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Abstract: As the crow flies, it is 30 miles from Kent to Cleveland, and 40 miles if you drive. But there is another route between the cities—a historic route navigated before European settlement and formed from our glacial heritage. The Cuyahoga River (meaning “Crooked” River in Iroquois) is why both cities were settled, organized their initial urban patterns, and still has an important role to play in our future. Northeast Ohio is fortunate to be a continental divide between two important watersheds: the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Our landscape will always have a critical relationship with water. Therefore we need to engage our watersheds in creative ways and foster a personal understanding of our region’s wonderful freshwater assets.

Kent State University has facilities in both Kent and Cleveland, with many programs focused on the ecological health and recreational opportunities of the river. The CUDC and College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) is committed with educational programs, faculty, alumni, and outreach to the advancement of the Cuyahoga River as a critical asset and determinant of our region’s future.

The Crooked River Commute will navigate the Cuyahoga River from Kent to Cleveland with intentions to discover its natural/unnatural beauty, research regional issues of watershed impacts, and promote water access for recreation and education.


  • Raise regional awareness of riverfront communities and our shared river identity
  • Promote freshwater design issues relevant to Kent State’s Master of Landscape Achitecture program
  • Create GIS database of key river assets along the route for future research
  • Promote current initiatives and future projects that support a thriving river environment
  • Create a video documentary to share the events, places, and people encountered along the journey

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Categories: Healthy Environments, Stormwater Management



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