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." Applications typically open in April and selections are made in June of each year.

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

Curious what typical park improvements might cost? View info here

2022 AKRON PARKS CHALLENGE RECIPIENTS:

HYRE/LIONS PARK in Ellet

BOSS PARK in University Park

Read the full release

Jewett PARK

In August (2021), 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 are making improvements this summer and fall (2022)!

The team, led by L.I.N.K.S. (a neighborhood organization in the Middlebury neighborhood) led the community engagement and design of the park. Additional funding from Summa Health and the Summit County Health Department is helping us make this a high-quality park for the neighborhood! Join us Sept 8-10 to build a playground, create raised beds for gardens, and add landscaping to create a welcoming and vibrant space Sign up and Learn more here!

2021 AKRON PARKS CHALLENGE RECIPIENTS:

Kerr PARK

In the fall (2021), Kerr Park 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 continues to meet to design the rest of the park that will be funded by the Akron Parks Challenge dollars in 2022.

Jewett PARK

In August (2021), 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! Get involved/Learn more 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! 

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After:

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

2018 AKRON PARKS CHALLENGE RECIPIENTS:

Reservoir Park 

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Chestnut Ridge Park  

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Cadillac Park 

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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