The Summit Lake neighborhood is located in southwest Akron and surrounds the lake for which it is named. The area was originally Summit Lake Beach Park, founded in 1917, and was a thriving recreational retreat for thousands of Akron residents. The neighborhood of Summit Lake quickly developed around the park, as did much industry around the canal that discharged into the lake. Though industrial waste damaged the lake, the area is still a recreational hub for Akron serving as part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Erie Canal Towpath system that runs from Lake Erie to New Philadelphia, Ohio. The City of Akron Community Center also has various recreational facilities on the banks of the lake adjacent to the building site for our center.
Since the 1970s when the economy in Akron began to suffer, the economy and infrastructure of the neighborhood has waned. Over the last few years many neighborhood leaders, municipal leaders, and business leaders have begun a movement to enhance the Summit Lake community, its people, its economy, and its infrastructure.
Our efforts in Summit Lake are a part of the movement focusing on the education of the residents of the community. Education, of course, is a key component to enhance the quality of our lives. Akron offers many educational opportunities, but these are often difficult to access for low-income residents with limited means of transportation. Summit Lake is such an area where many residents do not have an easy means of transportation and suffer from low levels of education and high unemployment. There is a great potential to improve the educational levels of residents, and our programs are designed to do so. The center will offer opportunities for those interested in improving their, and their children’s, educational outcomes.
Boundaries of Summit Lake Neighborhood
The Summit Lake neighborhood is defined by the map to the left. The neighborhood is bounded by West South St. on the north, Manchester Rd. on the west, and Front St. on the east. The center serves all residents living within these boundaries.