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Akron, Ohio

City to Host 4th Annual Blue Heron Homecoming –May 5th at Akron Water Reclamation Facility


2018 theme is “Be a Water Hero”; Akron Public Schools offering free transportation to and from the event

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 04-26-2018

Akron, Ohio, April 26, 2018 The City of Akron is proud to host its 4th Annual Blue Heron Homecoming on Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Akron Water Reclamation Facility located at 2460 Akron-Peninsula Road. This free, family-friendly event will be a day of education and fun for residents of all ages. Much of the event will be held inside this year, which will enable the festivities to take place rain or shine. Additionally, this year, the Akron Public Schools will be offering free transportation to and from the event from high schools and community learning centers spread over six locations across the City.

The Blue Heron Homecoming is an annual environmental festival that provides community members with a chance to learn about the Akron Waterways Renewed! (AWR!) program. The festival features representatives from the City of Akron, firms involved with the AWR! program, and community partners including local non-profits and environmental groups. This year’s theme is “Be a Water Hero.”

Other highlights of the event include:

  • sign-ups for free rain barrels, available to the first 250 Akron families to attend;
  • sign-ups for free seedlings;
  • walking tours of the Akron Water Reclamation Facility;
  • trolley tours of the KB BioEnergy facility;
  • and trolley tours to the Blue Heron Rookery on Bath Road;
  • free lunch; and
  • a “theater” with videos of Akron’s tunnel boring machine “Rosie.”

“The Blue Heron Homecoming festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the progress we have already made in improving our environment, and to educate the community about the incredible projects their water and sewer bills are paying for,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “The investments we are making today in our sewer infrastructure will benefit our community and environment for generations to come.”

The Blue Heron Homecoming festival is named for the great blue herons that nest nearby. This four-foot-tall bird is native to the area, but its population was declining due to the poor water quality of the Cuyahoga River. Since efforts were made to improve water quality, the great blue heron has seen a resurgence in the area, and is commonly seen along the Towpath Trail, Ohio & Erie Canal, Cuyahoga River and Little Cuyahoga River. This “homecoming” is a testament to the work that's been done so far, and serves as a reminder of the positive impact that the AWR! program is having on the local environment. 

Parking locations will be clearly marked in the vicinity of the event and will be posted online in advance. The Akron Public Schools will be offering free bus transportation to and from the Blue Heron Homecoming event as follows:

Locations with pick-up at 9:30 AM and again at 12:15 PM:

  • Firestone CLC (Bus 1)
  • Kenmore-Garfield High School (Bus 2)
  • Hyre CLC (Bus 3)

Locations with pick-up at 9:45 AM and again at 12:30 PM:

  • Buchtel CLC (Bus 1)
  • North High School (Bus 2)
  • East CLC (Bus 3)

​Individuals can board the buses to leave the event and be dropped off back at the community learning centers at noon and 2:00 PM. 

For more information, please visit



For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street, Suite 200
Akron OH 44313
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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