OUR VIEW: Portage County Park District improves access to Cuyahoga River

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The opening of a boat access to the Cuyahoga River at a site near Red Fox allotment demonstrates how the Portage County Park District continues to improve our park system even without the benefit of revenues that will start flowing next year thanks to the passage of the half-mill levy in the May election.

The site, appropriately called Red Fox Boat Access, provides a good stopping point for those in canoes who are exploring the Upper Cuyahoga, designated an Ohio Scenic River in 1974. Downstream from Red Fox, one encounters the waters controlled by the Akron Water Department, which utilizes the waters of the Cuyahoga River for its drinking water. Without a pass, one must abstain from proceeding further downstream.

Nevertheless, the new access point improves the recreational value of the Upper Cuyahoga since the closest access point upstream is Buchert Park in Mantua, more than five miles upstream. That is where those in canoes might otherwise remove themselves from the River if an access point is deemed necessary.

The Portage Park District is leasing the Red Fox site and typical of the district's creativity and entrepreneurship, it obtained funding from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to prepare the access site since the district currently has as yet no readily available funds for such work.

The park district also supplies information on boat and canoe safety that those who wish to explore the Upper Cuyahoga can easily obtain.

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