Phil Hart Interview, 29 June 2006

Activist Phil Hart of Cleveland Heights, Ohio discusses his involvement in the fight against proposed highway construction during the 1960s. The construction, which would have crossed through Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, was considered a threat to those communities, as well as to the environmental balance of the local ecosystem - particularly at the Shaker Lakes nature reserve. Hart places this local struggle within the context of a "national rebellion.. against urban freeways" and provides details on resistance to other such plans in the Greater Cleveland area. Hart places much of the blame for urban decline on policies that de-emphasize public transit and encourage the development of competing suburban communities, as typified by the actions of Cuyahoga County Commisioner Albert Porter. Other topics of discussion include grassroots organizing, political lobbying, and activist groups CSTEP (Citizens for Sane Transportation and Environmental Policy) and Stop the Stub, as well as considerable biographical information.

Participants: Hart, Phil (interviewee) / Bifulco, Anthony (interviewer)
Collection: Shaker Lakes Nature Center
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

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Shaker Lakes Nature Center

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…