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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Announces Strategic Planning Process to Modernize Vision for City Recreation & Better Serve Community Needs


City Releases Survey to Gauge Community Knowledge, Interests, and Expectations

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 08-02-2018


Akron, Ohio, August 1, 2018 – As promised in his 2018 State of the City speech, Mayor Dan Horrigan is taking a look under the hood of City recreation services with the objective of radically improving City community centers and recreation programming. Over the next few months, the City will be embarking on a fact-finding mission—asking the community for feedback on their knowledge, interests, and needs related to recreation, before creating a new vision for the bureau.

"While we are proud to offer the Akron community a robust array of recreation services, we have not critically evaluated or changed the way we provide services or the types of programming we offer in at least a generation," Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "The goal of this strategic planning process is to modernize our services, increase the use of our community centers, enhance public engagement in recreation programming, and better meet community needs by asking our citizens what they want and need from their city government."

In furtherance of this effort, the Akron Recreation Bureau is reaching out to citizens through an online survey, available at The 5-7 minute survey will be open through September 7th, and all responses are anonymous. Questions are aimed at determining what residents would like to see improved or added; general sentiments toward the Recreation Bureau; ways to attract new users; and the level of awareness of, participation in, and value placed on the services currently offered.

"To create a new vision, we first have to fully understand the existing state of city recreation—what the community knows, what they enjoy, and how they feel we can better serve them," Brittany Schmoekel, Recreation Bureau manager said of the survey. "We encourage all those who live in Akron or use our services to add their voice to this important community conversation by taking our online survey."

The City of Akron Recreation Bureau offers quality of life services and programming for kids and adults of all ages. The City maintains 11 different community centers throughout Akron, as well as the Balch Street fitness center. There are 5 divisions within Recreation: Active Adults, Community Centers, Community Events, Sports, and Community Learning Centers (CLCs). For more information about the Akron Recreation Bureau, visit

The City has engaged the consulting services of Rick Adler and Associates to assist with the strategic planning process. Rick Adler and Associates brings extensive experience in consulting, customer and employee surveying, and providing data-driven growth strategies for companies and organizations, including work with the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association. The data collected through the survey will help the City create new vision, mission, and value statements and develop a plan to transform the Recreation Bureau into its next chapter. The goal is to have the strategic planning process completed by the end of 2018, at which time the City will report back to the community about its findings and plans for the future.

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 S. High Street Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2345
E-mail: [email protected]

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