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Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake Park

Resources survey work to take place in January

Posted December 15, 2023

During the week of January 8 or 15, weather dependent, our project team will be conducting cultural survey work in the area. The cultural resources survey will involve investigating the project area for both subsurface (archaeological) and above-ground (history/architecture) cultural resources.

The archaeological component will consist of shovel testing in a grid pattern throughout the project area and subsequently sifting through the soil for precontact and historical artifacts with small shaker screens. The shovel test units will be re-filled with the sod cap replaced upon completion. The four-person field crew will be wearing hi-vis apparel (vests, shirts, coats, etc.) and dressed for the weather.

The history/architecture component will involve documenting any standing structures, objects, and other above-ground resources with digital photography. The field director will also be documenting the general setting surrounding the project area with field photography to understand the indirect impact the current undertaking may have to neighboring cultural resources.

The review of the setting will be conducted from public right-of-way and no private property access will be needed. Our survey will generally start in the morning once an acceptable amount of daylight is reached (about 8:00 am) and end in the late afternoon before dark sets in (about 4:00-5:00 pm).

If you have any questions about this work, please contact your Watershed Team Leader Cisco Rivera at (216) 881-6600, Ext. 6116 or if you have any questions or concerns regarding this work. You can also check back here for updates. Thank you.

Public Engagement updates | September 2023

We’ve added several new links to our “Related Resources” section, including links to both Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights August council meeting videos and PowerPoint presentations, as well as the complete Landscape Integration Report (and poster summary).

Public Engagement events | May 2023

The public engagement process for the Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake Park continues, and we want you to be a part of it. Join us for the latest information. In May, learn about the design team’s progress since December.

Virtual meeting: Monday, May 15, 2023 (6:00-7:30 p.m.)

Open House: Thursday, May 18, 2023 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Cleveland Heights Public Library
2345 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights

Virtual Public Meeting | November 30, 2022

We hosted a virtual meeting to recap the project history, share results of our public survey, present sketches of various possible stream alignments, and set the stage for the public engagement events planned for December 3 and 4. Download the slide deck (100mb PDF).

Virtual Public Meeting | August 25, 2022

As the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District works on restoring Doan Brook to its natural beauty, it wants to hear your vision about what the park should look like after restoration takes place. More than 200 guests attended our virtual refresher about the park, its history, its future and the current project planning process. Download the slide deck (90mb).

August 27, 2022
10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Public Engagement Open House
Horseshoe Lake Park

What is the future of this corridor? How do you see the 60-acre park space? Join the design team as we envision how we can bring the natural environment back to the Brook.

On Saturday, August 27, 2022, it will be your opportunity to talk with the design team and Sewer District representatives. What do you want to see at the park? What types of amenities would you and future generations utilize? What would make this the preeminent park space in Northeast Ohio?

Click here to receive an invitation as details are finalized.

Take our project survey  Ask us a question via email

Updated July 26, 2022

As the design team continues its work on the Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake Park project, we are conducting sediment and geomorphic assessments to determine and soil composition and understand design parameters for the new streams. This geotechnical analysis will also help the design team re-engineer Doan Brook and determine how they can beneficially reuse some of the sediment as part of the new project.

What will you see as this work is completed?

Several firms will be on-site doing related work.

  • Ohio TestBor, Inc. will drill seven borings (3.25” in diameter, between 20-35 feet deep) within the project area. They have permission from Shaker Heights to park a vehicle overnight (July 26-28) on South Park Boulevard, and are working with Cleveland Heights’ arborist to trim several trees along the north side of the project area. The Field Investigation Work Plan is here for additional details.
  • EnviroScience is working on the geomorphic assessment. This work will help the team develop a detailed characterization of riparian and instream habitat, stream-related erosion, and flood hazards. In other words, this will help the team restore Doan Brook to its original, natural state. They will be measuring features along the stream.
  • HZW is collecting sediment samples to support regulatory decision-making about the sediment. We already know that the sediment is non-hazardous, and can be potentially re-used in the new project. Their equipment is smaller than Ohio TestBor’s and will be carried by hand.

If you have any questions about this work, please contact us at

We will begin our public engagement later this summer. Join our project mail list to receive notice for upcoming meetings.

The restoration of Doan Brook, regional stormwater management, and the future of Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake, and their dams

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Updated June 9, 2022

Horseshoe Lake Dam is more than 170 years old and stretches all the way from North Park Boulevard to South Park Boulevard, approximately 615 feet in length. It is an “earthen” dam and the stone portion visitors see is just the spillway, or the area where water is supposed to exit the Horseshoe Lake in a safe manner.

Over the years, Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights have completed some minor repairs but the major problems are related to the age of the originally constructed dam. Seepage through the earthen dam and masonry joints, cracking in the masonry and sinkholes indicate the dam is unstable and deteriorating.

The dams are the communities’ responsibility. And since neither dam is in compliance with the State of Ohio Regulations pertaining to dam safety, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who oversees the Dam Safety Program, has ordered the Cities of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights to resolve these critical dam problems.

Aerial drone photo of Horseshoe Lake Park

Horseshoe Lake and dam, June 2020

Our Regional Stormwater Management Program’s “Chagrin and Lake Erie Tributaries Stormwater Master Plan” included an assessment of both Horseshoe and Lower Lakes since they are on our regional stormwater system. That master plan identified notable flood control benefits at Lower Lake. The same cannot be said for Horseshoe Lake: flood control benefits were insignificant because it has a much smaller drainage area flowing into Horseshoe Lake from upstream via the north branch tributary of Doan Brook.

Beginning in June 2021, we presented several scenarios publicly and to the cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights about these lakes, dams, risks, opportunities, and our recommendations. These resources are available below.

On April 7, 2022, our Trustees authorized us to enter into an agreement to a pre-design contract with joint venture AECOM-Stimson for the Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake Park. Watershed Team Leader Jeff Jowett explains the project, contract, partners, team members, and next steps in our video featured above.

April 7, 2022

NEORSD Trustees pass resolution 118-22, Authorization to enter into a professional services agreement with joint venture AECOM-Stimson for the Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake Park. See a PDF summary of the resolution.

August 9, 2021

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District presented its Regional Stormwater Management Program report on Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake, and their dams to Shaker Heights City Council and the Cleveland Heights Council Committee of the Whole.

June 15, 2021

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District presented its Regional Stormwater Management Program report on Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake, and their dams. The public meeting was hosted via Zoom Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. and is available below.

Stay up to date on this project

If you have any questions, please contact us.

FAQ: Doan Brook restoration near Horseshoe Lake Park

Press release: Sewer District presenting Shaker Lakes findings and recommendations at public meeting on June 15

Slide deck: Shaker Lakes findings and recommendations, June 15 2021 public meeting