Centennial spotlight: Harold S. Wagner

Wagner (left) consults on park plans for Firestone Metro Park in August 1941.

Even before he was hired as the first director-secretary of Akron Metropolitan Park District (AMPD, which was the original name for Summit Metro Parks), Harold Wagner was heavily involved with the fledgling park district, working to create a swath of protected green space across Summit County.

  • The creation of Sand Run Parkway from 1929 to 1930
  • Development of the first nature trails starting in the late 1920s, with the first official guided hike occurring in Sand Run on September 24, 1929
  • The first “nature school” out of Old Portage Shelter in the late 1920s and early 1930s
  • Expansion of the park district to include Sand Run, Firestone, Furnace Run, Goodyear Heights and Gorge Metro Parks, as well as Virginia Kendall (which would later become part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
Wagner curated an extensive collection of parks-related cartoons, including many pen and ink master artboards from the original cartoonists.



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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.