Mayor Shammas Malik and Akron Parks Collaborative Announce the Akron Parks Challenge Beginning Today

Applications are due by April 22

Akron, Ohio, April 1, 2024 —  Today, the City of Akron and Akron Parks Collaborative are announcing the launch of the sixth Akron Parks Challenge. The Challenge invites Akron residents to answer the question, “What’s your idea for a dream park?” Residents can submit their ideas to improve parks in their neighborhoods online at the Akron Parks Collaborative site. Two parks will be selected to receive up to $150,000 in city-funded, community inspired improvements.

Interested organizations, residents, or motivated citizens are encouraged to apply in groups by answering two questions to pitch their vision for their favorite park and explain how they plan to involve their communities at

The goal of the Challenge is to engage communities around neighborhood parks to create active and vibrant public spaces. The Challenge requires interested neighborhood residents and organizations to show how they will help engage their community around the process.

“Making investments in our neighborhoods with quality, well-maintained parks and public spaces is an essential part of the solution toward a safer and more vibrant Akron,” said Akron Mayor Shammas Malik. “We are putting community-led design and decision-making at the core of park improvements, which leads to more active, vibrant spaces and stronger communities.”

“Since forming in 2018, we have managed 5 cycles of the Akron Parks Challenge, engaging neighborhoods around 15 parks,” states Bridget Ambrisco, Akron Parks Collaborative Executive Director. “We worked with each community to seek additional funds to realize their full vision. In total, $2,108,300 of City funds leveraged $1,240,750 in private funds for a total of $3,349,050. We are looking forward to working with two more communities to realize their vision for their neighborhood park.”

The Challenge application period will run from April 1 to April 22. Judging criteria rates equity, community engagement capacity, and project feasibility. Second round finalists will be contacted in mid-May and site visits will be scheduled with third round finalists. Selected parks will be announced the first week of June.

Program partners include the City of Akron and Akron Parks Collaborative.

Want to know if your favorite park is eligible for the Akron Parks Challenge? View the list here.

If you have any questions or are interested in submitting, please visit

City of Akron

Stephanie Marsh, Director of Communications or 330-256-1191
Akron Parks Collaborative
Executive Director Bridget Ambrisco, 330-801-5255