summit lake

old Rolling Acres Mall on Romig Road in Akron
GOOGLE EARTH

It’s finally official — Amazon is coming to Akron and bringing about 1,500 full-time jobs with it. 

Amazon announced early Monday that construction will soon begin on a 700,000 square-foot distribution facility on the site of the former Rolling Acres Mall.

photo of Akron North Hill bikes and Williams family
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Five-hundred kids have new bicycles today thanks to a “Christmas in July” event in Akron.

On Schiller Avenue in North Hill early Sunday morning one youngster could be heard shouting, “Who wouldn’t want free bikes? It’s summertime!” as six medium-sized trucks pulled up. The trucks were packed with small bikes and 10-speeds donated by Dayton-based Huffy and other community partners. The nonprofit Elves & More organized the effort and distributed the bikes.

Photo of Sims and Rice
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

One year ago, Akron's Summit Lake was declared clean enough for recreation, and officials say the lake has made progress over the past 12 months.

photo of Nick Cave's HEARD sound suits entering the garden at the Akron Art Museum.
Mark Arehart / WKSU

Nick Cave’s artwork has been on display for months at the Akron Art Museum, but over the weekend the artist’s wearable sculptures came to life. Performers from across the region donned the so-called sound suits made up of synthetic raffia fibers for a unique performance that mixes visual art, dance and music. 

photo of tires and trash
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

More than 250 volunteers were at Summit Lake in Akron over the weekend for the first large-scale clean-up of the year.

The event was organized by Keep Akron Beautiful, which has hosted similar events at Summit Lake for close to a decade. A spokeswoman says each year, there’s been less trash and less dumping of large objects in and around the lake, which is a focal point for the neighborhood.

Summit Lake
WIKIMEDIA

Akron’s Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition is making progress in its effort to revitalize declining neighborhoods.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently released a report on the progress made in Akron, Memphis, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia under the Reimagining the Civic Commons program.  Knight and several other foundations provided $20 million divided equally between the five cities.

Summit Lake
WIKIMEDIA

Akron residents will be able to explore their community in a new way soon with the creation of a nature center near Summit Lake. 

The old Summit Lake Pump House off Lake Shore Boulevard served the area for decades, filtering water into Akron’s many factories and homes until the lake was found to be polluted and the house shut down.

Now, the house is being transformed into an educational and recreational nature center. It’ll feature outdoor programming such as kayaking and fishing, as well as after-school activities and educational events.

Photo of Sims and Rice
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron’s Summit Lake isn’t quite back to its glory days as the city’s “waterfront playground.” But a new report finds it is cleaning itself after years of industrial dumping and other abuse – at least to the point where it’s safe for boating, fishing and birdwatching. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the attempt to make the lake an attraction instead of a liability – and to reconnect an isolated part of the city.

Photo of Rice and Veronica Sims
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron’s Summit Lake has officially been cleared for fishing, boating and birdwatching. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Dan Rice of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition about the attempt to make the lake and park a destination without the risks that come with gentrification.

Decades of heavy industry took its toll on Summit Lake and the area around it, reducing it from what had been Akron’s “waterfront playground” to a place locals called “Scummit Lake.”

photo of Summit Lake
YOUTUBE: AMAIGC

This spring, a public art project will kick-off at Summit Lake in Akron. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, it’s being coordinated by groups in Akron and Philadelphia.

Mural Arts Philadelphia began in the 1980s as an anti-graffiti program. Today, cities from around the world come to the organization for training in how to bring projects to fruition in struggling neighborhoods. Now, Mural Arts is bringing a $100,000 grant to Akron to support an 18-month project here.

photo of pump house
KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Summit Metro Parks is getting $785,000 to connect with the community at two of its parks near downtown Akron.

The money from the Knight Foundation will be used to re-purpose the pump house at Summit Lake and a barn in Cascade Valley Metro Park. Both sites will offer community programs, meeting spaces and activities.

Metro Parks Executive Director Lisa King says the goal is to build relationships with the community. 

REACH OPPORTUNITY CENTER

Summit Metro Parks is experimenting with a new way to teach people about nature.

The district is opening a temporary nature center this week at Summit Lake’s community center in central Akron.

Metroparks’ outreach manager Demetrius Lambert-Falconer says it’s part of an effort to improve the lives of people living near Summit Lake.