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Summit Metro Parks to open nature center at Summit Lake Pump House

December 18, 2018

Summit Metro Parks to open nature center at Summit Lake Pump House

AKRON, Ohio – Akron City Council has transferred the historical Summit Lake Pump House to Summit Metro Parks for use as a community nature center.

A $600,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will fund pump house renovations. The grant program is intended to better connect Akronites to their neighborhoods, nature and to each other.

Summit Metro Parks announced its plan for the pump house earlier this year, after operating an award-winning “pop up” nature center at the Reach Opportunity Center at Summit Lake since early 2017.

The transfer will allow Summit Metro Parks to expand its outreach efforts and create a permanent presence in the neighborhood. Initial renovation work began earlier this year, when Great Lakes Construction removed the unused pumps and equipment from the building.

“We are ready to get to work creating a world-class nature center at Summit Lake, and we thank the city for making this possible,” said Executive Director Lisa King in a news release. “Acquiring the Summit Lake Pump House allows us to offer additional programming to community residents and visitors while continuing to build on the strong partnerships we’ve formed here over the last two years.”

The park district expects the nature center to open by spring 2020. The center could include a community meeting and program space, history and nature-themed exhibits, office space and outdoor gathering areas. Let’s Grow Akron will continue to manage the gardens on the property in partnership with Summit Metro Parks.

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