COVID-19 IMPACT INFORMATION AND TEMPORARY BUILDING CLOSURE

Nature Center

Dear Friends,

We at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes share the same feelings that many of you have - shock, nervousness, uncertainty, and concern for everyone impacted by the recent events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The safety and well-being of our community, visitors and staff continues to be our number one priority during this time.

In response to these concerns, and in line with governmental recommendations and guidelines that are quickly evolving, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes’ building will be temporarily closed to the public through Friday, May 1, in accordance with the state's recent amendment to the Stay at Home Order. Our staff will continue to work behind the scenes and our management team will monitor this evolving situation and share any additional information as it comes to light. We continue to have no reason to believe there is any link to reported COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County and the Nature Center.

Due to the temporary closure, all scheduled programs and events during the outlined time will be cancelled or postponed. We will update you on any further decisions, should they be necessary, in the coming weeks. Updates will also be posted on our website and social media channels.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

  • All scheduled rentals and B'Earthday Parties during this time have been cancelled. Impacted parties have been contacted and offered a full refund.
  • The Bringing Nature Home series with Right Place | Right Plant on Saturday, April 4 at 1pm that was to be held at the Nature Center will now be held virtually. Please register here.  Once registered, download the Zoom meeting app or software and you will be sent a meeting link 15 minutes prior to the event.
  • Small Scale Native Plant Gardens for Pollinators on Wedensday, April 1 at 5:30pm has been postponed.  Stay tuned for information on possible rescheduling.
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History Explorer Lecture Series DARWIN COMES TO TOWN: HOW THE URBAN JUNGLE DRIVES EVOLUTION on Friday, April 10 has been cancelled.  More information can be found at cmnh.org.
  • Doan Brook Annual Stream Sweep & Weed Pull on Sunday, April 19 at 1pm is cancelled.  Instead, (FUN IDEA!) over the course of the next month, we are encouraging people to pick up litter as part of their outdoor exercise or recreational routines.  We ask that you then fill out a form to share what type and quantity of litter was collected. We will compile the data and keep our community apprised of how much litter was collectively removed from our local neighborhoods and green spaces. See more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/623896445117153/
  • Audubon  Spring Bird Walks - the last three Sundays in April and first three weeks in May -- have been cancelled. We hope to resume monthly bird walks in June.
  • Bird banding, scheduled to begin April 20, has been postponed.  More information on possible bird banding later in the spring will be forthcoming.
  • The 38th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 9, including the Members-Only Preview, has been cancelled.  Please take advantage of our online sale here, by ordering before April 17, which includes at home delivery.
  • Rust belt riders has temporarily suspended composting services, and thus pick up services at the Nature Center, through Monday, May 4.  For more information, please visit www.rustbeltriders.com.

TRAIL USAGE INFORMATION:

Trails and outdoor facilities will remain free and open to the public from dawn until dusk during this time. We understand the restorative, healing, stress-relieving power of connecting with nature and we encourage each of you to get outside, in small numbers, to enjoy our trails, habitats, and green spaces with your families and friends.

If you are planning a visit to the trails and habitats at the Nature Center, please follow these simple guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of all visitors:

  • Please minimize handrail and bench usage as much as possible.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing or sanitizing your hands before and after trail use.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and other visitors.
  • Keep group sizes to less than 10 - fewer if possible.
  • Cover sneezes or coughs with tissue, and then quickly dispose. Alternatively, use the inside of your elbow to cover sneezes or cough and immediately wash hands or use sanitizer.
  • Use a distant wave, or similar, to greet friends and other visitors; refrain from hugs and handshakes.

If you or a family member has recently traveled for Spring Break or otherwise, or been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you self-monitor for symptoms and fever for 14 days upon return and self-isolate by staying home. We echo this by asking that you reschedule any visit to the Nature Center for a later time if you fall into this category or are experiencing any signs of illness.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly. Our staff and board of trustees are dedicated to taking a proactive approach and helping control the spread of this illness with any and all precautions needed to do so. Much of our staff will be working from home, and I am grateful for their dedication and flexibility as we continue with the many ongoing operational and capital projects to enhance visitor experiences and connections to nature.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We have full confidence in our community and staff coming together at this time for the safety and well-being of all and look forward to welcoming you back to the Nature Center in the near future. Together, we will support each other through this most unusual time.

Yours in health and wellness,
Kay Carlson
President & CEO