Showcasing Kent, Ohio and the surrounding
Northeastern Ohio Region.

Andrea Metzler

Portage Park District

New Nature Play Space & Story Trail at Dix Park

The Portage Park District opened two new family-focused amenities at Dix Park on August 6, 2022, for the community to enjoy! Present to cut the ribbon on this great space were representatives of Portage Park District, Portage Park District Foundation, Reed Memorial Library and Ravenna United Fund.

The first is a Story Trail that was made possible by a partnership with Reed Memorial Library and the generous funding they acquired from the Ravenna United Fund to purchase the story signs. The Story Trail loop is a short 0.16 miles in length – perfect for little legs! Visitors can enjoy a walk around the trail and read a featured story prepared by the Reed Memorial Library staff. We plan to change the stories quarterly. Our first story, Under One Rock, was chosen by the public and features all the tiny creatures and treasures that live near or under most rocks!

The second addition to the park is a new Nature Play Space that can be accessed from the Story Trail. Nature Play can be described as positive, unstructured, creative play outdoors. Decades of research have shown that playing outside is necessary for early childhood development. Imagination, critical thinking, problem-solving, gross motor strength, and risk assessment are just some of the skills that are strengthened by this type of inquiry-based learning in nature. We are proud to provide this public space as a backyard where children can play and explore! Nature play spaces are dynamic, and we expect the space to evolve over time as children use their creativity to build and move the foundational natural materials that we have provided.

Explore YOUR Portage Parks and Take the Wild Hikes Challenge!

Our Wild Hikes Challenge theme for 2022 is YOUR Portage Parks featuring favorite hikes shared by volunteers, park patrons and staff. To complete your challenge, download your form from our website or grab one from a park kiosk, hike 8 hikes on the list and turn in for rewards! You can earn a hiking staff and a medallion, and your dog can earn a bandana.

Participants must register for programs and events. Check out the full calendar on our Things to Do page at The mission of the Portage Park District is to conserve Portage County’s natural heritage and provide opportunities for its appreciation and enjoyment.

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