Ohio & Erie Canalway Association awards $140K to 4 Summit County projects

Ohio & Erie Canalway Association awards $140K to 4 Summit County projects

Cleveland.com | By Jennifer Conn, July 17, 2018

AKRON, Ohio – The Ohio & Erie Canalway Association has awarded $140,000 to four Summit County projects within the Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.

Among the Summit County grantees, Summit Metro Parks was awarded $50,000 to build a 1,000-square foot shelter at Summit Lake, southwest of downtown Akron.

The Metro Parks, the city of Akron, the Knight Foundation and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition have been leading an effort to revitalize the Summit Lake neighborhood through physical improvements and programming.

The shelter is the first project to move forward since results of an environmental assessment in June revealed that the largest lake in Akron and the surrounding shores are safe for human interaction.

While awaiting the results of the assessment, officials with the Metro Parks, Canalway Coalition and Knight met regularly with Summit Lake residents to find out what amenities would work there, said Knight Akron Program Manager Kyle Kutuchief.

As a prototype last year, the Metro Parks installed a large tent at the lake which stayed up all summer.

“It turns out people loved it,” Kutuchief said. “The land is safe, the water is safe. What’s next?”

In total, the canalway association awarded $353,000 in grants for 14 projects in the National Heritage Area, which includes Summit, Cuyahoga, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties. The National Heritage Area runs 110 miles, from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga National Park, $20,000 – The money will pay to create educational products that commemorate the Cuyahoga River fire in 1969. The first served as catalyst for the federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 to become the Clean Water Act in 1972. The Burning River products will be sold at the conservancy’s retail locations in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the river fire, which coincides with the opening of the new Boston Mill Visitor Center.

Hale Farm & Village Community Engagement Space$50,000 – To create a  four-season educational venue to tell the story of the Hale Family and the development of the Western Reserve. The new space will enable Hale Farm & Village, which attracts 25,000 students and 50,000 residents each year, to accommodate more visitors. The expansion will create demonstration, studio and classroom areas.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, $25,000 – A restroom restoration project will result in fully functional restrooms with running water in five coach cars on the National Park Scenic excursion, which takes about 3.5 hours.

Since receiving its National Heritage Area designation in 1996, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association has disbursed more than $350 million in federal, state, local and private investments.

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Lynee Bixler