Release Date: February 11,2020

National Register of Historic Places Finds Summit Metro Parks Facilities Worthy of Inclusion

Learn more about the role of Depression-era workforce initiatives at an upcoming program

On February 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Sand Run Metro Park (1501 Sand Run Parkway, Akron), visitors can join a naturalist to learn about the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Summit Metro Parks and to appreciate CCC craftsmanship inside Mingo Lodge.

The CCC was a Great Depression-era workforce initiative which gave young men opportunities to build structures during a time when work was scarce. Thanks to the foresight of this program, visitors to Summit Metro Parks today still enjoy some of the structures built during this time. These structures and features were essential to the development of our park system, as the CCC essentially laid out the “blueprint” for our earliest parks.

“These historic features also represent an important point in the conservation movement in the United States, as well as the work relief programs put in place during the Great Depression,” said Summit Metro Parks Cultural Resources Coordinator Dr. Megan Shaeffer. “This work was specifically conservation-oriented, and it’s no surprise that there were several CCC projects throughout our fledgling park system, since our park district was created with conservation of the natural resources of Summit County in mind. To me, it’s really amazing to have these symbols of the American legacy of conservation right here in our parks!”

Summit Metro Parks is home to seven CCC structures:

  • Mingo Lodge and the Big Bend Area ice skating rink (Sand Run Metro Park)
  • Pioneer Shelter (Goodyear Heights Metro Park)
  • Brushwood Lodge and a small pump house (Furnace Run Metro Park)
  • Gorge Shelter (Gorge Metro Park)
  • The quarry at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park.

Some remains of CCC latrines are also visible in Gorge Metro Park, and steps found in Cascade Valley Metro Park in Akron were built through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office recently agreed with Summit Metro Parks conservation staff that these structures and features are significant to the history of our area and are now eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places as a Multiple Property Documentation.        

To learn more about this or other Summit Metro Parks programs, please visit summitmetroparks.org or call 330-865-8065.

Summit Metro Parks manages more than 14,000 acres, including 16 parks, several conservation areas and more than 150 miles of trails, with 22 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Annual attendance averages 5 million visits.