Shaker Heights

One in 11 Ohioans has a felony conviction. Isn't it time they received a second chance?
Your spirits will be instantly uplifted within mere seconds of sitting down with Karen McAlpine. The 38-year-old mother of three radiates a positive energy that is no less than supremely infectious. Currently, McAlpine is seeking an opportunity to channel her gift of an inspiring personality into a career where she can help people, make a difference, and somehow give back. Her ever-present smile only falters when she reflects on her experiences trying to secure such a job.
A new generation of future gardeners is blossoming at Shaker schools
If Shaker Heights feels a bit more fragrant this spring, you can thank teacher Tim Kalan. Since 2016, Kalan has been leading garden clubs for kids in second through fourth grades at Lomond and Onaway Elementary Schools, and they’re about to enter their fourth planting cycle.
With the Van Aken District in motion, Shaker Heights is setting its sights on the future
In some ways, the Van Aken District may seem like it was built overnight, but everyone involved in the intricate planning and construction of the shopping destination touted as Shaker Heights’ new downtown will be quick to assert that the planning began 18 years before the first brick was even laid. Now, in a unique collaboration between the City of Shaker Heights, the Shaker Heights City School District, and Shaker Heights Public Library, officials are once again developing a strategic long-term plan for community facilities.
It's Design + Build Month at Freshwater! Find out what's on our radar.
As part of our editorial calendar for FreshWater, we select a different theme to highlight each month in line with our 15 focus areas (which range from social change to technology). For March, we're turning our lens on Design + Build—find out what's on the FreshWater team's radar right now.
Get out and enjoy the remaining days of February with CAC-fueled events
With February drawing to a close and Cleveland weather set to warm up for a few days, there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the many Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) activities that focus on the outdoors—from a Slovenian-inspired Mardi Gras to a one-of-a-kind music and art festival to close encounters with birds and owls. Check out these family-friendly events that are sure to seal the deal for an unforgettable winter weekend, Cleveland-style.
The state of Cleveland print media: Local journalists ponder journalism in the next era
Anyone who set foot in the Beachland Ballroom last Saturday might have thought the rumors of print media's demise have been greatly exaggerated. At the sold-out Concert for Truth, more than 450 people gathered to show their support for local journalism and those who bring us the news every day. The event featured 11 local musicians who volunteered their time and talents to raise about $5,000 for the 24 Plain Dealer employees who are being laid off after March.
The future (of Van Aken District) is female with 15+ women-owned businesses on board
As retailers start opening their doors in Shaker Heights’ new Van Aken District, the emphasis is on local and regional makers. But there is also a strong female influence at the District, with more than 15 women-owned small businesses anchoring the 80,000 square feet of retail in the first phase of the $97 million mixed-use development project.
Rising from the ashes: How Shaker Heights plans to rebuild its beloved Fernway Elementary
When fire ripped through the roof of Fernway Elementary School in Shaker Heights on July 10, 2018, it not only devastated the approximately 300 students, teachers, and staff housed in the almost century-old building, it devastated the community. Now the Fernway Forward fundraising campaign is poised to help it rebuild even better than before.
Chef Michael Schwartz switches restaurant concepts at Van Aken District
As shops and restaurants continue to open their doors at the new Van Aken District, James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz has announced that he will open his Miami-based Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in the space originally planned for his Genuine Pizza chain at 3427 Tuttle Road in Shaker Heights.
It's no stretch to say that Cleveland's yoga scene is thriving. Just ask these three studios.
With dozens of yoga studios throughout the Cleveland area, it's not hard to find your flow. Just ask Dawn Rivers of Daybreak Yoga, Melissa Klimo Major of Balance & Brews, and Anjua Maximo of GrooveRyde—all of whom own successful yoga businesses that are truly hitting their stride with new locations and ventures.
Hidden trails around Doan Brook Gorge revealed with a new series of October hikes
Tucked away amid the urban hustle and bustle of commuters driving through Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights is one of Cleveland’s little-known natural wonders: Doan Brook. Now bordered by Coventry Road, Fairhill Road, and North Park Boulevard, the 15,000-year-old bluestone tributary to Lake Erie originated as the glaciers retreated from the region. Today, there are hiking trails that meander around the 8.4-mile brook, showing off a bit of Northeast Ohio’s natural state—yet most people don’t even know these trails exist.
After five years of planning, Van Aken District is coming alive in Shaker Heights
It’s not easy to take an historic neighborhood known for its charm, tree-lined residential streets, and opulent architecture and create a brand-new urban downtown. But, after more than five years of planning, that is exactly what the city of Shaker Heights and developer RMS Investment Corporation have done in building phase one of the Van Aken District—Shaker Heights’ new downtown.
Cleveland embraces its rich tapestry of immigrants, with a little help from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
The Land has been a welcoming place for immigrants since the dawn of the 20th century—when Cleveland was the nation’s fifth most important immigrant gateway city. Over 100 years later, immigrants continue to be a vital part of Cleveland’s population. Their significant impact is felt not only in Cleveland’s economy and vibrancy, but also celebrated in the city’s cultural offerings.

Take a visual journey through the great work of five organizations highlighting Cleveland’s immigrants with grants from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
Six big, bold ideas that could change Cleveland as we know it
While many Clevelanders are familiar with the big-name construction projects intended to transform the face of the city, a series of bold concepts from dedicated Northeast Ohio visionaries are also aiming to put Cleveland on the forefront—from innovation to design to technology. Though some of these ventures are still in the hypothetical stage, all share an audacious vision of what Cleveland's future can hold. See our six picks for the big, bold ideas poised to change the Land as we know it.
Free Stamp: All things free in the #CLE for July 2018
Fresh Water's monthly "Free Stamp" feature rounds up the freshest free events in Cleveland.
Greener pastures: A new generation of farmers is taking the reins in Cleveland
A new generation of farmers is taking shape, both in Cleveland and around the country. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing for only the second time in the last century. Meet four young Clevelanders who are venturing outside the city limits to pursue new agricultural adventures: Carl Harp Nursery, Bellwether Farm, and Frayed Knot Farm.
Free Stamp: All things free in the #CLE for June 2018
Fresh Water's monthly "Free Stamp" feature rounds up the freshest free events in Cleveland.
Artists to make their marks on Shaker’s Moreland neighborhood
The Make Your Mark on Moreland project will utilize public art to not only enhance the neighborhood, but also to honor the people and events that have shaped Shaker Heights' Moreland neighborhood. Artists Scott Goss and Charlotte Lees have been chosen to bring their proposals for gateways and historical markers to life. Find out more about the progress of this vibrant initiative here.
Spring has sprung: Four ways to get outside and enjoy the month of May
Warm, sunny weather has finally arrived in Northeast Ohio, and folks are eager to shake off those winter blues. Clevelanders know how to take advantage of the summer months like no other, and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture meets that need with a wide range of outdoor activities offered by their grantees. 
Trend watch: Cohousing makes its way to Cleveland
About two or three years ago, Cleveland Heights resident Mary Kelsey and some friends began talking about the concept of cohousing—a community of homes that are clustered around shared spaces like a common house and outdoor areas. While there are fewer than 200 cohousing communities across the U.S., Kelsey says there are “quite a few” are in progress, including right here in Northeast Ohio.