Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, will unveil its own park mobile application on May 1.
The new app — available for free on iOS and Android — will include GPS-enabled directions and downloadable maps.
It will include directions to 14 parks, 40 trail maps covering 125 miles, birding hot spots in the park district, 25 historical landmarks, sledding hills, fishing areas, restrooms and pavilions/shelters, spokesman Timothy Hite told park commissioners Tuesday.
The app also will provide daily lists of park programs and events, click-to-call phone numbers of park offices and officials, news releases, park alerts, and park rules and regulations, he said.
It will cover sections of the Towpath Trail, plus the Bike & Hike Trail and the new Freedom Trail.
There will also be links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the apps that can be used with mobile telephones and tablets, Hite said.
The park district is expecting that the new app will be popular and get a “really, really good response,” spokesman Nate Eppink said.
Creating such apps can cost $20,000 to $40,000, but the park district has spent less than $500 by using an online content management platform with graphics designed by park staffers, he said. (Eppink said the cost figure does not include the hours park employees put into developing the app.)
It will be available at the iTunes Store and Google Play.
In other business, park commissioners agreed to hire Summit Testing and Inspection for $9,254 to conduct soil borings and other geotechnical work in Liberty, Wood Hollow, Hampton Hills, Munroe Falls, Cascade Valley and Firestone parks and the Freedom Trail.
The commissioners also hired the Environmental Design Group for $15,370 to conduct survey and boundary work at the Overlook Trailhead off Sackett Avenue in North Akron.
That is the first step toward upgrading the popular trailhead, where stormwater from the street runs into the parking lot and is starting to cause problems, park planner Paul Wilkerson said.
The park district’s Bike Patrol began its 15th season April 1. There are 21 new volunteers among the patrol’s 90 members.
Work also is continuing on a new wooden boardwalk at Munroe Falls Metro Park. The structure will be 240 feet long and 6 feet across the dam at the park off Route 91.
It will replace a wooden boardwalk that had been built in the early 1980s. The new boardwalk is expected to be completed next week, spokesman Rob Peters said.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.