Planning for a "water trail" along the Cuyahoga River continues today with a daylong workshop to discuss ways for creating a 100-mile trail linking communities on the river.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Friends of the Crooked River,
and Floyd Browne Group are sponsoring the forum, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.
Kent Parks and Recreation Director John Idone said the forum is part of an ongoing discussion to create and promote a water trail on the river.
"The idea of a water trail is an extension of the concept of a green way, where you have a green way with bike trails," Idone said. "Now the concept is blue ways where you have rivers."
Idone will attend today's session with a representative from Kent State University. More than 100 people are expected to show up for the workshop. The event is not open to the public and registration is closed.
Participants at the workshop will learn about water trails and their potential on the Cuyahoga River, review oportunities and constraints along the river, discuss potential regional economic benefits, and evaluate the necessary next steps to establish a water trail, according to event organizers.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will give a presentation on the idea in the morning, and in the afternoon members will break into smaller groups for discussion and brainstorming.
Idone said several such water trails exist in Ohio, and the state encourages communities to develop the trails. He said having a trail in place also gives those communities priority when applying for related grant funds.
“We’re basically trying to do the whole Cuyahoga River, so there’s a number of cities and local and county government working together and sharing information,” he said.