Friends of Horseshoe Lake

Frequently Asked Questions

The Sewer District recommended that Horseshoe Lake be converted to a floodplain, resulting in the lake being permanently drained and destroyed. Currently, the Sewer District plan for Horseshoe Lake is to convert part of the area into a park. However, they have admitted that they are NOT paying for this park and the required improvements, ongoing maintenance, or landscaping to the park after dredging the lake, which leaves the cities of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights on the hook for these costs. It is unclear how much the cities would be left to pay, but it is likely to be millions of dollars up front and millions more over the years.

Friends of Horseshoe Lake formed to advocate for residents of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, visitors from Northeast Ohio, and Horseshoe Lake. We have worked with a team of engineers and legal experts to develop a financially viable, safe, alternate plan that replaces the dam and restores a smaller Horseshoe Lake. Managing flood control and stormwater can be done while preserving history and our lake for generations to come.

  • We worked with engineering and dam experts TRC to develop a viable plan that preserves the lake with a new dam and presented it to the Sewer District. The Horseshoe Lake Restoration Plan met previously stated requirements for safety, stormwater management, and flood control, as set by the Sewer District. However, the Sewer District rejected that plan.
  • FOHSL has met with the Sewer District to discuss alternate options for Horseshoe Lake. 
  • We met with the Mayors and the City Councils of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights to present the Horseshoe Lake Restoration Plan. 
  • We shared the Horseshoe Lake Restoration Plan with news outlets. Coverage included:
  • We continue to raise awareness and educate the public and leaders about this better plan and the need to save Horseshoe lake. We have participated in community events, including the Sewer District’s virtual public forums and open houses raising important questions and concerns to expose some of the deficiencies and lack of transparency in the Sewer District’s plans.
  • FOHSL believes that residents of both cities deserve to have their voices heard. We created a survey seeking public input that included asking residents if they preferred to save the lake or destroy it.
  • FOHSL has submitted a public records request for all documents from the two cities as well as the Sewer District surrounding their decision to destroy Horseshoe Lake.

FOHSL is now exploring additional options in an effort to save this treasured and irreplaceable asset.

FOHSL has worked with TRC, an engineering firm with extensive experience in dam projects, to find a plan for Horseshoe Lake that rebuilds the dam and restores a smaller version of Horseshoe Lake. This would manage stormwater and flood control, is safe for surrounding areas, and would preserve the history and natural resource of Horseshoe Lake. It is a win-win for the communities.

There are city council  members in both cities that are vocal supporters of FOHSL, but currently both Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights mayors are supporting the Sewer District’s plan.  We believe this is due to a lack of public input and transparency in the decision-making process for Horseshoe Lake.

  • The Sewer District destroys Horseshoe Lake and converts it into a floodplain
  • As a result of public pressure and our continued visibility and input, the Sewer District adopts the Horseshoe Lake Restoration Plan and preserves Horseshoe Lake. Get involved here.

Currently, the Sewer District plans to enter into the design phase of their proposed project in 2023-2024, begin construction in 2025 and complete the project in 2026.

Please reach out to Friends of Horseshoe Lake by emailing