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2019 Akron Parks Challenge Encourages Residents to Pitch their Vision for their Favorite Park


Two winning ideas will receive up to $100,000 toward park improvements

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 04-01-2019

Mayor Dan Horrigan and the Akron Parks Collaborative are asking residents to pitch their vision for how to improve their favorite Akron park. The annual Akron Parks Challenge, first launched in 2018, will once again provide up to $100,000 per park to make the winning visions a reality.


The 2019 Akron Parks Challenge application opens today, April 1st, and closes April 30th. Interested organizations or residents can apply with a simple online form by sharing their dream for their chosen park and their plans to rally the community behind the project. This year, two winners will be chosen to collaborate with their neighborhood and determine how to best spend up to $100,000 in funding to support implementation.


The goal of the Challenge is to engage communities around neighborhood parks to create active and vibrant public spaces. “Neighborhood residents and organizations are not only asked to give their ideas for improvements but, even more importantly, their ideas for engaging their community around the process,” Bridget Ambrisco, Executive Director of the Akron Parks Collaborative, explained.


Submissions will be reviewed by the Akron Parks Collaborative and a selection committee of its partners, including representatives from Akron City Council, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Akron Civic Commons. Submissions will be judged based on measures of feasibility, sustainability, equity, and impact on the neighborhood.  Finalists will be interviewed in May, and successful applicants will be announced by early June.


“As leaders, we know the transformational power that safe and accessible public spaces have in building a sense of wellbeing and connectedness in our neighborhoods,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said.  “Parks are places where citizens of diverse ages and backgrounds come together to share experiences, foster community spirit, and enjoy recreation and entertainment. Through the Akron Parks Challenge, we will directly engage and empower our citizens to have a starring role in designing revitalized parks that meet the unique needs of their neighborhood.”


Last year, sixty-eight applications were submitted, representing all ten wards, and three parks were selected including Cadillac Park in West Akron, Chestnut Ridge in Kenmore, and Reservoir Park in Goodyear Heights. Construction of improvements in these parks is currently underway and will be completed by mid-summer. A summary of the 2018 Akron Parks Challenge projects is available here.


“I look forward to seeing what our community comes up with this year,” Mayor Horrigan remarked. “Akron, you set the vision, we’ll bring it to life.”


To learn more or submit your idea, please visit



For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary
166 South High Street
Akron, Ohio
Phone: 330-375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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