Ohio Local Parks Generate $3,456,029,725 in Economic Activity

A new report issued by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) demonstrates the vast economic impact of our nation’s local parks. According to the report, operations and capital spending by Ohio local parks was responsible for $3,456,029,725 in economic activity and supported 30,005 jobs.

Developed in partnership with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, the report shows that nationally local parks generate more than $154 billion in economic activity and support more than 1.1 million jobs from the operations and capital spending in 2015. The top 10 states with the highest economic impact in 2015 were:

  • California — $15.9 billion
  • Illinois — $10.6 billion 
  • Texas — $7.7 billion
  • Florida — $7.2 billion
  • New York — $5.2 billion
  • Colorado — $4.0 billion
  • Ohio — $3.4 billion
  • Virginia — $3.2 billion
  • North Carolina — $2.7 billion
  • Washington — $2.6 billion 

“This report demonstrates the vast economic impact of local parks nationwide and for Ohio to be in the top 10 is very exciting,” says Aaron Young, Executive Director at Mill Creek MetroParks. “Our park system continues to strive towards its mission of providing park, recreational, educational, and open space facilities of regional significance.

“Parks provide tremendous health and environmental benefits; however, they are also powerful engines of economic activity,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “This report demonstrates why policymakers and elected officials at all levels of government should prioritize park and recreation funding in communities everywhere. The impact of these investments is huge.”

Dr. Terry Clower, lead investigator for the study, observes: “Local and regional park systems are growing in economic importance, not only as generators of jobs and local business opportunity, but as major contributors to local quality of life.” Clower further notes that quality of life and the availability of recreation amenities is increasingly important for attracting and retaining workers and employers, which extends the economic impacts of park and recreation spending beyond what is captured in the current study.

Public support for parks and recreation is strong. The 2017 NRPA Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey found 92 percent of Americans agree parks and recreation are important local government services (comparable to police/fire/schools/transportation). Moreover, 85 percent of Americans seek high-quality park and recreation amenities when choosing a new place to live. To access the survey results, click here

To access the report, visit www.nrpa.org/ParkEconReport.

To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.  

Notice of March Board Meeting

A Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018, at 6 p.m., in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, on Rt. 46, in Canfield. The agenda will be available after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Mill Creek MetroParks Head Professional recognized by the PGA of America

Mill Creek MetroParks Head Professional, Andy Santor, becomes a Certified PGA Professional in the PGA of America. The Certified Professional Program (2.0) is a valuable achievement in a learning strategy aimed at improving PGA Professionals proficiency and advancing facility opportunities. The program is the PGA of America’s career enhancing educational curriculum that supports the goals of the PGA members who are committed to continuously improving their business skills to meet the increasing demands of the golf industry. The PGA of America currently offers four certification career paths: Player Development, Golf Operations, Golf Facility Management and Teaching & Coaching. Each career path consist of 35+ business courses, industry related project and a thesis capstone paper submission for program completion.

“I’m extremely excited to offer the new skills I’ve recently acquired in the PGA Certified Teaching & Coaching Education program at Mill Creek this season. This will give us the ability to offer unique, expanded and cutting edge instructional services moving forward. In addition, it will help us keep our programs fresh and inviting as we look to continue the growth and popularity of our sport in the Mahoning Valley,” says Andy Santor, Head Professional. This makes Santor a member of a very limited and elite group of PGA golf professionals that are certified in the country for Teaching & Coaching by the PGA of America.

Mill Creek MetroParks Road Closures

The following roads in Mill Creek Park will be closed to vehicular traffic as well as cyclists and pedestrians from approximately 6:30 a.m. until Noon on Sunday, March 4, 2018 for the Youngstown Road Runners Club Distance Classic Half Marathon:


• New Cross Drive 

• Bears Den Drive

• Cross Drive

• West Drive

• Memorial Hill Drive

• West Glacier Drive

• Robinson Hill Drive

• West Cohasset Drive

• High Drive

• Chestnut Hill Drive

• East Park Drive

• Valley Drive

• East Glacier Drive


Always use caution when driving on MetroParks roads as many of these roads are also used by pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians and bicyclists should be reminded to also use caution and be aware of vehicular traffic when on these roads.

Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meeting

The Environment Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners will meet on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 1 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield.

Notice of February Board Meeting

A Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018, at 6 p.m., in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, in Canfield, on Rt. 46. The agenda will be available after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Twice Loved Book Sale at Fellows Riverside Gardens

Peruse the tables in the Maxine Antonucci Horticulture Library for much loved books on gardening, cooking, crafts, nature, and more. There will also be magazines for sale. All proceeds benefit the Maxine Antonucci Horticulture Library at Fellows Riverside Gardens. The sale runs February 17 through February 25 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at Fellows Riverside Gardens, open Tuesdays through Sundays. Cash or check only. For questions and more information, call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116 or visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

Canfield Joint Fire District Ice Rescue Training to take place at MetroParks Farm

On Saturday, February 3, 2018, from approximately Noon – 4 pm and Monday, February 5, from approximately 5 pm – 10 pm, the Canfield Joint Fire District will be conducting ice rescue training at the pond at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield. In the event there is a cancellation, the makeup date will be February 12, 2018 from approximately 5 pm – 10 pm.

Mill Creek MetroParks presents Jewels of Winter Orchid Exhibit

Mill Creek MetroParks will be hosting the Jewels of Winter, a wonderful celebration and display of orchids at Fellows Riverside Gardens during their normal hours of operation from February 6 – March 11, 2018. Orchids are the crown jewels of the plant world, full of color and allure. Let them dazzle you with their brilliance and splendor! Bring your camera, as there will be a kaleidoscope of flowers to photograph. Fellows Riverside Gardens is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For questions and more information, please call 330.740.7116.

Local Runner Raises Money for Mill Creek MetroParks Trails

Niles resident, Bo Marchionte, had a vision 20 years ago to run every day without missing a day. He ran in the park 90% of the time through all the weather elements logging 10 miles or more on most days. With just 2 weeks to go until his 20 year anniversary date of January 4, 2018, his wife Wendy and longtime friend Tony Perrone wanted to do something special to mark the day. With Perrone’s expertise in fund raising they decided to raise money and make a donation to the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation in honor of Bo’s love for the trails in Mill Creek. Also, the Primanti Brothers, Niles location, held a fund raising event from January 4 – 7 where a percentage of sales were donated. In just 2 short week’s donations from family, friends and local businesses tallied up to $5,258.91, breaking their original goal of $2,500. On January 18, 2018, Marchionte, along with family and friends, presented a check in the amount of $5,258.91 to serve as the first contribution to the Trail Endowment Fund at Mill Creek MetroParks. “I love the park and running the trails there. I am thrilled the contributions on my behalf will be the kickoff of this endowment”, says Marchionte.

“I am amazed at the long-term effort and dedication brought forth by Bo. We are honored to accept this donation on his behalf. With the MetroParks newly established endowment fund, this donation will aide in the continued enhancement of the MetroParks trail system for the enjoyment of our park visitors,” says Aaron Young, Executive Director of Mill Creek MetroParks. “This is a great example of setting a goal and working hard to make an impact with friends and family supporting you along the way.”

The purpose of the Trail Endowment Fund is to provide for the perpetual maintenance and care of MetroParks trails. Those wishing to contribute to the Trail Endowment Fund can contact Chris Litton, Director of Development at Litton@millcreekmetroparks.org.