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June 2023 Update: The City of Akron has decided to preserve Theiss Woods from residential development. While its protection is not yet guaranteed, we consider this a road to victory for the environment and for the many individuals who spoke up on its behalf. Preserve the Valley wants to see codified protection for Theiss Woods, beyond the five-year USDA Forest Service grant funded ACORN project.

Theiss Woods is a 45 acre triangle of land owned by the City of Akron. It is adjacent to Hampton Hills Mountain Bike Area in Summit Metro Parks (2092 Theiss Rd. Akron, OH) and sits above Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It contains wooded terrain, hills, a natural spring, streams, and wetlands.  

The City of Akron has proposed turning this public property into a large housing development of 65 - 110 upscale homes (priced up to $420K).  In response to public outcry, the city agreed to consider conservation proposals in competition with development ones.  The Western Reserve Land Conservancy submitted a conservation proposal for the 100% conservation of Theiss Woods to the City of Akron on March 31, 2021.   The City of Akron has not yet responded to the proposal.

The conservation of Theiss Woods has been endorsed by a number of groups.  See the endorsement list and letters here.  Want to read Western Reserve Land Conservancy's proposal for the conservation of Theiss?  Check it out hereEnjoy artwork submitted by Summit County students for our Save Theiss Woods Art Competition here.
Preserve the Valley's Informational Document about Theiss Woods 
Learn about its environmental, historical, cultural, and educational value 

KEY POINTS:  Why Should Theiss Woods Be Saved?

We believe this property should be saved for many reasons including:

  • its proximity to a National Park and a Summit Metro Park.

  • its 45 acres of tree canopy (up to 33 football fields of trees) that protect the Valley from costly storm water run-off 

  • its wildlife diversity (including fox, mink, and bird species)

  • its potential as a future recreation/education/park site for Akron's kids and families  

  • the long-term economic and environmental cost of expanding and maintaining infrastructure in an area where none exists now

  • the voices of 17,000 people who have signed our petition asking for it to be saved!


Merriman Valley Map - With Title.PNG
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