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Akron, Peninsula, Cuyahoga Falls to become 'gateway communities' to Cuyahoga Valley National Park

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the communities surrounding Cuyahoga Valley National Park becoming "gateway communities." [Jacob Boomsma/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the communities surrounding Cuyahoga Valley National Park becoming "gateway communities." [Jacob Boomsma/shutterstock]

Some of the communities surrounding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which spans more than 32,500 acres between Akron and Cleveland, have recently began the process of designating themselves as gateway communities, hoping to enhance the relationship with the park and increase the economic benefit of being nearby a tourist destination. 

Gateway communities already exist across the country, and see huge economic impacts because of their proximity to national parks and other federal lands. One can think of Gatlinburg Tennessee as the entrance to Great Smokey Mountains National Park, or Jackson Wyoming and it's relation to both Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. 

But those gateway communities also have to deal with increased traffic, which doesn't sit well with every resident. 

Today, we're going to start the "Sound of Ideas," by discussing what this designation will mean for the residents and businesses surrounding the park with local leaders. We'll also talk a little bit about the park's almost 50 year history in the region, and how that has contributed to some residents rocky relationship with the park.

-Lisa Petit, Superintendent, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

-Nancy Holland, Ward 1 Councilwoman, Akron City Council 

-John Krusinski, Councilmember, Village of Peninsula

-Cindy Billings, Mayor, Village of Hartville

-Andrew Meyer, Deputy Editor of News, Ideastream Public Media 

-Christine Fowler Mack, Superintendent, Akron Public Schools

rachel.rood@ideastream.org | 216-916-6246