Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Days and times set for upcoming Mill Creek MetroParks standing committee meetings

The nature education standing committee to the Mill Creek MetroParks board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The finance standing committee will meet at 10 a.m. next Saturday.

The wildlife standing committee will meet at 2 p.m. Sept. 19; the community engagement standing committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22; and the development standing committee will meet at 4 p.m. Sept. 22.

All meetings take place in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road.


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Improvements to Volney Rogers Field officially complete

As part of the MetroParks’ improvement initiative, Mill Creek MetroParks has announced the completion of improvements made at Volney Rogers Field.

The primary improvement made to the field was a resurfacing of the tennis and basketball courts.

This was completed by Penn-Ohio Sealing and contains a new asphalt overlay, an acrylic playing surface and court lines on six tennis courts and one basketball court.

Two pickleball courts have been added to the tennis courts to address the demand for the sport.

The basketball hoop backboards, rims, and hardware have been replaced, along with the tennis backstop.

A new section of asphalt trail accessing the basketball courts has been constructed.

The cost of the overall project was approximately $110,000.

The facility is now open for play.


View the full article at wfmj.com.

Green Cathedral Race set to run Sunday

Mill Creek Metroparks will host the fifth annual Green Cathedral race Sunday. The race will begin and end in the Wick Recreation Area at 1861 McCollum Road.

The Kids Fun Run begins at 8 a.m.; the half-marathon begins at 8:30; and the 5K Run/Walk begins at 8:45 a.m.

This event is open to all ages and abilities, and awards will be given according to age groups. The Kids Fun Run is free, and children will receive participation awards.

Early-bird registration was Aug. 27. the half-marathon is now $40. The 5K Run/Walk is now $30.

The Green Cathedral Race is sponsored by 21 WFMJ/WBCB, and all proceeds will benefit the Juliana Kurinka children’s play area at the Wick Recreational Area.

For information and to register, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org or runsignup.com.

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Metro Digest

Mill Creek MetroParks will host the 5th annual Green Cathedral race Sept. 10. The race will begin and end in the Wick Recreation Area at 1861 McCollum Road.

A kids fun run, half-marathon and 5K run/walk begin at 8, 8:30 and 8:45 a.m., respectively.

The kids run is free. Early-bird registration (through today) for the half marathon is $35. Through race day, the cost is $40. The 5K registration fee is $25 early bird and $30 through race day.

Race proceeds benefit the children’s play area at Wick. For more information, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org or runsignup.com.


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Warning issued after coyote attacks dog in Mill Creek Park

Police with Mill Creek MetroParks are on alert after a woman reported her dog was fighting with what sounded like a coyote on a popular walking trail Wednesday morning.

According to MetroParks Police Chief Jim Willock, the woman was walking her dog about 7:30 a.m. near the Scholl Recreation area when her quiet walk turned frantic. He said the woman’s dog got off its leash and started chasing something. The woman then heard it fighting another animal and called 911.

“When officers arrived, they heard what they believed to be a coyote,” Willock said. “She was pretty upset. Our officers were able to locate her dog, get her dog back to her and get her to her dog.”

The woman’s dog was not hurt in the scuffle. Officers searched for the coyote but didn’t find it.

“We did a pretty good search for it this morning,” Willock confirmed. “No one was able to locate the animal. It’s just… you gotta be careful. The park is a wild place. The park is meant to be that way.”

While your chances are slim to encounter a dangerous wild animal, it’s possible. Wildlife expert Jamey Emmert with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said instances of what they call “conflict” with the animals is growing.

“Coyotes are very comfortable in urban parks and suburban parks,’ Emmert said. “Some coyotes might run and some might not. Often times, domestic dogs are instigating a conflict between the coyotes and dogs.”

Experts often urge people to ignore wildlife roaming through neighborhoods and they will just walk away, but Emmert said coyotes are different and need to be treated differently, suggesting people dowse them with water or pepper spray or make loud noises to scare them.

“Anything that is obnoxious and loud is going to scare an animal away and make it feel unwelcome,” Emmert said. “The number one thing is to not allow that animal to become habituated.”


Willock said since he took over in 2009, this is the first time a coyote has been reported in the main section of Mill Creek Park. He said they are spotted on the bike trails occasionally, but it is no cause for panic.

“I don’t want to alarm people,” Chief Willock continued. “I don’t want people to be concerned. But if you carry something like pepper spray, and spray it in the general direction of the animal — trust me — they have a much stronger sense of smell than we do.”

Police don’t know if the dog was off the leash when it ran across the animal, or if the woman dropped the leash when the dog spotted it. But either way, keep a close eye on pets out walking, and don’t let them out of sight.

“All animals should be on the leash in the park,” Chief Willock cautioned. “There’s a rule that all animals are leashed in the park. Yes, you need to keep them on that. And the leashes need to be a certain length. We have people biking and things like that. If you have one of those long leashes, it could cause an accident with a biker or runner or something like that.”


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Police: Dog unharmed by coyote in Mill Creek Park

Mill Creek MetroParks Police say a dog that slipped its collar near Lake Cohasset on Wednesday and ran after a coyote.

Police Sergeant John Novotny tells 21 News that a woman was walking her Chocolate Labrador Retriever in the Bears Den area of the park at around 7:30 am when the dog got away and began to chase the coyote.

Officers recovered the dog, who police say was not injured. Police say the coyote did not chase the woman.

Novotny says that coyotes and foxes are just a few of the animals that occasionally wander through the park.

“They try to get away from people,” said Sgt. Novotny who adds that he lives near the park and sometimes can hear a coyote howling.

It is not permitted to bring dogs into the park without having them on a leash, and dogs are prohibited from picnic areas.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, coyotes are common throughout the state’s 88 counties in both rural and urban areas.

The ODNR has these tips if you think you spotted a coyote in your yard:

Identify that the canine is truly a coyote and not a stray dog.

A coyote is slender, very similar in appearance to a medium-sized dog and much smaller than a wolf, a species not currently found in Ohio. The majority of coyotes are gray, though some show a rusty, brown or off-white coloration. It has a bushy tail which is usually tipped with black.

If you do have a coyote on your property, remove all “attractants” to possibly deter the coyote from returning. This includes removing garbage and pet food before nightfall and cleaning up around the grill.

Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals such as rabbits and mice. Small pets may also be taken. Keep small dogs and cats inside or stay with them at night when coyotes are most active.

Coyotes are curious, but generally fearful of humans. Clap your hands and shout to scare off coyotes that are investigating your yard.

If the coyote visiting your yard seems to lack a fear of humans or is presenting a conflict even after removing attractants from your yard, contact a nuisance trapper.

You can locate a trapper near you by calling the Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

Coyotes in rural areas can be controlled through legal hunting and trapping methods.

Consult the yearly Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet for more information. Go towww.wildohio.com to view more information online.


View the full article at wfmj.com

Artwork in nature on display at Fellows Gardens

Doug McLarty jokes that his wife won’t go on walks with him anymore.

That’s because the Xenia-based artist is always stopping to pick up objects he finds along the way. Those objects – leaves, flowers, berries – might then become his next work of art.

“It’s very much a discovery process, and I never know what I’m going to come up with,” said McLarty. “It’s pretty much a mystery until suddenly I see it in front of me.”

McLarty, whose work now is on display at the Weller Gallery in the D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens, creates images using a high-resolution digital-scanning process called scanography.

Against black backgrounds, the objects found in nature stand out in striking, visceral detail. They’re a little whimsical, too.

For example, there’s his “Supremes” piece. Green peppers are depicted “on stage” as if they were the Diana Ross-led female singing group.

McLarty said he hopes his art encourages viewers to look at nature a little bit differently.

“There’s a certain perception zone that I think we all have. If you go to the Davis Center’s gardens and look, everyone sees the same scene of a little garden patch with some really pretty flowers,” he said.

“Then you go a little closer, and you zero in on the roses or another plant. Then you go a little closer, and you see individual leaf structure. What I want to do is have people, when they go out and look at nature, get comfortable with getting a lot closer and really look at nature from a design perspective.”

McLarty’s exhibit, “Natural Selection: Discoveries in Bloom,” is on display through Sept. 17.

Also on display at Fellows is an “Organic Steel” exhibit by local sculptor Tony Armeni. Armeni’s sculptures are placed throughout the gardens area.

Armeni, who teaches at Youngstown State University, has work on display at numerous other Youngstown locations, including the Butler Institute of American Art. He is working on a project that is being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The term “organic” refers to the sculptures’ shapes, said Lily Martuccio, who handles graphics and promotions for Mill Creek MetroParks.

“The contrast of the hard steel, and the organic shapes that fit into the area of this outdoor gallery – it complements it,” she said.

“Trees bend, just as [Armeni] gets his work to bend.”

Armeni’s work will be on display at the Gardens through October.

Both McLarty’s and Armeni’s art is available for purchase.

For information about the exhibits, call the Gardens at 330-740-7116.


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Solar Eclipse Viewing Party

Solar eclipse viewing events planned around the Valley

As the moon covers the sun today during the first solar eclipse since 1979, locations around the Mahoning Valley will host viewing events.

Mill Creek MetroParks will host a viewing event in partnership with Youngstown State University’s Ward Beecher Planetarium. Patrick Durrell, professor of physics and astronomy at YSU and director of the planetarium, will lead the event at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield.

“They’re bringing three telescopes that people can take turns viewing the eclipse as it’s going on,” said Maureen Weetman, Mill Creek MetroParks program and events coordinator. “They’re bringing solar shades. It’s going to be one per person, first come, first served. We’re going to have a looping presentation about the solar eclipse. We’re going to have children’s activities. … And we’re also going to be broadcasting a live feed of the total eclipse.”

The Youngstown area is not in the path of the total solar eclipse. Total eclipse will take place across a 60-mile-wide path across 12 states. In this area, the moon will obscure 83 percent of the sun at the event’s peak.

The partial eclipse will begin shortly after 1 p.m., with the peak about 2:30 p.m. and the end about 4 p.m. The peak lasts about 21/2 minutes.

Weetman said the MetroParks has received a flood of inquiries about the viewing event.

“It’s been many, many years since the last one, and it’s going to be another six years before there’s another eclipse, so people are really interested in seeing what takes place,” she said.

She encouraged people to come out to the farm for the event because “it’s a great educational moment.”

Also, Boardman science teachers are planning a Solar Eclipse Extravaganza at Boardman Spartan Stadium.

In addition to giving away 200 pairs of solar-eclipse glasses (which must be used to safely view the event), the eclipse will be shown through a solar filter camera on a jumbo screen at the stadium.

Additionally, OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology is offering visitors the chance to make pinhole projectors, free with admission to the museum. The museum also will have a viewing event.


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Tony Armeni featured at outdoor gallery

Fellows Riverside Gardens, 123 McKinley Ave., is currently featuring the organic steel artwork of artist Tony Armeni in the outdoor gallery. Armeni, a native Ohioan and teacher at Youngstown State University, has returned to the Gardens to showcase his work. Armeni breathes life into cold, hard material to celebrate life figures, flowers, and celestial spheres. These dynamic structures stand tall, firmly planted, yet light on their feet.

This free exhibit is being displayed now through October, 2017. A Meet-the-Artist session is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday in the outdoor gallery. This is an opportunity to meet and visit with Armeni and learn about the techniques employed in his work. For more information, visit or call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330-740-7116.

View the full article at vindy.com