include a stream, field, ravine, lake, marsh, and forest.
One of the most enchanting trails at the center is known as the All People’s Trail, a barrier-free, 1/3-mile boardwalk built over the marshlands and accessible via ramp. Another gorgeous trail is the half-mile Stearns Trail, which takes visitors on a relaxing and unforgettable trek around the center’s lovely wildflower garden.
The Nature Center has two marsh habitats: The Big Marsh, located at the confluence of Doan Brook’s north and south branches, and the Mini Marsh, which lies along the Stearns Trail.
The perimeter forest surrounding the center is an upland forest with several tree species including American beech and red oak. The Rusty Knight Wildflower Garden is located within the upland forest, as majority of the plant species found in the garden are woodland varieties that require minimal care.
Adjacent to the Doan Brook’s stream channel is a floodplain forest, which takes up over ten acres of the entire Nature Center. This north section of the floodplain forest is accessible through the All People’s Trail, while the south section can be reached via the Stearns Trail. Different plant and tree species thrive in this particular habitat, including silver maples, crack willows, green ash, shagbark hickories, and red oaks. Habitats in the floodplain forest can be flooded during extreme weather, but are typically dry during normal seasons.
Want more information on the community of Shaker Heights? Take a look at our Shaker Heights community page.
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