Continued development and construction of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting parks and urban amenities will be the topic of the GAINS (Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability) meeting on July 11th, at The Trailhead at Cascade Lofts, 21 W. North St. Akron, OH 44304. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the free program begins at 6:15 p.m.
Speakers for the evening include: Mr. Daniel Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, speaking on continued development plans in Summit County and their connections to larger trail systems; Mr. Nick Moskos, Chief of Planning and Development for the Summit Metro Parks, will discuss hike & bike projects including the Freedom Trail and a new connection to the Northside Marketplace along Bluff Street.
Attendees are encouraged to come by bicycle for a short trek, following the program, to the Blue Door Gallery on Bluff Street where construction of the trail is underway.
Around the country trail systems linking regional cities help create long-term community, environmental, and economic benefits. Trails systems are known to help attract talent, increase livability, preserve vital green space, and enhance tourism.
The Freedom Trail now runs 6.2 miles from the Portage-Summit county line through Tallmadge and Akron to Eastwood Avenue. It was built in two projects along an abandoned rail corridor.
The City of Akron recently announced that it has hired a Canadian consulting firm — Copenhagenze Design Co. — to design a connecting bicycle grid. This grid will connect existing bike paths, community assets, neighborhood business districts and cultural destinations with three trail systems the Towpath Trail, Freedom Trail, and the Rubber City Heritage Trail.
Mr. Rice has been with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition since 1994, having built 150 community partnerships to develop the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area and Towpath Trail. He serves on numerous boards and committees including Ohio Historic Site Preservation Committee, National Resource Assistance Council, and Development Finance Authority of Summit County.
Mr. Moskos is a registered Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional. He joined Summit Metro Parks in 2016 and has over 25 years of design experience. He has worked on the design of over 60 miles of trail including projects on the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail, Hike and Bike Trail, Freedom Trail and The Portage in Portage County. Local non-trail projects include the design of the Northside Train Station, Schumacher Mill, Cascade Plaza, and the redevelopment of Downtown Kent.
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC), established in 1989, is a private, non-profit organization working to develop the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and National Heritage Area in Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas Counties.
Summit Metro Parks, headquartered in Akron, manages 14,300 acres, including 16 parks, several conservation areas and more than 125 miles of trails, with 22.4 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Annual attendance averages 5.2 million visits.
GAINS is a local gathering of sustainability practitioners focusing on advancing innovative ideas, and sustainable values and practices in the marketplace. The salon-style meetings are free, interactive, and open to everyone. Come to learn, share, and engage with community partners on the leading edge of sustainability.