Collaboration Brings Amphitheater to Jackson Township's North Park
What began in 2017 as a vision to bring generations together and expand the uses of North Park culminated in the completion of the Jackson Amphitheater this summer
After numerous years of providing "Movies in the Park" events, the Jackson Township Board of Trustees developed a plan for a venue to offer large events like concerts, movies, lectures and other children's programming. The annual Jackson Community Celebration will also be held on the grounds.
"This will not only be a wonderful Jackson Township facility, but it can be utilized for many other community events," said Randy Gonzalez, Jackson Township Fiscal Officer. "Local organizations like the Jackson YMCA have already requested use for yoga in the park."
The Board of Trustees worked collaboratively with state lawmakers, the Stark County District Library, Stark County Park District and Jackson Local Schools to develop the new outdoor area. The Township entered into a lease with the Library, who built a new library on the parcel. The Park District and Jackson Local Schools have coordinated efforts to connect property at Jackson High School to the amphitheater via an underground tunnel to avoid crossing a busy road.
In total, the project cost approximately $4 million but much of the cost was offset by grants. State Senator Kirk Schuring helped Jackson Township officials get the ball rolling on this project by securing $1 million in capital project funding in 2018. Jackson Township applied for and received an additional $500,000 grant from ODNR to help improve the park and recently received, with the assistance of ODNR, $1.3 million from ODOT for the building of the pedestrian tunnel.
The amphitheater features a covered stage, lawn-style seating for up to 4,000 people, parking and an area for food trucks. Township officials have designated the area as an entertainment district to allow for the sale of alcohol at specified events.
North Park, a 70-acre complex, features the new amphitheater, a picnic pavilion, rest rooms, fully- accessible playground, seven athletic fields used for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse, a multi-use track used for skating and bicycling, six tennis courts, four basketball courts, one pickleball court and two sand volleyball courts. There is also a stocked, 1.5-acre fishing pond with a boardwalk and gazebo and a 1.1-mile paved walking track.
This first appeared in the 2021 January/February issue of the Ohio Township News magazine. Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for reprint permissions.