Release Date: March 31,2021

Akron Parks Challenge Opens April 1

Akron Parks Collaborative asks Akron residents to imagine their dream parks and submit ideas for updates that could be funded with up to $100,000—with a virtual event FAQ happening on April 7, 2021.

 AKRON, OH – (March 31, 2021) – Beginning April 1, 2021, Akron Parks Collaborative is asking Akron residents to submit ideas for updates in their local park. The team at Akron Parks Collaborative is launching its third Akron Parks Challenge and is looking for community members to submit ideas that will improve City of Akron parks in their neighborhoods. Two winning ideas will receive $100,000 each to bring their visions to life. 

Interested organizations or residents can apply by pitching their vision for their favorite park and how they plan to rally their community to get behind the project at AkronParks.org.

According to Bridget Ambrisco, Executive Director of the Akron Parks Collaborative, 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 also ideas for engaging their community around the process.

“This year, we’re more excited than ever to get outside, and we’re looking for ideas that are imaginative, equitable, and feasible,” explained Ambrisco. “Parks bring uncalculated value to our neighborhoods, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity and partnership with the City of Akron to see a park grow and thrive—with a dedicated team of neighbors running the project.”

Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Akron and the Akron Parks Collaborative canceled the Akron Parks Challenge.

In 2019, 54 applications were submitted, representing all ten wards, and three parks were selected, including Elizabeth Park and Ohio & Erie Canal Park.

This year, two winners will be chosen to work collaboratively with the neighborhood to determine what they want and how best to spend dollars allocated for park improvements.

The Challenge application period begins April 1, 2021, and runs through April 30, 2021. Judging criteria will include measures of feasibility, sustainability, equity, and possible impact on the neighborhood. Finalists will be contacted in the middle of May for an interview, and the winners will be announced the first week of June.

A virtual FAQ event will take place on April 7, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., and to register, please visit AkronParks.org or Facebook.com/AkronParks.

If you have any additional questions or are interested in submitting your application, you may visit AkronParks.org.