Summit Metro Parks

photo of bird

A new hybrid bird species has been spotted around parks in northeast Ohio.

The bird is a type of warbler resulting from mating between Cerulean Warblers and Northern Parulas.

Park Ranger Ryan Trimbath was the first to spot the bird in 2014 while he was working for the Summit Metro Parks in Deep Lock Quarry.

He says the experience has opened his mind to when people claim to see new species.

a photo of newlyweds

Couples in the Akron-area can have a June wedding or vow renewal for free in a local park. Summit County Probate Court will be hosting a group outdoor wedding on June 28th at Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Summit County Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer will be overseeing the event called Promises in the Park.

aphoto of the Freedom Trail

A property dispute is forcing Summit Metroparks to rethink the path of the Freedom Trail through downtown Akron. The park system had planned to locate a portion of the trail near CSX railroad tracks at East Market Street and College Avenue. It thought the land was owned by a public transit agency. Before the final construction began, CSX claimed the land was owned by them and for safety reasons, it will not allow a trail near the tracks.

photo of Smokey the Bear

Northeast Ohio has not one, not two, but three park systems that comprise about 70,000 acres of land – and almost 10 times that is protected throughout the state.

Listeners have asked our "OH Really?" project how these parks got started. WKSU’s Sarah Taylor and Kabir Bhatia answer some of their questions.

Summit Lake

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 Summit Metro Parks
Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks will use money from a recent grant to improve water quality for a section of the Cuyahoga River in its newly acquired Valley View property.

The $370,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lakes Commission will also help to restore flood plains in the area.

Metro Parks Chief of Conservation Mike Johnson said this is a major step towards making the water more accessible for visitors.


The U.S. EPA is moving ahead with the next phase of removing the largest remaining dam on the Cuyahoga River. Federal, state, and local agencies are paving the way for the most complicated part of the process.

The massive dam – part of a former hydroelectric generator – holds 832,000 cubic feet of contaminated sediment behind it.

And all that muck need to be moved before the concrete dam comes down.


Editor's Note:  This story was originally published on June 26, 2017.

Ohio has been lucky. 

A disease that’s common on the East Coast hadn’t made its way to the Buckeye State…until now.

Health experts say the ticks that carry Lyme disease have arrived.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair explores what to watch for when walking in tick country.

Summit Metro Parks

The Summit Metro Parks will again be filled with music this summer, as its ensemble returns for its 18th year. 

The Metro Parks Ensemble is made up of 34 of the hardest working musicians in the region. And they’re all volunteers, some in their 80’s. Director Karen Bennett of Munroe Falls says it's all for the love of the parks and the camaraderie.  


Summit Metro Parks is moving forward with the next step in the process to remove the largest remaining dam on the Cuyahoga River.

The 60-foot-tall Gorge Dam in Cuyahoga Falls once powered trolley cars in Akron.

The park’s head of natural resources management, Mike Johnson, says the $70,000 hydrology study will model the effect of a free-flowing river.

photo of pump house

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. 

Summit Metro Parks to Recycle Used Christmas Trees

Dec 26, 2017
Photo of Summit Metro Parks
Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks is holding its annual drop-off locations for used Christmas trees.

Lindsay Smith is the marketing coordinator for Metro Parks. She says the trees are used to beautify its parks.

Residents can give their trees a second life beyond Christmas and the Metro Parks can use this wood to chip into mulch, and our crew use it around our trailheads to use as landscaping compost.

Smith says they usually get over 100 yards of mulch from the donations.

Metro parks began the Christmas tree recycling program in 1970.

photo of downtown Cleveland

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 21st:

photo of Ben Mehendale, Ben Wells

Summit MetroParks welcomed more than 500 volunteers over the weekend, where they took the first steps toward re-foresting an old golf course in Akron.

Photo of Gov. Kasich preparing to sign Judy's Law

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 8:


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.


Summit Metro Parks is asking the public for help spotting a rare species.

The rusty-patched bumble bee, once common in Northeast Ohio, has recently been  listed as endangered and hasn’t been spotted here since 1998.

The Summit Metro Parks collaborated with Ohio State University, Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park to create the Ohio Bees Atlas Project.

photo of auction area

Over the weekend, about a dozen homeless people left the area that will soon be a new portion of the Freedom Trail in the Summit Metro Parks.

The Freedom Trail is for biking and hiking and starts just south of the Cuyahoga River on the border of Portage and Summit Counties. It slopes downward into Akron and currently stops northeast of downtown.

The century old Gorge dam on the Cuyahoga River could be coming down in the next few years if federal regulators agree to fund the project.

Local officials are putting together what they believe is a strong case to tear down the dam.

The Gorge dam in Cuyahoga Falls is the largest dam on the Cuyahoga River and it’s one of the main factors impeding the river’s recovery according to the U.S. EPA.

Hampton Hills bike trail

  Summit County Metro Parks has officially opened its first mountain bike trail. Today’s ribbon-cutting marked the opening of the 3-mile Hampton Hills trail. Parks spokesman Nathan Eppink says the trail will not disturb the natural setting of the park because of the location’s past use. 

Photo of the vandalized Towpath Trail bridge near Akron

  The bridge that was destroyed by a arson on the Towpath Trail in Akron two weeks ago is back open.

Summit Metro Parks installed a temporary bypass for parkgoers to use while city and park officials work on a permanent fix.

Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition President Dan Rice says it’s been a top priority to get the bridge reopened, even with a temporary fix.