What makes up the Doan Brook Watershed?
The Doan Brook watershed encompasses about a 12 square mile area in the eastern metropolitan area of Cleveland, Ohio. Over 145,000 human residents call our watershed “home,” as well as numerous species of birds, mammals, pollution-tolerant fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Doan Brook’s three branches form the heart of the Shaker Lakes park system, uniting in the wetlands at the Nature Center at Shake Lakes to flow west and northwest through Rudy Rodgers Memorial Park, Rockefeller Park, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, and the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve to Lake Erie.
The watershed drains parts of Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and portions of the following Cleveland neighborhoods: Buckeye, Shaker Square, University Circle, Fairfax, Hough, Glenville and St. Clair-Superior.
How has the Watershed Changed?
As the Doan Brook watershed was developed over the last 200 years, the natural water balance has been altered significantly. Natural habitats, primarily forests and wetlands, have been replaced with roads, driveways, parking lots and buildings. These, hard, or impervious surfaces, prevent rainwater from percolating through the soil to ground water.
During heavy rain and snow falls, the volume and velocity of runoff is much higher than in pre-development days, often causing unusually large floods in University Circle. The average annual runoff to the brook is about three times larger than in Nathaniel Doan's time. The extra watershed area added by the diversion of Giddings Brook, which originally ran directly into Lake Erie, to the Doan Brook sewershed further increases runoff volume.