David DiDomenico was tired of the public neglect of Waters Park, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Overrun with weeds and other wild flora, and frequented by homeless people who liked to drink and sleep on this city-owned property, the 7-acre park in North Akron became just a glimmer of the vision set into motion by Frank Hyde Waters in 1937. So DiDomenico formed the Waters Park Renewal Society, and got the attention of city officials, who helped clean up the park.
“It’s a gem,” said DiDomenico. “I’ve lived down the street from park my entire life. It’s one of the most gorgeous parks in the entire city.”
Neighbors who know one another better tend to build safer overall neighborhoods, according to the city of Akron, which encourages each area to promote their own event for the fifth annual Neighbors Day. The celebration takes place May 28, Memorial Day weekend, and centers around residents getting to know their neighbors better.
This year's theme is Living Together Better: 5 Years of Strengthening Neighborhoods. Once residents decide their preferred activity, city officials encourage organizers to choose a location, adding they may want to host it on their porch, front yard or driveway. Neighbors Day Akron is designed to help residents get to know one another, especially those in closest proximity.
Finding local, healthy and affordable food is but one of many problems facing the inner city. So to address this challenge, community gardens have sprung up so residents can use a dedicated plot of land to grow their own food.
But are urban gardens always the answer? In order for community gardens to be a success, the “community element” must be firmly in place, said Denise Ellsworth, educator for The Ohio State University Extension in Summit County.
Advanced technology is everywhere: from obvious places like the computers used every day in most offices and classrooms, to places one might take for granted, like the navigation systems found in many cars or the control panels of kitchen appliances. The access to and true understanding of this technology, however, is far from widespread. One local program helping to bridge that gap is the Akron Urban League’s Connect Your Community (CYC) program.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, the CYC program has already provided computer training, broadband (Internet use) training, equipment and support to hundreds of low-income Northeast Ohio residents and their families.
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Akron donors join together to support the Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs
(Editor's note: written by Bonnie Lass Wojno, Dreamweaver, Akron Rotary Camp)
On the shores of Rex Lake in Akron, Ohio, there is a shining star where abilities are allowed to shine.
That star is the Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs. Imagine a place where you can be accepted for who you are, a place where you are encouraged to develop your unique talents and abilities. This year, almost 2,000 campers participated in activities, including one camper with autism, who left camp speaking his first independent sentences. Another camper overcame his aversion to water. These are just two examples of the impact that camp has on the children who attend. This year, the camp is transforming its facilities to better meet the needs of today’s children with special needs.
While the city focuses on job growth and creation, a recent study asserts that attention should be given to passion and love of place instead.
Social offerings, aesthetics and openness are more critical to residents than basic services and economy, according to a three-year Gallup study of Akron in coordination with the Knight Foundation.
As northeast Ohioans experience yet another winter-driving season, safety is of the utmost importance. Drivers, especially those with small children, take every precaution to avoid accidents. But one area agency recognizes that not all drivers have the knowledge or the means to fully protect children, and it is working hard to change that. Summit County Safe Kids Coalition, one of 280 Safe Kids programs nationally, works with local agencies to protect children from preventable, unintentional injuries.
Do you know what your calling is?Every person on Earth has one – something unique, something only you were born to do.That’s your real job: to figure out what your calling is and begin to honor it.
The Pajama Program is a New York-based charity that was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Piturro.For Genevieve, realizing her passion took a little bit of soul searching.As a marketing executive and single woman in her 30s, she focused on climbing the corporate ladder.Then at age 38, she met her husband, and the pair started settling into a life together – but something was missing.