Blue Heron Homecoming Check out our 2016 photos HERE The Blue Heron Homecoming is an annual environmental festival that allows community members a chance to learn about the Akron Waterways Renewed! program. The festival features representatives from the City of Akron, firms involved with the AWR! program, and partners such as local non-profits and environmental groups. For the past two years, the Blue Heron Homecoming has been held at the City of Akron's Water Reclamation Facility, located in the Merriman Valley. This location allows visitors a unique look at what happens to stormwater and wastewater that travels through our sewer system. Tours of the facility are provided, along with tours of the Composting and Bioenergy facility located across the river. More information on the WRF is available here. The festival is named for the great blue herons that nest nearby. This four-foot-tall bird is native to the area, but its population was declining due to the poor water quality of the Cuyahoga River. Since efforts were made to improve water quality, the great blue heron has seen a resurgence in the area, and is commonly seen along the Towpath Trail, Ohio & Erie Canal, Cuyahoga River and Little Cuyahoga River. This resurgence is a testament to the work that's been done so far, and serves as a reminder of the positive impact that the AWR! program is having on the local environment. You can learn more about the great blue heron at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website here. The Blue Heron Homecoming is held each May.