Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Akron and the Akron Parks Collaborative are delaying the third annual Akron Parks Challenge until April 2021. See full press release

Click here to see a past recipients summary.

We are committed to assisting groups across the City of Akron in improving and stewarding their parks. If you are interested in improving your park or starting a Park Friend Group, we would love to hear from you! (bambrisco@akronparks.org)

Akron Parks Collaborative continues to work with past recipients of the Akron Parks Challenge to complete already planned projects and plan activities for the future when we all get to enjoy our parks again together! 

During the pandemic, we have worked on project at Hardesty Park, Adams Park and Kerr Park and have completed the final elements of the Challenge projects at Reservoir Park, Chestnut Ridge Park and Cadillac Park.

Hardesty Park (Wallhaven: Partnering with Keep Akron Beautiful and the City of Akron, we’ve created a wildlife garden with perennials, seating and wildlife attractants (butterfly box, bird bath, purple martin condo).

Adams Park (Middlebury): With funding from the Creating Healthy Communities program of the Summit County Health Department, we engaged the community and installed a new inclusive playground.

Kerr Park: Supporting the leadership of the Summit County Think Tank Coalition, we interviewed community members to begin the process of community led design for the park.

What is the Akron Parks Challenge?

The Akron Parks Challenge invites neighborhood residents, leaders and organizations alike to pitch their vision for their favorite park and how they can partner to achieve the change they wish to see. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said, "This is every citizen’s opportunity to help the City co-create welcoming, accessible, and functional spaces for the community to enjoy. To apply, all you need is a great idea for how to invest in an Akron park and a plan for engaging the community to help make it a reality."

The application consists of two simple questions based on an idea and how the applicant would help engage their community ensuring inclusion. Since the program’s launch in 2018, $600,000 in city funds leveraged $367,200 in private funds in FIVE city parks. In addition, Friends groups have formed around each park and the ongoing stewardship and pride has resulted in less trash and vandalism and an increase in park use.

Program partners include the City of Akron, Akron Parks Collaborative, Akron Civic Commons and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

2019 Akron Parks Challenge Recipients:

Elizabeth Park

The park is on Lods Street in Cascade Village and sits on the Little Cuyahoga River near N. Howard Street. The community team went to the rest of their neighborhood through surveys, door to door conversations and park events to determine the park improvements they want within a $100,000 budget. Final decisions are underway.

OHIO & Erie Canal Park (formerly named Park East)

Located along the Ohio & Erie Canal south of downtown, this park is within the Akron Civic Commons. A new playground was installed in October as a KaBoom! project.

Photos courtesy of Garrick Black


Reservoir Park 



Chestnut Ridge Park  



Cadillac Park 



Find out more about all of Akron's Parks:
City of Akron's Comprehensive Park Facilities Study

Questions can be directed to bambrisco@akronparks.org