Judge Burt Griffin discusses in great detail the battle to stop highway construction through the Shaker Heights-Cleveland Heights area, which was seen as a threat to those communities and to the ecological and environmental balance of the Shaker Lakes nature preserve. Griffin discusses the battle, which was driven by grassroots activists (and largely by women), in the context of Shaker Heights' unique history. Details on activist strategies; relevant financial, legal and environmental considerations; and class, gender, and age dynamics of community activism are also discussed. Also of note is Griffin's recollection of the changing political atmosphere in Shaker Heights in the 1960s, when the city took a progressive stand on racial integration and fair housing.
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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…