Akron finalizes $10 million in Funding for new Summit Lake North Shore Park
The northern shore of Summit Lake in Akron will once again become a place for recreation, more than 60 years after the amusement park there closed.
City, County, and community officials were on hand Wednesday to announce a funding milestone in the restoration of Akron’s Summit Lake neighborhood.
Mayor Dan Horrigan says funding from the American Rescue Plan Act is providing the final $2 million for the $10 million initial phase of the project.
The city will begin work early next year on a trail that encircles the lake, a concession stand, picnic pavilion, boat launch, and kayak storage facility.
Horrigan says the idea for restoration came from residents in the primarily African-American neighborhood.
“There’s an equity argument that overrides all of this, is that we don’t necessarily need to be equal, we need to start doing thing equitably, and that is investing in areas that we haven’t invested in in a long time,” Horrigan said.
Horrigan says future work along the canal corridor will link Summit Lake with downtown.
The Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition led community input into the planning. CEO Dan Rice says the new park will include a chance to see Summit Lake from all sides.
“And so one of the first projects out of the gate here is the Ohio and Erie Summit Lake trail, which will circumnavigate the lake. It'll be a full 2.25 mile trail, connecting all neighborhoods around Summit Lake,” says Rice.
Additional funding for the project comes from the Knight Foundation, Summit County, and private donors.