A park district is born in Summit County

F.A. Seiberling (photo courtesy of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens)

One hundred years ago, Ohioans and the rest of the nation were still recovering from the 1918 influenza pandemic that took the lives of 675,000 Americans and upended the lives of many others. The “Great War” was also barely in the rear-view mirror.

But now things were looking up — in Akron, the growing rubber industries were hiring thousands of new factory workers and the city was growing by leaps and bounds. Much of the work, however, was dirty and backbreaking, with workers putting in long days. Nonetheless, progress was being made on shortening work hours and laborers found they had more leisure time. Popular nature writers such as John Burroughs were inspiring everyday folks to get outside and experience the physical and spiritual benefits of nature. With the crush of city life and the air turned sooty by coal smoke and factory fumes, urbanites sought out places to breathe fresh air, play in the open spaces and rejuvenate their spirits.

Warren Manning
The original plan from September 1925 of the proposed park system for Summit County maps out the areas recommended for preservation by the Olmsted Brothers / Landscape Architects, Boston, Massachusetts.

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Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks manages 15,000 acres, 16 parks, three nature centers and more than 150 miles of trails. Find more at www.summitmetroparks.org.