Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Nature center praised for upgrades

Ford Nature Center’s redevelopment project is among the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association’s 2022 annual Awards of Excellence winners.

Mill Creek MetroParks’ Ford center project placed second in the “capital improvement — $2.5 million and up” category of the competition.

These awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio.

“We are honored to be recognized for this capital improvement project and the vision of bringing enhanced nature education to the community while maintaining the historical and physical presence of the Ford Nature Center,” said Aaron Young, Mill Creek MetroParks executive director.

“With the redevelopment project completed, we are looking to put the finishing touches on the new exhibits and unveiling them to the public very soon.”

The redevelopment project’s main objective is to better serve nature education needs of the community. This was reached through improving, upgrading and expanding the facility’s function, all while maintaining its historical and physical presence.

Reconfiguration of interior spaces was needed to enhance and expand public programming with new and improved interpretive and interactive exhibits, interchangeable displays, and new wayfinding signage.

Improved accessibility was also a prominent change.

The grounds of the Ford Nature Center now strengthen the critical educational and recreational link between Mill Creek Park and the surrounding neighborhood. The connections between nature and humankind are on display both throughout the exterior and interior spaces of the center, officials said.

A new rooftop garden was installed above the new basement exhibit hall. A new wildflower meadow incorporating more than two dozen native flowers and grasses can be viewed from numerous perspectives.

Additionally, the formal landscape incorporated native plant species throughout all of the beds including the Ohio woodland garden and bird viewing area.

The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association strives to provide quality parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio’s natural resources, positively impacting local economies and health and wellness of its citizens.

Mill Creek Park was established in 1891 by Volney Rogers as the first park district in Ohio. In 1989, the diverse lands now known as Mill Creek MetroParks officially became a metropolitan park district. The mission of Mill Creek MetroParks is to provide park, recreational, educational, and open space facilities of regional significance.


Read the original article at The Vindicator.

Road work to limit access to portions of Mill Creek MetroParks

Editor’s note: The headline of this story has been corrected to better describe access to the park during road work. We regret the error.

Work to improve and resurface a park drive in Mill Creek MetroParks will begin on Tuesday.

The northern section of East Newport Drive between Kreider’s Entrance and Kiwatha Drive will be closed to all vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Access to the East Newport Boat Launch and Daffodil Meadow will be prohibited.

Work to be conducted includes cleaning and planing of existing asphalt surfaces and placement of new asphalt pavement courses.

The closure is expected to last about two weeks. In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly.

Read the original article at WKBN.

YSU students to plant over 1,600 trees at local park

On Thursday, Youngstown State University students will be planting 1,650 trees at Mill Creek MetroParks Collier Reserve.

According to a press release, the yearly project is part of the YSU Legacy Forests’ effort to reduce greenhouse gases by planting micro-forests in the Mahoning Valley.

YSU said that the goal is to plant one tree for every incoming YSU freshman. This planting represents a portion of the trees honoring the 2022 freshmen class.

The group partners with Mill Creek MetroParks to mitigate the climate crisis.


Read the original article at WKBN.

Tree planting planned at Collier Preserve in Mill Creek Metroparks Thursday

Mill Creek Metroparks is teaming up with the YSU Legacy Forest Committee to plant 1,650 trees at the Collier Preserve in Mill Creek Metroparks on Thursday, November 17.

The event is part of an ongoing reforestation program at the Collier Reserve to help to reduce the effects of habitat loss and climate change in the Mahoning Valley.

The trees will begin being planted at noon on Thursday.


Read the original article at WFMJ.

Mill Creek Park seeks food, beverage vendor for Wick Warming House

Mill Creek Metroparks has big plans for building that once served as a place for ice skaters to warm up and sip from a mug of hot cocoa.

The park board this week announced that it is looking for vendors to serve food and beverages at the Wick Recreation Area, including what is still known by many as the Warming House.

The park is in the process of renovating the building to include space for varied public and private use.

The Wick Snack Hut will be inside the Warming House, catering to food and beverage needs of recreational leagues and those attending the Morley Concert Series.

The food operation will serve several children’s playground areas including a wet playground, Par-3 golf course, tennis courts, volleyball courts, baseball fields, softball fields, Dek hockey and a small banquet/party room.

The Wick Warming House Renovations are expected to be completed in 2023.

Completed proposals are to be submitted by November 30, 2022.

Read the original article at WFMJ.

Mill Creek MetroParks accepting vendor proposals for rec area

Officials with Mill Creek MetroParks are looking for a vendor to oversee the food and beverage operation at the Wick Recreation Area.

The station will be located inside the Wick Warming House — where renovations will be completed sometime next year.

The deadline for proposals is Nov. 30.


Read the original article at WKBN.

Mill Creek MetroParks Projects Progressing

The Ford Nature Center redevelopment project is wrapping up, while the East Hike and Bike Trail project is just getting started.

Watch the video on WFMJ.

Next phase of bike trail to start as 3rd phase goes through court

Phase II of the Mill Creek MetroParks East Park Hike and Bike Trail is getting started.

Beginning Nov. 1, a staging area will be set up in the overflow parking lot near Lanterman’s Mill, but the lot will remain open for public use.

Phase II of the plan is a continuation of a project to increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians as they travel through the East Park Corridor. It includes an 8-foot wide paved asphalt trail that extends from US-224 in Boardman Township to Old Furnace Road in Youngstown. The work should take about 60 days.

Phase III of the project, which will extend the trail into Green Township, is making its way through the court system. The Ohio Supreme Court is hearing an appeal by the Board of Commissioners of the Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District after a lower court ruled that it can not claim eminent domain in using property owned by Diane Less for the trail.

Less is one of 13 landowners whose property is needed for the trail.

The appeal was filed May 5 and was accepted by the Ohio Supreme Court Sept. 14. No further court dates have been set.


Read the original article at WKBN.

Phase Two work to begin on Hike & Bike Trail in Mill Creek Park

Work is scheduled to get under way Tuesday on Phase Two of the East Park Hike & Bike Trail in Mill Creek Park.

Crews will be clearing land, excavating, and pavement work along a new trail parallel to East Park Drive just north of Canfield Road.

The project is a continuation of work done three years ago to allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel through the East Park Corridor in Youngstown and Boardman.

A portion of the Lanterman’s Mill Overflow parking lot will be used by the contractor for staging equipment but will remain open for use by the public.

No roads, trails, programs, special events or rentals will be impacted by the temporary closures.

The project is expected to last approximately sixty days in total, barring any inclement weather that would delay or prolong the anticipated project schedule.


Read the original article at WFMJ.

Mercy Health Foundation golf tournament continues to be financial success for Valley

A local golf tournament at Mill Creek Park is continuing to be a financial success for the Mahoning Valley.

The Mercy Health Foundation’s American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Junior All-Star event and AJGA preview events took place at Mill Creek Golf Course in late June.

The tournaments hosted 276 junior competitors including eight junior players who earned their spot in a Sunday regional qualifier event for the Junior All-Star event.

This year alone, the tournament had an economic impact of $408,097 in the Mahoning Valley and a total of $2,227,491 since its inception in 2016. This impact includes lodging for families and AJGA representatives, rental cars, dining and entertainment spending.

In addition, an $8,950 donation was made between the Mill Creek Metroparks Foundation and the AJGA Ace Grant, which came from the money raised for the AJGA tournament and Junior Amateur event held on the Monday prior to the main event.

The AJGA has raised a total of $59,950 for charities and has represented players from all 50 states, as well as 29 different countries.


Read the original article at WFMJ.