Established in 1921, Summit Metro Parks today announced “Your Back Yard for 100 Years,” a year-long commemoration of its centennial anniversary. To mark this milestone occasion, the park district has launched a dedicated website and will offer a full year of events, activities and other opportunities for the community to join the celebration.

“For 100 years, Summit Metro Parks has served as Summit County’s ‘back yard’ by protecting green spaces and connecting people to nature,” said Executive Director Lisa King. “Thanks to the foresight of our founders, the dedication of our staff and volunteers and the support of our community, we are excited to celebrate this achievement and to embark on the park district’s next century.”

Summit Metro Parks encourages the public to visit to explore plans for the upcoming year and take a journey to the past with an interactive timeline of the park district’s history – complete with vintage photographs, audio recordings and video. The centennial celebration pays tribute to four themes that have been the hallmarks of the park district’s first century: protecting natural resources, celebrating cultural heritage, connecting people to nature and honoring community support.

Rolling out over the next several months, additional features of “Your Back Yard for 100 Years” will include invitations to:
   • Share your SMP story to tell us how the Metro Parks have impacted your life

   • Join a naturalist-led program highlighting various aspects of the centennial (updated listing published in mid-December with virtual and self-guided options available)

   • Take the Centennial Tour to discover 20 unique park locations throughout Summit County and earn a reward (beginning in March 2021)

   • Plant a Centennial Tree to mark the Centennial and help us reforest 100 acres of Summit County parkland (beginning in Spring/Summer 2021)

   • Stay tuned for many more exciting activities that will be announced as the year progresses!

Originally founded in 1921, Summit Metro Parks is the second-oldest park district in Ohio. Summit Metro Parks today manages more than 14,000 acres, including 16 parks, several conservation areas and over 150 miles of trails, and each year connects nearly 100,000 people to nature through community events and naturalist-led programs. Annual visitation in 2020 is expected to reach six million visits, approximately one million more than a typical year. The park district’s mission is to conserve, sustainably manage and value natural resources for the health and enjoyment of our community, and inspire people to connect with nature through clean and safe parks.

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