Recap: April Summit Lake Neighborhood Association Meeting

April 24, 2017
By Bob Downing

Summit Lake partners are exploring options to create new and innovative community-based kiosks as part of the Akron Civic Commons grant. The kiosks would help community groups get information out to neighbors and would also help neighbors share books and fresh produce from their gardens with those in need. The kiosks could also serve as WiFi hubs for those nearby, filling a major need in the Summit Lake community. The initial plan calls for two or three kiosks, but more might be added in the future, according to reports presented on April 20 at the Summit Lake Neighborhood Association meeting.

The biggest news is that Summit Lake neighborhood projects are moving forward, said Dan Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. Work is nearly complete on upgrading and remodeling the kitchen at the Summit Lake Community Center, said spokesman Audley McGill. The commercial-grade kitchen will be used for cooking classes, he added. The work should be completed in the next week or so.

The rooms have been painted, new counters were installed, plumbing was improved and a new dishwasher installed, McGill said. A kitchen was installed along with a day-care center in the city-owned facility, as well.

Knitters and crocheters are welcome to join the twice-per-month community group. It meets from 4 to 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays at the REACH Opportunity Center at Summit Lake, said spokeswoman Erin Woodson. The group has about 10 regulars plus another five or six sometime participants, she said. Everyone is welcome to join the knitting and crocheting, and all levels of knitting and crocheting are welcome. Her group is also working with partners to get free outdoor movies held at Summit Lake, plus support cultural programs including a community newspaper and the kiosks.

Summit Metro Parks is working to get the Friday movie night started and has pledged to present a program at Summit Lake. The park district is also looking to start installing benches and picnic tables at Summit Lake with the first being installed in late May.

A community newspaper is a top priority but it will likely take until late this year or early next year to get such project under way, said spokeswoman Amber Cullen. The goal, she said, is to have it “written by us, for us.” The Summit Lake community is also invited to participate in a T-shirt design contest to show your Summit Lake Pride, said spokeswoman Stephanie (Leo) Leonard. Organizers are seeking a design that captures the spirit, positivity and vibrancy of the Summit Lake neighborhood.

There will even be a class from noon to 3 p.m. May 13 at the Summit Lake Community Center, 380 W. Crosier Ave. Completed forms must be dropped off at the Pump House Center for Art and Culture, 411 Ira Ave. They can also be emailed to All submissions are due by May 17. There will be cash prizes for first, second and third place. The winning design will be printed and distributed to add to neighborhood pride. New Summit Lake Pride stickers were also circulated on April 22 at the Summit Lake Cleanup, she said.

Applications are being circulated for the Leaven Lens project, a photography apprenticeship for youth 12 to 18 years old in grade 6 through 12.Participants must be Akron residents and able to attend twice-a-week photography classes. It will begin June 19 and run into late August or early September, said spokesman Eric Nelson. Participants who complete the program will earn $500 stipends. For information, contact Nelson at or Leonardi at