Release Date: February 4,2021

Rogers Family Donates $1 Million Dollars to Lock 3 Vision Plan

AKRON, Ohio (Feb. 4, 2021) – The Richard S. and Alita Rogers Family Foundation is committing $1 million to support the Lock 3 Vision Plan, which focuses on the transformation of Lock 3 in downtown Akron for the benefit of residents and visitors. The Lock 3 Vision Plan is a key component of the Akron Reimagining the Civic Commons project to create accessible, equitable and welcoming parks, trails, and public spaces along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from downtown Akron to Summit Lake.

“As leaders, we know that accessible and beautiful public space is an essential component to civic health, community wellbeing, and economic vitality.  Lock 3 is a place where residents and visitors gather for entertainment and recreation, and to take in the beauty and activity of downtown from a center stage view,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “Thanks to the support and commitment of public and private partners, including the Knight Foundation and Rick and Alita Rogers, we will soon transform Lock 3 into an even more attractive destination and resource for all of Akron to enjoy.” 

Located in the center of our city, Lock 3 has served as Akron’s “Central Park” for community events, concerts and festivals, welcoming thousands of residents and visitors to downtown Akron. Through the redevelopment of Lock 3, the space will become a featured park along the Ohio & Erie Canalway.  The center of the park will feature an Amphitheatre with a broad center lawn and surrounded by garden paths, skating areas, shaded seating, artwork, and game terraces.

“As children our parents would bring us downtown for shopping, special occasions, and dining. We have fond memories of an exciting urban landscape full of people and wonder. The Lock 3 garden park, designed by internationally renowned Olin architects, will help restore the essence and function of a dynamic urban core,” said Rick and Alita Rogers.  “We are fortunate and delighted to be able to help realize this garden gem in the heart of Akron.” 

This generous grant award supports phase I of the $10 million Lock 3 Vision Plan and compliments the $1.5 million commitment from the City of Akron, $2.0 million grant award from the Knight Foundation and a $400,000 anonymous donation, for a total of $4.9 million.

“We are extremely grateful to Rick and Alita Rogers for their generous donation to the Lock 3 Vision Plan,” said Dan Rice, president and CEO of Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, lead organization of Akron Civic Commons. “Through their incredible generosity, Lock 3 Park will become a regional and national destination along the Ohio & Erie Canalway and Towpath Trail.”

Akron Reimagining the Civic Commons is a $20 million resident-led project revitalizing Summit Lake, Ohio & Erie Canal Park and Lock 3 along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.  To date, $12,475,000 in private, foundation, local government and state funding has been raised for these two transformational projects and fundraising is underway to raise the remaining funds.  The Akron Civic Commons 2.0 Donor Campaign is co-chaired by William and Rebecca Considine, who feel particularly connected to Summit Lake as William’s childhood neighborhood.

Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition serves as the convener for Akron Reimagining the Civic Commons and is partnering with the City of Akron on the redevelopment of Lock 3 and Summit Lake.

For more information about Akron Civic Commons, visit akronciviccommons.org.  To make a donation to the Lock 3 or Summit Lake revitalization, please contact Dan Rice at (330) 374-5657 or drice@ohioeriecanal.org.