Restoring and protecting Sand Run Metro Park (part III)

Summit Metro Parks
3 min readFeb 6


This is the third in a series of posts about significant grant-funded improvements to protect the roads, trails and wildlife of a well-loved park. Read Part I and Part II.

This non-natural waterfall near Mingo Lodge is a barrier to fish migration and will be removed during this final stage of work. Photo by Kevin Lanterman.

On February 7, 2023, the park district will resume work along Sand Run Parkway to protect infrastructure, enhance wildlife habitat and control stream erosion. This project is made possible with $4.6 million in state and federal funding.

In addition to aging infrastructure, Sand Run Metro Park’s roads, trails and namesake stream are facing two significant challenges:

  1. Because the Sand Run is located in an area that has been highly developed with homes, shopping centers and roads, stormwater runoff has created significant erosion in the park and destabilized the stream’s banks.
  2. Over the decades, infrastructure such as roads, culverts and pipelines have been built as the surrounding communities were developed, creating migration barriers that make it extremely difficult for fish to travel freely throughout the waterway.

In Phase I of the project, Summit Metro Parks utilized Clean Ohio grant funding to remove a bridge in need of repairs located along the Jogging Trail and replace it with a larger culvert running under Sand Run Parkway. This will create a more sustainable long-term solution while also allowing fish and other critters to travel more freely in this section of the stream.

This new culvert replaces an aging pedestrian bridge and allows for safe wildlife passage under the road.

Phase IIa addressed projects to control erosion throughout the park and additional in-stream habitat improvements.

In Phase IIb, the park district will take further steps to protect infrastructure and will remove two major migration barriers: one near Mingo Lodge (pictured at top) and another behind the service center building. Proper fish habitat provides the right environment for fish populations to successfully reproduce, raise young and hide from predators. Man-made alterations over time have impacted the quality of fish habitat in Sand Run stream and have created barriers to their migration. Thriving fish populations affect both wildlife and humans alike.

During the current and final stage of work, Sand Run Parkway will be closed from Sand Run Road to the Shadowfield parking lot for Sand Run stream restoration. Shady Hollow Lodge will be accessible for rental events. Mingo Lodge will not be accessible during construction. The parkway may open evenings and weekends when crews are not working and it is safe to do so. Work is currently expected to conclude in mid-July.

This article is the third in a series to keep Summit County residents informed on progress towards restoring and protecting Sand Run Metro Park. Stay tuned for more updates and tips for getting involved!



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