Akron, Ohio, October 25, 2022 — Today, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, in partnership with the City of Akron and residents of the Summit Lake neighborhood, held a groundbreaking celebration for the Ohio & Erie Canal Summit Lake Trail.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Summit Lake Trail is the first project of the resident-led Akron Civic Commons 2.0 work at Summit Lake, and it features a 2.75-mile multi-purpose trail that will be accessible for hikers, walkers, and bicyclists around Summit Lake. The trail links the eastern and western neighborhoods surrounding Summit Lake and connects to the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
"Today marks another milestone in our Akron Civic Commons 2.0 work with this groundbreaking for the Ohio & Erie Canal Summit Lake Trail," said President and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Dan Rice. "With these shovels of dirt, we are moving from dreams to reality as we develop the Ohio & Erie Canal Summit Lake Trail and reconnecting our communities both physically and emotionally. This multi-use recreational trail is more than a physical connection, since it will provide a beautifully designed healing space and refuge for neighborhood residents to enjoy nature, exercise and spend time with their families."
"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. "We are very proud to partner with the Summit Lake residents, Knight Foundation, Akron Civic Commons, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, and all of our funders and partners on this transformational trail project here in the heart of our community.”
Other distinguished speakers at the groundbreaking event included Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, City Council President Margo Sommerville, Summit Lake CDC Vice-Chair Grace Hudson, Summit Lake volunteer Toqa Hassan, Knight Foundation Program Director Kyle Kutuchief, and Akron Civic Commons 2.0, and Donor Committee Co-Chair Bill Considine.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Summit Lake Trail is part of the Summit Lake Vision Plan, which has received over $10 million in funding from the City of Akron, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, County of Summit, Ohio & Erie Canalway, State of Ohio, Akron Community Foundation and individual donors. The Summit Lake Vision Plan is a key component of the resident-led Akron Civic Commons 2.0 project to create an accessible, equitable and welcoming park for all residents and visitors. In addition to the trail, the resident-led Summit Lake Vision Plan includes a pavilion for family gatherings, shaded seating and swings, a canoe and kayak share, boat launch ramp and a concession stand to enjoy an ice cream cone, sandwich, or cup of coffee.
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 the Summit Lake Vision Plan and Lock 3 Park. For more information about donation opportunities and Akron Civic Commons 2.0, please contact Dan Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.