Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Golfers enjoy opening day of Mill Creek Park’s North Course

We have a good week ahead of us weather-wise for an early start to the golf season.

Many golf courses are open across the Valley, including Mill Creek Park’s North Course.

The park said more than 100 golfers took advantage of opening day on Monday and played. Workers were excited to see people out and swinging their sticks.

“If they’ve enjoyed the card pass for walking and hiking and biking and bringing their pets out all winter and all fall, when we did close down. So to be able to bring your golf clubs out here now is certainly exciting for them,” said Brian Tolnar, director of PGA Golf and Recreation.

The tentative opening date for the South Course is exactly two weeks away.

Full article at wkbn.com

Mill Creek road will open briefly

Although a portion of road in Mill Creek MetroPark has been closed, a temporary adjustment will be made so park goers can enjoy a spring milestone.

The park will permit people to travel to Daffodil Meadow from East Newport Drive and just beyond, where they will have to turn around.

The road has been closed since early 2020 after the road was found to be failing. Since then, East Newport Drive has been closed to motorists and pedestrians.

Park visitors are strongly urged to follow directional and regulatory signage as well as any barricades in the area of the road slope.

An engineering firm studied the rate at which the slope has been growing, as well as the cause of the slope.

Initially, cracks in pavement were noticed as they grew, even when the park replaced pavement.

Full article at vindy.com

Golf season underway Monday in Mill Creek Park

You know spring is in the air when Mill Creek MetroParks announces the opening date for the 2021 season at its golf courses.

The North Course at Mill Creek Golf Course will open Monday, March 22 at noon.

Hole #55 Bar & Grille will open as of Thursday, April 1.

The tentative opening date for the South Course, Practice Range & Learning Center is scheduled for Monday, April 5, weather permitting.

The James L. Wick, Jr. Recreation Area Par-3 Golf Course and batting cages are scheduled to open on Thursday, April 1.

In addition, the tennis courts and sand volleyball courts located at the Wick Recreation Area will open on Monday, April 1, between the hours of 8 a.m. through sunset, with lighted night hours from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. beginning May 29, on Memorial Day weekend.

For more information and/or to schedule tee times, call 330.740.7112 or visit our website at www.millcreekmetroparks.org

Full article at wfmj.com

Mill Creek MetroParks adjusts traffic for Daffodil Meadow visitation

Mill Creek MetroParks is providing a temporary change in traffic patterns to permit vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists the opportunity to experience Daffodil Meadow this spring.

A slope failure last year resulted in the temporary closure of a section of East Newport Drive while the planning and construction of an extensive repair project is completed.

All park users will be permitted to travel to Daffodil Meadow and slightly beyond, at which point they will be instructed to turn around.

MetroParks Police has ordered park visitors to continue to abide by the directional and regulatory signage, as well as the barricades that prevent access to the roadway slide and future project site to ensure visitor safety during the closure and duration of the project.

Full article at mahoningmatters.com

Two-way traffic opens in Mill Creek Park for easier access to Daffodil Meadow

The road leading to one of Mill Creek Park’s most popular spring attractions is now open to two-way traffic.

Signs went up on Wednesday along East Newport Drive allowing for a north and south flow of vehicles.

It will allow for easier access to Daffodil Meadow since a section of East Newport Drive north of the meadow is closed because part of the road collapsed.

The road will remain a two-way until the problem area is fixed.

MetroParks police want to remind park visitors to continue abiding by directional signage and barricades for the remainder of the project.

Full article at wkbn.com

Mill Creek MetroParks hopes to open pavilions this year

For decades people have enjoyed activities and events at Millcreek Metro Parks, but because of the pandemic much of the park was shut down due to governors orders. As spring arrives WFMJ news checks out whether extra activities will be allowed this year.

People in the region have missed an entire year of events, such as the yearly spring animal baby shower, educational camps, Halloween walks, and Mother’s Day brunch at Riverside Gardens.

But with vaccine distribution well underway and as spread of COVID-10 continues to drop in Ohio, there are hopes rentals of pavilions for receptions, reunions, and events will begin again.

The Executive Director of Millcreek Metro Parks told WFMJ news the governor’s orders extend closures until April 12th.

“We are looking to take reservations for dates that are after April 12th, with the same caveats we’ve been operating under for the past year, which is those availabilities are subject to change pending orders from the governor, Ohio Department of Health, and so on,” said Aaron Young, Executivve Director of Millcreek Metro Parks.

Mass gatherings are still banned, but events with limited capacity can take place where people can be seated, social distance and wear masks. That leaves doubts the splash pad will open later this summer, or the paddle boats.

Millcreek Metro Parks is planning in case they get a green light to provide park led programs and activities again.

Until more is known people are encouraged to enjoy the lakes, Lanterman’s Mill, the hiking and biking trails.

Young added, “We have over 47 miles of trails for people to enjoy and over 5,000 acres of property that the majority has access to, so there are plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities for people and visitors to enjoy. We hope they partake in them.”

Plus in the upcoming month you can enjoy Daffodils in bloom, or in the middle of May to early June you can take time to smell some roses at Millcreek Metro Parks Riverside Gardens.

Full article at wfmj.com

Plans made to fix collapsed areas along popular roads in Mill Creek Park

 

In August, we told you the story of Youngstown’s Brett Wilson, who got a ticket along with two friends for walking beyond a barrier on a closed stretch of Mill Creek Park’s E. Newport Drive.

The popular route has been collapsing since last spring.

We called the Mill Creek police chief on Monday to see if they were still issuing tickets but have not heard back.

That closed section of road has been an inconvenience for hikers and bikers. A lot of people want to know when it will be fixed.

“I get the emails and the phone calls regularly. We understand it’s been an inconvenience for everyone. It’s been an inconvenience for us,” said Justin Rogers, planning and operations director for Mill Creek MetroParks.

The bids have already gone out and there’s already a contractor to fix. Rogers said fixing the road will cost around $400,000.

“We think some groundwater’s causing it to slide. So what we’ll do is construct a wall on the lake side, drive some pilings down into solid rock, build that wall up, backfill and then rebuild the roadway behind it,” Rogers said.

It looks like construction will begin in late spring and hopefully, this stretch of road will be open and ready for use two to three months after that.

An area three and a half miles north, at a small stretch of E. Glacier Drive where it intersects with Glenwood Avenue, has also collapsed. Here, only one lane is closed and not the entire road. It won’t be fixed until next year.

“We’re monitoring it regularly and if it does worsen then we’ll be forced to make a decision on the road,” Rogers said.

Not only will this little stretch of road be fixed later on this year, but we also learned the entire stretch of E. Newport Drive from Shields to Kiwatha will be paved. So, this road will be virtually brand new before the year is over.

Full article at wkbn.com

Donation will help preserve park forever

Tens of thousands of readers must have perused The Vindicator’s Nov. 23 front-page story detailing the importance of endowments that help fund noteworthy Mill Creek MetroParks icons, assisting in their upkeep and even their existence.

“Icons abound while driving through Mill Creek MetroParks,” read the lead of the story, written by Vindicator reporter Ashley Fox. It went on to outline some recognizable examples: the lily pond, the covered bridge at Lanterman’s Mill and the silver suspension bridge, also known as the Cinderella Bridge.

To help give more than 15 so-called icons around the park official names, Chris Litton, development director, had helped organize an endowment program.

“Endowments can take in any dollar amount,” Litton said in the story. “That dollar amount stays whole in perpetuity.”

Large-dollar gifts, such as $250,000 and above, even can bring naming opportunities.

These dollars go into a general endowment fund, which would finish capital improvements at Ford Nature Center, Litton said in the story.

The article probably was interesting and informative for many readers who saw it. But apparently it resonated with one area resident a bit more than it did with many others.

Explaining the idea originated from The Vindicator story, a Mahoning Valley resident last week wrote a check for $750,000. The funds will go into a general endowment fund and help finish capital improvements at Ford Nature Center, first gifted to the park in 1968 and opened as headquarters for nature education in 1974. The gift is unrestricted, so it can be used for any purpose.

A portion of the funding will help complete the financing for the Ford Nature Center Redevelopment Project, a revitalization project with a price tag of some $3.5 million. The rest will be disbursed where necessary, such as being set aside in the endowment fund, which will help maintain and preserve areas throughout the park.

“The gift does allow us to complete the Ford Nature project,” Litton said, noting now the project will be financially sound one year ahead of schedule.

Endowments, Litton explained, are growing in popularity because the money stays whole and will always be there to take care of the park.

Indeed we salute any donor who gives from the heart because he / she understands the value of preserving the park and its beauty in perpetuity. This particular donation is especially noteworthy, however. That’s because the donor didn’t do it for recognition or for posterity.

We know this because the donor has been adamant about remaining anonymous.

That tells us the donor did it because he or she believes maintaining Mill Creek Park and the Ford Nature Center is the right thing to do.

For that, we salute the anonymous donor. While his or her name shall remain a secret, the good deed must not. Rather, it should be celebrated and enjoyed by countless park and nature center visitors for many, many years to come.

Full article at vindy.com

Anonymous donor gifts Mill Creek MetroParks $750K

Mill Creek MetroParks has received what’s being called a “transformational” gift.

An anonymous Mahoning Valley donor has gifted the park $750,000. The gift is unrestricted, which means it is given for any purpose.

A portion of the funding will help complete the financing for the Ford Nature Center Redevelopment Project, a revitalization project with a price tag of $3.5 million.

“The donor has wished to remain anonymous to this point. Although we do anticipate in the future some sort of acknowledgment to the family but at this point, they would like to remain anonymous,” said Aaron Young, executive director of Mill Creek MetroParks.

Young says with this donation, park users should look forward to continued improvement to roads and trails throughout the MetroParks.

Full article at wkbn.com

Mill Creek Park Nature Center gets ‘transformational gift’

Mill Creek MetroParks has received what’s being called a “transformational” gift.

An anonymous Mahoning Valley donor has gifted the park $750,000, said Chris Litton, development director.

“It is transformational from the standpoint of what it allows us to do in 2021,” Litton said.

What prompted the large gift was a Nov. 23, 2020, article in The Vindicator, explaining an endowment program set up at the MetroParks by Litton. “It’s a story the public needed to know. It’s their park,” he said.

The donor prefers to stay behind the scenes.

Across the board, everyone at the park system is thankful for the gift.

“We are truly grateful for the generous contributions of those who truly appreciate and support the mission of the MetroParks and its impact on Mahoning County,” said Executive Director Aaron Young.

The donor’s financial planner reached out to the park, stating the person wished to make a donation to the MetroParks Foundation.

The gift is unrestricted, which means it is given for any purpose, Litton said.

A portion of the funding will help complete the financing for the Ford Nature Center Redevelopment Project, a revitalization project with a pricetag of some $3.5 million.

The rest will be disbursed where necessary, such as being set aside in the endowment fund, which will help maintain and preserve areas throughout the park.

“The gift does allow us to complete the Ford Nature project,” Litton said, noting that now the project will be financially sound one year ahead of schedule.

“We had budgeted taking in campaign funds throughout 2021 to fund that campaign,” which will continue, Litton said.

Any money generated above the project cost will alleviate taxpayers funding, Litton said.

“It’s a situation where we didn’t expect to be a year ahead of fundraising,” he said.

Usually, financial gifts to the park may result in naming opportunities. There are more than 15 “icons” around the park that do not have a family name attached to them, such as the popular silver suspension bridge, also known as the Cinderella Bridge.

Contributions to endowment programs, such as that at Mill Creek Park, stay whole in perpetuity.

Work on the stone mansion that is the nature center, which was built in 1913, is being completed in phases with an anticipated finish date in the spring or summer of 2022.

The house was donated to the park in 1968 and in 1974 opened as the headquarters for nature education.

Full article at vindy.com