Friends of Horseshoe Lake

History

The Shaker Lakes are located along the Doan Brook, nestled between Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights on the east side of Cleveland. The Lower and Upper Lakes are the largest of the four Shaker Lakes and are part of the Doan Brook parkland, gifted to the city in the late 1800 to preserve the parkland from the Heights to Lake Erie.

The Shaker Lakes are critical to Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights; they are part of who we are and a defining asset for our communities. Over a century of conservation efforts have taken place along the lakes, generations of students receive hands-on environmental education in our own backyard, and it is a key stopping point for migrating birds. The lakes were key to the survival of the settlement in the earliest years of Ohio’s history.

In the 1960s, Cuyahoga County engineers attempted to build a highway through the Shaker Lakes. Local groups, homeowners, and community members rallied together to help stop the project and protect the lakes. The fight to defend them helped define the Shaker and Heights’ communities.

This summer, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) unveiled a plan to remove the Horseshoe Lake Dam and spillway in the name of stormwater management. The current plan would destroy Horseshoe Lake, turning it into a floodplain, with no plans or budget for landscaping.

We believe that managing stormwater shouldn’t come at the cost of irreparably harming our cities. We cannot ignore our community’s history and goals when planning Horseshoe Lake’s future. Friends of Horseshoe Lake has come together to continue the community’s legacy of protecting the natural resources in our area, preserving the parkland, and ensuring local officials prioritize long-term results over short-term savings.

Friends of Horseshoe Lake worked with engineering firm TRC and their team of experts with decades of experience on dam projects to ensure the alternative proposed solution would be financially viable, environmentally conscious, and safe for those living near the lake, as well as result in less future maintenance for Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights and remain an asset to the region.

Our viable alternative plan meets or exceeds the Sewer District’s requirements by providing a stormwater benefit to water quantity and flood control, preserves and protects the environment that has been in place for over 100 years, and protects the historical aspects of Horseshoe Lake.

Friends of Horseshoe Lake continues to gather support to encourage elected officials to consider our plan. Join us and Save Horseshoe Lake today!