...And the recipients of the 2021 Akron Parks Challenge are:  


Join the team to reimagine and reactivate Kerr Park! Email Bridget Ambrisco (bambrisco@akronparks.org) to get involved.

Kerr Park recently got a new playground! The neighborhood team led by the Summit County Think Tank Coalition with our assistance worked with KaBOOM! to get community input and to hold a 4 day community build. Thank you to the City of Akron, GAR Foundation, Summit County Health Department and United Way for funding that made this project possible! 

The team is meeting twice/month to design the rest of the park that will be funded by the Akron Parks Challenge dollars. Let us know if you'd like to join the team!

Jewett PARK

In August, the community held a family fun day at the park where neighbors voted on their top priorities for the park. Through citizen led design, we will take those priorities that rose to the top to create a plan for the park. 

Priorities determined by the community:

Votes    Improvement                                                                                         

23          Pavilion with picnic tables

16          Seating areas (for seniors, interacting, relaxing)

14          Improved or expanded playground

11          Drinking Fountain

The team, led by L.I.N.K.S. (a neighborhood organization in the Middlebury neighborhood) is working on finalizing the design of the park, which also includes an updated playground. Together we are raising money to supplement the Challenge funds to bring all of these priorities to fruition. We are grateful to Summa Health and the Summit County Health Department for their support! 


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.

Want to know if your favorite park is eligible for a future Akron Parks Challenge? View list here.


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 were made by a community leadership team. Come check out the "new" park! 

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