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Theiss Woods near Cuyahoga Valley National Park Could Become Newest Summit Metro Park

map of Theiss Woods
City of Akron
The city of Akron is considering whether to develop or conserve 45-acres of land near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park known as Theiss Woods. A recent proposal to conserve the land by making into a Metro Park comes from a partnership between the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Summit Metro Parks.

The city of Akron will be reviewing a new proposal for 45-acres of undeveloped land near Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The city is considering whether to develop the land or conserve it.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is partnering with Summit Metro Parks on a new proposal to conserve Theiss Woods located at the southern end of the Cuyahoga Valley. If their proposal is selected, the land would become the newest Metro Park.

Akron originally received plans to develop the property into single family homes, but Drew Holland with Preserve the Valley says these plans do not make fiscal sense.

“The environmental cost plus the urban sprawl infrastructure cost far outweighs the economic gains from a tax basis,” he said.

Holland says developing Theiss Woods would remove the land’s environmental benefits, such as storm water runoff and carbon offsets.

Isaac Robb is leading this project for Western Reserve Land Conservancy. He says developing the land would mean permanently losing its environmental impact.

Robb: losing the environmental benefits

“The existing secondary forest captures a lot of carbon, prevents a lot of storm water runoff, and obviously the bio habitat and the soils as well provide a healthy ecosystem within the city of Akron,” he said.

Robb says this far outweighs any economic gains that would come with developing the land.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.
Connor Steffen is a junior at Kent State studying journalism. Connor is a member of TV2 News, Kent State's student-run television station, where he serves as the executive producer for all news operations. He also anchors, reports and produces for the station. After graduation, Connor hopes to work as a reporter at a local news station.