Downtown Akron Residents Break Ground on Lock 3 Park Transformation


On Thursday, April 6, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, in partnership with the City of Akron and residents of the downtown Akron neighborhood, held a groundbreaking celebration for the redevelopment of Lock 3 Park. 
The redevelopment of Lock 3 Park will include shaded seating, landscaped gardens, artwork, skating areas, and a world-class performance pavilion. Located in the center of Akron, and along the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail, Lock 3 Park will be transformed into a premier park that is accessible, equitable and welcoming for residents and visitors. 

The Lock 3 Vision Plan is a key component of the resident-led Akron Civic Commons 2.0 project that plans to build on the success of Lock 3 Park as a successful event, concert and festival public space and develop a year-round park that is a destination for residents, guests, hikers, and bicyclists along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

“This 365-day park will become more than a space that is used for festivals and concerts on the weekend. It will become a destination for residents and visitors alike to gather, to relax, to spend time, and to experience downtown Akron. More importantly, today, we honor our commitment to the residents of downtown Akron and to the co-creation, co-design and co-stewarding of outstanding parks, trails and open spaces and places neighborhood residents at the center of our work,” said Dan Rice, President and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.

“This public space investment represents a priority for my administration regarding the importance of equity in our community parks, trails, and open spaces,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “All residents, regardless of their income, race, education, or experience deserve outstanding parks, trails and public spaces for recreation and relaxation.”

Other distinguished speakers at the groundbreaking event included City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Chief of Staff for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Brian Nelsen, City Council President Margo Sommerville, Congresswoman Emilia Strong Sykes, Downtown Resident Bronlynn Thurman, Knight Foundation Program Director Kyle Kutuchief, and Akron Civic Commons 2.0, and Donor Committee Co-Chair Bill Considine.
Akron Civic Commons 2.0 is coordinated by Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, in partnership with the City of Akron, and they serve as the fiscal agent and project manager for Lock 3 Park and the Summit Lake Vision Plan. For more information about donation opportunities and Akron Civic Commons 2.0, please contact Dan Rice, at or (330) 374-5657.
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition is a recognized leader across the region, developing the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and its connector trails in Summit, Stark, and Tuscarawas Counties, while leveraging resources and stimulating community and economic development.