Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Mill Creek MetroParks receives $200,000 donation

The Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation has received a $200,000 donation.

The James & Coralie Centofanti Charitable Foundation contributed $100,000 to the Ford Nature Center Campaign and their gift was matched by the Sand Hill Foundation.

The Ford Nature Center Campaign was launched in July 2018 to renovate the center.

According to the release, Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation has raised over $1 million since July and has received the challenge grant for every dollar up to $1 million from Sand Hill Foundation.

Planned upgrades to the Ford Nature Center aim to provide visitors with a more hands-on experience.

“This gift will have a tremendous impact on our continued effort to educate generations of children and adults about the wonders of the natural world through the Ford Nature Center” said Chris Litton, Director of Development for Mill Creek MetroParks.

The Board of Directors of The James & Coralie Cenofanti Foundation says, “The foundation is pleased to support The Campaign for the Ford Nature Center to future the mission of our Mill Creek MetroParks. James Centofanti, a recipient of the 2009 Volney Rogers Legacy Award for his support of the Park to preserve land, would be pleased to participate in this campaign.”

Full article at wfmj.com

Ford Nature Center Campaign Receives $200K

A $100,000 gift from The James & Coralie Centofanti Charitable Foundation will be matched by the Sand Hill Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., for a total $200,000 toward the renovation of the Ford Nature Center at Mill Creek MetroParks.

The Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation launched the campaign for the $3 million project in July 2018. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $1 million toward its goal and received the matching challenge grant for every dollar raised up to $1 million from Sand Hill Foundation.

“This gift will have a tremendous impact on our continued effort to educate generations of children and adults about the wonders of the natural world through the Ford Nature Center,” said Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks director of development.

Planned upgrades will allow Ford Nature Center to continue serving as the Mahoning Valley’s primary resource on nature education and provide visitors with more hands-on educational experiences in the outdoors through the use of nature classrooms, learning labs and exhibits.

“Our goal in renovating this early 20th century structure to a 21st century learning center is to provide a portal for individuals of all ages and abilities to learn and enjoy the natural space in a very seamless fashion,” Litton said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Full article at businessjournaldaily.com

Mill Creek golf course gets $300K for repairs, expansion

A local foundation is donating $300,000 to the golf course at Mill Creek MetroParks.

The Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation presented the check on Wednesday morning.

The money will be used to pay for repairs and maintenance, as well as future expansion and improvements.

“When you look at this endowed fund, the one thing it’ll do is help create and maintain a space that provides enjoyment, exercise, leadership and, again, just people getting together and having fun,” said Mike Senchak, with the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation.

Park directors unveiled a ceremonial rock near the Club House commemorating the donation.

View the full article at wkbn.com

$300K golf course endowment created

The Mill Creek MetroParks Golf Course was added to the list of park venues with a named endowment, thanks to a contribution from the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation.

The establishment of the $300,000 endowment was announced at a news conference Wednesday morning at the course.

Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation kicked off a campaign at the start of 2018 to establish endowments that would fund longterm maintenance of areas in the MetroParks. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $1 million in endowed funds.

The other areas in Mill Creek MetroParks with named endowments are the Joanne F. Beeghly Rose Garden, the Collier Family MetroParks Bikeway and the MetroParks Land Preservation and Conservation Endowment.

“The Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation Golf Course Endowment will greatly assist the MetroParks’ efforts to provide a world class facility for all who enjoy the game of golf,” said Mill Creek MetroParks executive director Aaron Young.

After the Mahoning Valley Hospital was sold in 2007, the non-profit was converted into a sunset foundation, meaning that it will cease to exist in the next three to four years.

“We’re doing our last round of big announcements, and we’re very excited about this one,” said foundation president and CEO Mike Senchak.

The endowment will ensure the long-term maintenance of the MetroParks golf venues and fund capital improvements for the park’s golf venues.

Senchak hopes to promote year-round golf play, since the existing venues at the MetroParks are limited by season. He also intends to increase the appeal of golf in the Valley to different age groups, including young people.

View the full article at vindy.com

Syrup Sales Support Mill Creek Wick Recreation Area

A donation from the Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association has created an endowment to support the Wick Recreation Area at Mill Creek MetroParks.

The $4,387 gift was funded by the sale of maple syrup made by neighborhood group members using sugar maple trees planted in the Wick Recreation Area along McCollum Road.

“The Rocky Ridge Neighbors are thrilled to contribute to the beginnings of a unique sustainable legacy that has been created by the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation,” said John Slanina, association president, in a statement.

“Just as community leaders over 65 years ago planted the sugar maple grove in the Wick Recreation Area, which residents enjoy today, we hope this endowment will grow and provide support to future generations of parkgoers.”

This year’s batch of Mill Creek maple syrup is now available for purchase at the Fellows Riverside Gardens for $15 per bottle.

Pictured: Members of the Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association donate proceeds from the sale of maple syrup to create an endowment at the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

View the full article at businessjournaldaily.com

Metro Park Farms shows off newest members

The Mill Creek Metro Parks hosted a special Tales for Tots event featuring baby animals.

Two to three-years-olds and their families traveled to the Metro Park Farms to see the newest members of the farm community.

Naturalist Brenda Markley hosted the event which was attended by more than 11 children.

“We want to show case spring coming to the park by spot lighting our youngest farm animals,” Markley said.

To kick off the event Markley read the group “Sounds on the Farm.”

Children assisted in the reading of the book by echoing the sounds farm animals make as Markley read.

After reading about the animals children and their families took a trip to the barn where they got to meet them.

Children were able to pet ducklings and rabbits as Markley held them.

Community members were even able to meet a 2-month-old pig, Peter Porker, who is brand new to the farm.

“We just have a lot of new members of the farm community,” Markley said.

The Metro Parks Farm is open weekly for community members who want to come and see the animals themselves.

“We are always excited for this time of year,” Markley said. “It’s when the farm really comes alive.”

View the full article at vindy.com

Maple syrup bottlers hand over proceeds to support Wick Recreation Area

A neighborhood group in Youngstown famous for their locally-produced maple syrup is the first to contribute to a new fund set up to support the Wick Recreation Area.

The Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association presented the Wick Recreation Area fund with a donation of $4,387 from the sale of their 2019 maple syrup harvest.

The syrup is unique to Youngstown because the all-volunteer team utilizes the Sugar House with the Wick Recreation Area to make the syrup.

Bottles of the syrup are $15 and sold in the gift shop at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

“The Rocky Ridge Neighbors are thrilled to contribute to the beginnings of a unique sustainable legacy that has been created by the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation,” said John Slanina, president of the Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association. “Just as community leaders over 65 years ago planted the sugar maple grove in the Wick Recreation Area which residents enjoy today, we hope this endowment will grow and provide support to future generations of parkgoers.”

The Wick Recreation Endowment is one of several targeted endowments launched by the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation.

View the full article at wkbn.com

Art exhibit featuring local painters on display at Mill Creek MetroParks

A free art exhibit featuring local painters is on display in the Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown.

Jaime Yohman, community engagement director for Mill Creek MetroParks, announced Thursday that the display As Did Monet, Artists Paint the Landscape will be on display through June 2 during normal operating hours.

Fellows Riverside Gardens is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed Mondays.

This exhibit features over 50 works from local artists who paint in the Plein Air style.

Plein Air is the French term for open air painting.

These Plein Air style artists may be seen painting the landscapes throughout surrounding counties. They are a meet-up outdoor artist group that originated out of the Davis YMCA art studio.

Some of their favorite places are Mill Creek MetroParks, Beaver Creek State Park, Poland forest, sunflower fields, farms, old villages, apple orchards, ponds, and creeks.

A Meet the Artist session will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

For more information on this exhibit and the Meet the Artist session, visit Fellows Riverside Gardens or call 330-740-7116.

View the full article at wfmj.com

Stuffed animals spend the night

Mill Creek Metro Parks hosted its first stuffed animal sleep over on March 15.

Nine children ages 5-10 attended the event with an adult, and their favorite stuffed friend.

Lynn Zocolo, a metro parks employee, said the event was a fun way for children to engage with the Metro Parks Farm.

Zocolo, along with Brenda Markley and other parks employees, hosted the event.

“It’s a very cute idea, we do something special with them after the kids leave for the night,” Zocolo said.

Children enjoyed snacks with their stuffed friends while they watched “The Cat and the Hat.”

After the movie, children tucked their stuffed friend in for the night.

According to Zocolo that’s when the magic began.

“We have our magical leprechaun helpers coming around and the Cat and the Hat stirring up trouble, none of the stuffed animals got any sleep that night,” Zocolo said.

When children returned for breakfast the following morning they were able to wake up their stuffed friend.

The received a photo booklet of all of the fun things their friend did at the sleep over the night before.

Stuffed animals were seen playing follow the leader, raiding the fridge for snacks and staying up way past their bed time.

“It’s just a very fun thing. A lot of the libraries have held similar events and we just thought it would be a great addition to the park,” Zocolo said.

For more information on upcoming park events, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

View the full article at vindy.com