Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Sewage overflow work to begin in Mill Creek Park this week

Work is expected to begin in Mill Creek Park this week as part of an effort to eliminate sewage overflows that spilled into the park, contaminating the water.

Crews will begin site work on Monday, June 17, throughout the northern section of the park.

This phase of work is expected to last three to four weeks, according the a Facebook post made by the park.

Youngstown City Council recently designated $4.8 million in ARP funds to start designing an updated sewer system that will prevent waters in the park from becoming contaminated with sewage.

MS Consultants has been contracted to design and construct the system that will divert wastewater flow away from the park’s water channels.

It was previously reported that rain is the main cause of the overflows impacting the parks.

“Anytime you had a heavy rain event or significant rain event, within 24 to 48 hours you [would] find elevated E.coli levels within those stream systems,” Ryan Tekac, Mahoning County Public Health commissioner previously told 21 news.

Park drives and facilities will be open during the work.

Read the original article at WFMJ.

Interceptor project begins in Mill Creek Park

As part of Youngstown’s ongoing project to eliminate combined sanitary overflows in Mill Creek Park, soil boring equipment will be on site and operating in Mill Creek Park beginning today.

Under the direction of MS Consultants, subcontractors will be performing site work throughout the northern section of Mill Creek Park.

Park drives and facilities will remain open during the work.

This phase of work is expected to last three to four weeks.

In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly, according to a news release from the MetroParks.

Read the original article at The Vindicator.

Upgrades set at Fellows gardens, McGuffey pond

Several improvements are slated to add a bit of color — and plenty of practicality — to many people’s favorite Mill Creek Park landmark.

ne project entails upgrading the outdoor restroom at Fellows Riverside Gardens for year-round use, Justin Rogers, Mill Creek MetroParks’ planning and operations director, said after the park’s board of commissioners met Monday at the MetroParks Farm.

The work, estimated at $147,000, should get underway in the summer, though Rogers was unable to provide a timetable. To make it able to be used all year, the facility will receive a new roof and entrances; it also will be heated and insulated, Rogers said.

The restroom improvements are important also because the facility is an anchor to the nearby Elizabeth Fellows Education Building and the future revamped children’s garden, he said.

The park entered into a 75-day contract with Claysville, Pa.-based Graham Construction for the project, Rogers said.

Also Monday, Debbie Metzger, who sits on the Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens’ board, said the annual Mother’s Day plant sale last month brought in $4,175. Proceeds will go to the Youngstown Foundation, with a request the funds be used to enhance the rose garden portion of Fellows, she said.

Such a move is important because the pedigree roses are expensive to plant and require a lot of care. In addition, that section of the botanical gardens is popular among brides and others, Metzger said.

In other business, Gavin Switzer, who owns Youngstown-based Next Nature LLC, discussed with commissioners a proposal to restore a small pond at the McGuffey Wildlife Preserve in Coitsville.

The William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society contracted with Switzer’s company to “get the pond back to a deep water habitat,” Switzer said.

Specifically, the proposed restoration effort will entail using specialized equipment to dredge the body of water to remove accumulated sediment and convert it to a functional kettle bog habitat with minimal environmental impact, Switzer said.

Kettle bogs are water-filled, circular or elliptical depressions formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters that are usually deeper than they are wide. They also are typically fed by precipitation instead of streams or groundwater.

The dredging will entail five phases: assessment and planning, such as environmental-impact studies, dredging and initial habitat establishment, vegetation planting and habitat structuring, monitoring and managing to ensure ecological stability, and installing a boardwalk and signage to inform visitors about the restored habitat’s environmental and historical significance.

The ecological benefits of such a restoration will be an increased biodiversity, improved water quality and vital ecosystem components that include flood mitigation and a viable habitat for pollinating insects and other species, the proposal states.

The pond has been a source of controversy in recent years because some historical society members and others have accused the park of neglecting to properly maintain the body of water and allowing it to degrade.


Read the original article at The Vindicator.

Upgrades planned at Mill Creek MetroParks

At Mill Creek MetroParks, some important upgrades are planned for this summer.

A $260,000 upgrade will pave the way for smoother roads on Valley Drive, West Cohasset, and Lily Pond Drive. Close to half of the resurfacing project will be paid for with money from an Ohio Department of Transportation local funding opportunity grant.

“Paving will start probably midsummer. While the work is ongoing, those roads will be closed so we will detour around Mill Creek Park,” Justin Rogers, Director of Planning and Operations for Mill Creek MetroParks.

A $140,000 project will pay for a portion of the bike trail in Austintown to be repaved.

“That will take place from Kirk Road and New Road in Austintown. That is scheduled, probably midsummer,” Rogers said.

The south lot at the Golf Course will see about $200,000 in upgrades. That plan is also set to take place midsummer, include improving connections between the East Golf Hike & Bike Trail, with some park paths and improving access for walkers.

“Physical connections for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, making it safe across West Golf and around the parking lot with the connection over through the East Golf Hike and Bike Trail,” Rogers added.

Money for the parking lot and connectivity improvement project will come from the parks capital improvement fund, or taxpayers dollars.

A $140,000 project at the Fellow Riverside Gardens outdoor bathrooms will include insulation and state building code upgrades will be put in for bid again. That must be done because the bids submitted were over the allotted amount. When complete, those using the Cushwa Outdoor Education Building will be able to use those bathrooms all seasons of the year.

The year-round bathrooms in the future will also be able to be used by the future Children’s Garden redevelopment.

Money for that project will come from the parks operating budget.

The old police department that is deteriorating could be demolished in the next few weeks.

At the end of the year, the third phase of the Vickers Nature Preserve in Ellsworth Township is expected to begin. That includes a new indoor and outdoor four seasons pavilion to host events and programs. The design phase for the project is expected to take six months.

Mill Creek MetroParks believes the changes there will improve accessibility to the equestrian themed facility and hiking trails.

Read the original article at WFMJ.

New Partnership brings E-Bikes to Mill Creek Park

New partnership brings E-Bikes to Mill Creek Park.

Watch the original video at WFMJ.

Mill Creek Golf Course on WFMJ Today

Mill Creek Golf Course was featured on three segments of WFMJ Today. Click on the links below to view the segments.

Mill Creek Golf Course 1

Mill Creek Golf Course 2

Mill Creek Golf Course 3


Baby farm animal shower delights Mill Creek patrons

The weather cooperated, and several thousand animal lovers and their children gathered at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield for the annual animal baby shower on Saturday.

Children were able to pet live farm animals and learn a little bit about their lives. Animals on display included pigs, goats, baby chicks, peacocks, cows and a pair of llamas. Many of the adult animals are owned by the MetroParks Farm. The baby animals were on loan from local farmers.

Most of the visitors were families with small children, but a number of teenagers happily took part. The event was free to the public.

The baby shower has been held every year since 1992 with the exception of a couple years during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal has always been to bring people together, according to Jaime Yohman, community engagement director for the Mill Creek MetroParks.

“We want to bring families out here to the MetroParks farms and all that it has to offer, and to see all the different animals we have here on site,” Yohman said.

New features that people might be interested in include additional hiking trails and a small archery range on the farm, Yohman said.

The baby shower was staffed largely by volunteers from the community.

Seated by a metal washtub in which a half-dozen baby chicks milled about and cheeped, Ashton Albrecht, 16, a student at Canfield High School, said he volunteered because his parents used to take him to the baby shower when he was younger.

Albrecht gently lifted chicks from the tub and placed them in the hands of parents and sometimes children so they could actually see the baby animals up close.

“I just want to do something for the community,” he said.

One of the small children who held a chick in her small hands was Serenity Divencenzo, 6, who was there with her mother, Jessica, of Warren. Serenity appeared to be enchanted by the tiny, peeping animals.

“She gets to see what is going on and how the things that she eats at home are coming from all the animals she is seeing here,” Jessica said. “It’s really fascinating.”

The display in the room included a working demonstration of the chicken’s lifestyle, beginning with an incubator holding live eggs.

The rabbits on the other side of the room remained quietly in their cages as small children looked on.

Emory Close, 14, of North Benton, was another volunteer. A 4-H Ms. Junior Dairy Princess award winner, Close also volunteered to help teach about the farming lifestyle. She sat on a milking stool with children and taught them how to milk a live cow while parents took pictures with their cell phones.

“(The demonstration) shows them where their milk comes from and what they eat,” Emory said, “and shows them why it’s so good to take care of animals.”

“We have a lot of young volunteers that have come out from YSU to help us with this event,” Yohman said, “and also a lot of members from the 4-H area clubs that brought their animals. They wanted to be part of this event and we so appreciate them.”

Jimmy Frohman of Austintown brought his family to the farm in part, he said, to teach his children kindness.

“I want my kids to be compassionate towards animals and learn empathy toward animals,” he said. “I want to help them learn that all life is fragile and all animals deserve love.”

When Frohman asked his daughter, Claire, 4, what her favorite animal was from the day, she whispered very softly, “Cat,” and pointed to the facepainting of a happy kitty cat on her cheek done by MetroParks volunteers.

The baby shower also provided motorized wagon rides for $2 and a chance to interact with live cows. Children were able to walk up to the cattle and pet the animals.

Other amusements included a photo booth, fake tattoos, face painting and a gift shop.

Food was provided by several food trucks.


Read the original article at The Vindicator.

See Mill Creek’s annual farm baby shower

A special kind of baby shower happened Saturday in Canfield.

The Mill Creek MetroParks held their annual farm animal baby shower at the MetroParks Farm on Columbiana Canfield Road.

Families got a chance to see some of the new arrivals – including goats, piglets, calves and chicks – along with some of the still-expecting mother animals.

Members of the Mahoning County Junior Fair were also there to share their knowledge and animals.

“Some of the animals are here during our seasonal hours, but we do make this event unique by bringing in baby animals that are normally not here,” said Jaime Yohman, community engagement director of Mill Creek MetroParks.

If you’d like to see the animals, the farm is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

From June to October, their hours will be extended until 6 p.m.


Read the original article at WKBN.

Mill Creek MetroParks police headquarters relocation announced

The Mill Creek MetroParks Police headquarters has relocated from its Glenwood Avenue location to a new spot in Canfield.

In a statement from Mill Creek MetroParks Community Engagement Director Jaime Yohman, the police headquarters has made the move to 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road. The reason for the move is that it allows for a more centralized location, the release states.

“This move also greatly improves the office working conditions and facilities for the men and women of the MetroParks Police Department,” the release continues.

The building at 810 Glenwood Avenue which previously functioned as the office space for the police department is set to be demolished. The historical stone structure at 816 Glenwood Avenue will remain and continue to operate as a police outpost.

The release says park visitors will not be impacted or see any change in service as a result of the move.


Read the original article at WKBN.

Mill Creek Metroparks Police Department headquarters relocates, old building to be demolished

The Mill Creek Metroparks Police Department Headquarters has found a new home.

According to Mill Creek Metroparks Community Director Jaime Yohman, the headquarters has relocated from 810 Glenwood Avenue in Youngstown to 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road in Canfield.

Yohman says this move will allow Metroparks officers to be more centrally located within Mahoning County. Park visitors should not expect to see a change in service due to this move.

The police department serves 14 locations, nine townships, three cities and one village, all within over 5,000 acres of the park system in the county

The former residential building, which served as the previous headquarters will be demolished. However, the stone building structure next door will remain intact and will act as the police outpost.


Read the original article at WFMJ.