It began to rain, but it did not dampen the spirits of those participating in the ribbon cutting of the Springfield Community Trail.

It began to rain, but it did not dampen the spirits of those participating in the ribbon cutting of the Springfield Community Trail.

Doug Foltz, director of Springfield Parks Department, welcomed the crowd, which included students from Schrop Intermediate School who had used the trail to run races earlier in the day.

The trail begins next to the school and goes behind the school, behind the former Boyer Kindergarten Center and back around the Community Gardens, JEDD Park and Dotson Fields. Community volunteers began building the trail in October and finished the project when the weather broke this spring.

Trustee Dean Young said a lot can be accomplished when you work together.

"This trail is a prime example of that," he said.

 Part of the property on which the trail was installed belongs to the City of Akron. With permission from Akron, Springfield residents worked to me make improvements that benefited the township. Joining with Akron in allowing property to be used for the trail were Bill Feth, a graduate of Springfield High School, who gave permission to use his part of Aesco Electronics’ property and The Springefield Local Schools Board of Education which allowed for school-owned property to be used for the trail.

Young thanked the Summit County Public Health for its contribution of $16,000 to encourage the development of the trail. He noted physical education teacher Betty Kern was instrumental in pushing the trustees to see that the trail became available to the students and community.

"This is one of the first major projects that we are undertaking for Springfield Township residents through the parks department," said Young.

Foltz is the first parks director for the township and has been pushing for projects that benefit of the community. Young announced that they are working to open an entrance to Lauer Park from the south side. The park is 22 acres and has 1.5 miles of trail that winds across boardwalks and wetlands and into the woods.

"It is only accessible from Killian Road. Access will be available through the roads of Pine Lake and will be pedestrian-only entrance," Young said adding that these projects improve the quality of life in the township.

Kern spoke thanking her father, David Hohlbaugh and Mayor of Lakemore Rick Justice for their hard work in building the trail. This was her vision and dream. She told the story of when she was a student at Schrop they just ran through the grass. She envisioned providing the students and their families with a better trail to run and walk.

"It is because of them, it got done so quickly and so well," said Kern.

Plans are already in the works to add exercise stations. The township is applying for grants to support these efforts.