Nature Center and RTA executive staff were on hand, as well as Service Corp. fourth graders from Onaway School, to plant native plants around the stop. Lawn Lad, Inc., a Heights-area landscape design, build, and landscape management company, prepped the grounds for planting and donated all the native plants.
"We are very excited about the South Park transit stop officially being named the Nature Center stop," said Nature Center at Shaker Lakes Executive Director Kay Carlson. "The Nature Center consists of 20 acres of wildlife habitat, including forests, wetland areas, stream and field and prairie areas and we are proud to be at the forefront of sustainable outreach in our region. RTA officials are making huge strides with their Project Sustainability and our partnership along their Green Line, which is basically in our front yard, just makes sense."
In addition to adorning the stop with native plants, the interior of the shelter includes a walking map from the stop to the Nature Center. The map features green "Did you know?" facts about the environment, as well as RTA's sustainability efforts.
"This effort is just one more step in RTA's continuing effort to be environmentally friendly," says Joe Calabrese, CEO and General Manager. "We promote clean air, energy independence and alternative forms of transportation. We recycle, and stress energy conservation in all we do. Today, we are increasing the visibility of the Nature Center and promoting a healthy walk for our riders. We look forward to this growing partnership to promote environmental sustainability."
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes was founded in 1966 as the result of a grassroots community effort to preserve the Shaker Parklands from becoming the route for a new freeway connecting Cleveland's East Side to downtown. The mission of the Nature Center is to conserve a natural area, connect people with nature, and inspire environmental stewardship. The Nature Center is recognized as a model urban environmental resource that welcomes all and enriches people's lives through education, innovative programs, and community involvement.