Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Children explore the magic of plants at Mill Creek Park

Mill Creek Metro Parks hosted it’s annual Trekkers Summer Camp for students ages 10-12.

According to Naturalist Lynn Zocolo this year’s theme was Harry Potter’s Herbology and Potions.

“They had a blast,” Zocolo said. “At the end of the week they were all friends.”

During the week children gathered at Fellows Riverside Gardens starting at 9 a.m.

Zocolo said that they had plant and magic based activities planned every day.

“The students were broken into three houses, the oaks, the sassafras and the maples,” Zocolo said. “They competed all week to win the house cup.”

Children spent the week walking through the “enchanted forest,” learning about healing and dangerous plants and event planting their own herb garden.

At the end of the week, Zocolo said that the group spent the final day playing competitive games and celebrating with a feast.

“We spent the whole week learning, so today we are going to take a break from that and focus on having fun,” she said.

The group also celebrated with a trip to the Log Cabin for lunch and a boat ride on Lake Glaicer.

Full article at vindy.com

Rule change increases fishing area at Mill Creek

The Mill Creek MetroParks Board of Park Commissioners approved a fishing rule change at a board meeting Monday.

Under the new rule, fishing in Park District waters is permitted in accordance with Ohio Division of Wildlife regulations from March 1 through November 30.

Fishing will now be permitted in all creeks, streams, lakes and ponds unless otherwise prohibited by the Park District.

Under the previous rule, fishing was only permitted in waters south of Lake Newport Dam, south of Lake Glacier Dam to the Lake Cohasset Dam, and Yellow Creek without special permission.

Full article at wfmj.com

Effort to connect Ohio River and Lake Erie with bike trail still ongoing

WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

We’ve reported on it before – the effort to create roughly 100 miles of bike trail connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

It’s a project nearly three decades in the making. So how close is the trail to being complete?

An updated map of the plan that stretches through Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties shows great progress, but there are still some holes.

The northern point, at Lake Erie in Ashtabula County, is the final leg for the Ashtabula Metro Parks. The leg is about 4.25 miles and is slated to be done this fall. The county park has already completed more than 27 miles.

In Trumbull County, The Metro Parks have completed more than 24 miles. Their final leg is about 4 miles and is also already in the works. The goal is to have the portion completed in 2022 but, officials haven’t started the process of acquiring land. Which is exactly where Mahoning County is tied up in the process.

The Mill Creek Metro Parks have completed several miles, yet are in the process of filing potentially 13 lawsuits to get the land they need for their final 6.5 miles.

The hold up is a group of residents who don’t want the trail in their backyards.

“A person on the bike trail can literally stop their bicycle and physically, from me to that women right there, look into my house. That is appalling to me,” said one landowner during a meeting in Green Township.

21 News asked Mill Creek’s Executive Director why the park felt strong enough to take legal action.

“You can find in all areas that have bikeways and trails and connectors that it’s millions of dollars in economic activity from the recreation side and I don’t see this trail as being any different,” said Executive Director Aaron Young.

The plan is to begin construction on Mahoning County’s final leg next year, but that could be delayed depending on the legal process.

Meanwhile, in Columbiana County is the largest gap in the project. The Columbiana County Park District has completed 12 miles of trail reaching Lisbon. But, from there it drops off.

There’s roughly 25 more miles needed to get to the Ohio River and no real plan in place to get there.

“The number one obstacle is still finding the exact route and getting that route approved, as far as either buying properties or having easements or whatever,” said Tom Butch with the park.

So, will the final stretches of this project get done?

Those tasked with the job say, yes. A project nearly thirty years in the making, they say it may take another ten and it may cost more than anticipated but, this trail is making it’s way from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

System update comes to Mill Creek’s lily pond

A large update has been recently made to the Lily Pond at the Mill Creek MetroParks.

A new aeration system has been installed at the facility.

There are three separate diffuser stations in the water, which are all powered from one compressor on the shore.

The main purpose is to circulate the pond property, which will increase dissolved healthy bacteria growth. It should also help prevent fish kill like what was seen in July 2015.

“Nothing is fool-proof, but it will greatly reduce the risk by keeping the pond circulated at all times with proper levels of dissolved oxygen. You shouldn’t have a problem like that that was caused by a depletion of oxygen,” said Nick Derico from Mill Creek MetroParks.

The project has been talked about for years, but the big challenge was getting power to the lily pond.

Soggy conditions didn’t stop AJGA golfers

The qualifying round of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation Junior All-Star was canceled Sunday due to flooding.

Rain reappeared on Tuesday, threatening completion of the first round of the tournament.

But after nearly an hour, the rain subsided and play resumed.

The field of more than 100 golfers started at 7 a.m. at Mill Creek Golf Course’s North venue. Tuesday’s round didn’t finish until just after 9 p.m.

Jackson Finney of Louisville, Ky., shot a 4-under 65 to lead the boys.

Kevin Zhao (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Topher Reed (Fairview Park) each shot a 67. Garrett Kessler (North Caldwell, N.J.) and Andres Barraza (Parkland, Fla.) both finished with a 68 to round out the top five scorers.

Emma Chen of Derwood, Md., leads the girls standings with an even 69. Chen led at 4 under prior to play being suspended.

“[The lead] is kind of unexpected, to be honest,” Chen said. “It’s good. I was pretty wet out there but I was able to chip and putt pretty well. That saved me a lot.”

Hoi Ki Lau (Hong Kong) and Kaia Wu (Princeton, N.J.) both shot a 70. Julie Shin (Brambleton, Va.) finished with a 71 and Anna Ritter (New Albany) had a 72.

Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek’s PGA professional, estimated that the course saw 12 inches of rain over the last two weeks.

After the rain delay, he joked that one more inch and the course might get swept away.

An American Junior Golf Association and Mill Creek staff assessed the course Tuesday at 6 a.m.

Damp conditions caused the course to play long at the start of the round. Balls off the tee and iron shots would dig themselves into some of the fairways.

Sophia Sarrazin, from Westport, Conn., was hitting her second shot on the 18th hole was the AJGA crew blew an air horn to signal stoppage of play.

“All the ball just stopped or drives wouldn’t go as far — you had to club up every few shots,” Sarrazin said.

Sarrazin is tied for 14th with a 76. She said the front nine gave her problems, but she gained some ground in the final nine holes.

“There was just so much water everywhere,” Sarrazin said. “You couldn’t chunk a shot or it just wouldn’t work.”

Landon Underhill traveled from Aylmer, Ontario, to compete in the tournament. He had just made the turn when play stopped. He said the rain has been a little frustrating.

“For sure it is, for sure,” said Underhill, how finished with a 71. “But it’s still a great tournament, and I’m happy to be here even though the weather didn’t [co-operate].”

The extra rain didn’t help halfway through the afternoon group’s round. After the storm, Mill Creek’s crew rolled the greens and took plungers to several cups to clear them of water.

Mill Creek’s only water hazard is the creek that runs through both courses. But suddenly golfers were greeted to small ponds along the fairways.

“Hole 9 was kind of iffy because there was a puddle, a really big puddle in the middle of the fairway,” Chen said. “And there’s a creek, and the creek was kinda flooding and overflowing.”

Tolnar said the course should have plenty of time to drain the water overnight.

The first and second rounds are split into morning and afternoon groups. The two groups will swap tee times today, with Tuesday’s second group starting at 7 a.m. and the first beginning at 1 p.m.

The field will be cut to 70 following today’s round. The final round will be played on Thursday.

Chen wants to keep the same mentality she had on Tuesday when she tees off in the second round.

“[I will] just try to stay in the same mental state that I’m in today,” Chen said. “I was pretty focused today. I hope to remain like that in the next two rounds.

Full article at vindy.com

Mill Creek officers honored for rescuing service dog

Three Mill Creek MetroPark Officers were recognized at the Thursday’s park board meeting for their quick work saving a service dog stuck in a creek.

Sergeant Rob Vukovich and officers Alex Wharry and Brent Wright came to the rescue when the dog, named Zena, fell 28 feet into the rushing water.

The dog belonged to 10-year-old Tristian Zack of Niles who has special needs.

Zena was not hurt at all, and the whole community is thankful for their service.

Full article at wfmj.com

Mill Creek parking lots scheduled to close for improvements

Starting Thursday, several parking lots in Mill Creek Park will be closed for a few days.

The park will be putting down pavement markings.

Lots scheduled to close:

– Slippery Rock Pavilion
– Wick Recreation area
– Yellow Creek Park in Struthers
– Kirkmere Spur

Even though the lots are closed, the facilities will still be open.

Full article at wkbn.com

Nature’s Graces and Rural Places at Weller Gallery

Starting June 8, visitors to Fellows Riverside Gardens can view the Nature’s Graces and Rural Places photography exhibit.

The free exhibit features work by regional photographer, Jim Trombo, and includes images on canvas. Trombo has lived his entire life in northeastern Ohio, and his work displays everything from rural locations and picturesque views to detailed compositions.

The exhibit is presented by Mill Creek MetroParks and will be displayed in the Weller Gallery at Fellow Riverside from June 8 to Aug. 11, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Full article at businessjournaldaily.com

Flooding prompts Mill Creek Golf Course to close until weekend

The Valley is still reeling from Tuesday’s severe weather that caused major flooding.

Flooding near Mill Creek Park was bad enough for officials to close the Mill Creek Golf Course until the weekend.

According to officials with the golf course, the course sustained damage including a downed tree and other debris that led to the closure.

Officials told 21 News that it would be tough to get golfers around the course.

The course will take a few days to clean up but officials believe that the course should open back up this weekend.

Full article at wfmj.com