Friends of Horseshoe Lake ramp up efforts to save Upper Shaker Lake

The group calls the lake the centerpiece of Shaker and Cleveland Heights
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT
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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - The fight over Horseshoe Lake, one of two of the Shaker Lakes, has heated up after the lake was drained and the Northeast Ohio Sewer District plans to turn it into a permanent wetland.

The Friends of Shaker Lakes -- some residents of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights -- want the cities to step in.

“(We) put Shaker and Cleveland Heights on notice that we believe they’re not in compliance with the terms of a lease they entered into, a lease agreement to maintain the lakes,” said Anthony Coyne, an attorney for the Friends of Horseshoe Lake. “The Sewer District cannot proceed without the full cooperation of both cities. They’ll need to enter into certain agreements to accommodate the work that has to get done.”

The work will mean street closures as the Sewer District repairs the dam on Lower Shaker Lake and plans to finish improving stormwater management despite the fact that the Friends of Shaker Lake say they have an alternate, cheaper plan that preserves Horseshoe Lake.

“They are the centerpieces of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights,” Coyne argued about the preservation of the lakes. “Horseshoe Lake is such an important asset to both communities that they should adhere to those legal responsibilities.”

“I love the park,” said Martha Baldwin, who visits the area regularly. “I miss the look of the water. It was certainly so beautiful.”

But she added: “I still love coming here.”

Sixty years ago, there were plans to run a freeway through the lakes but neighbors prevailed then and preserved the area.