Martha Eakin of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center discusses her mother, Jean Eakin. Jean was a major figure in the battle against highway development through the Shaker Lakes in the 1960s. The grassroots campaign, often referred to as "the freeway fight," was started by Jean Eakin and quickly grew to involve numerous citizens, politicians, and community groups. The role played by Cuyahoga County Commissioner Albert Porter, a major proponent of highway development, is also discussed at length. After saving the Shaker Lakes, Jean Eakin was instrumental in the creation of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, which was designed to educate the public about environmental issues, encourage public use of the park, and provide a buffer against any future "land grabs" by the county. Martha Eakin discusses the founding of the Center as well as some ongoing goals and programming. This interview contains a wealth of information on the Eakin family.
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The Shaker Lakes Nature Center Oral History Project was initiated by Nature Center founding member Nancy King Smith, with interviews by researchers, students, and public school teachers in collaboration with the Center. Interviews cover a variety of topics relating to the creation of Shaker Lakes and the Nature Center, as well as to the broader issues in wildlife preservation and environmental education. Although the Shaker Lakes were man-made (serving as a major part of the development of…