Ford Nature Center Renovation Receives $500,000 Donation

The Florence Simon Beecher & John D. Finnegan Foundations have combined to contribute $500,000 towards the $3 million renovation of the Ford Nature Center at Mill Creek MetroParks. The contribution will directly benefit the work needed to renovate the carriage house currently located on the property (840 Old Furnace Rd., Youngstown) of the Ford Nature Center. Once completed, the carriage house will serve as an education building, a central hub of all school based and group tours of the Ford Nature Center. The MetroParks Board of Park Commissioners have approved naming the structure, The Beecher Finnegan Education Building.

“Our grateful appreciation goes out to the Florence Simon Beecher & John D. Finnegan Foundations for their generous contribution to the new Education Building at the Ford Nature Center. This building will serve as the gateway to learning about the natural wonders of the world for thousands of local school children each year. Its impact on not only the Ford Nature Center but the entire MetroParks will be felt for generations to come,” says Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development.

The project has currently raised $1 million of the $3 million goal. The Sand Hill Foundation of Menlo Park, California has generously offered a challenge grant which will match new donations raised after November 1, 2018 up to $1 million.

 

Notice of December Board Meeting

The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, of Mill Creek MetroParks is scheduled for Monday, December 17, 2018, at 6 p.m. in the Rossi Auditorium at Fellows Riverside Gardens, in Youngstown. The agenda will be available on the website after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting. A meeting of the Public Records Commission will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the same location.

MetroParks Police Sergeants Graduate from Training Programs

Detective Sergeant Jason Clark, of the Mill Creek MetroParks Police Department graduated from the Law Enforcement Foundation’s Police Executive Leadership College (PELC) on November 16, 2018. He was one of 35 students attending the seventieth session of the college.

PELC is an intensive, three-week leadership-training program for law enforcement executives. It is based on the premise that leadership skills can be learned, and given the opportunity for feedback and practice, that executives can substantially improve their leadership abilities. The program involves 105 class hours over three weeks on 20 topics, 24 required readings, 4 research papers, 5 community interviews, 3 speeches, and 3 team projects. Over 2,000 Ohio law enforcement executives have attended PELC since its beginning in 1988. 

Detective Sergeant Clark has served with the Mill Creek MetroParks Police Department for 19 years. His accomplishments during that time have included: Numerous Criminal Cases, Assignment to the Mahoning County Law Enforcement Task Force for 14 years, and numerous community projects such as hooked on fishing. Commenting on the value and importance of PELC, Clark indicated, “The program showed me the value of good leadership and community involvement.”

Sergeant John Novosel, of the Mill Creek MetroParks Police Department graduated from the Law Enforcement Foundation’s Supervisor Training and Education Program (STEP) on November 14, 2018.  Sergeant Novosel was one of 34 students attending the twentieth session of the program.

STEP is designed to develop new supervisors, into highly effective first line supervisors with the competency skills necessary to lead and supervise in a high performance organization. The current STEP curriculum is comprised of nineteen modules including: transition to supervisor, leadership strategies, creating an ethical environment, developing subordinates, mentoring, dealing with problematic employees, effective listening and speaking, improved written communication, administrative skills, performance management, conflict management, critical incident management through table top exercise, supervisory response to line of duty shooting and patrol operations, supervisory response to vehicle and foot pursuits, supervisory response to domestic violence calls, media relations, risk management, capstone case studies, team presentations, panel presentations on contemporary issues, and a First Line Supervisor 360 assessment. Over 500 Ohio law enforcement first-line supervisors have attended STEP since its beginning in 2004.

Mill Creek MetroParks presents Nature Photography Exhibit: Call for Photos

Are you an amateur photographer with a desire to show off your work? Mill Creek MetroParks wants to see your favorite original photos! Entries will be accepted December 18, 2018 – January 6, 2019 for the annual Nature Photography Exhibit. Categories will include: Wild Animals, Plants – Wild or Not, Wild Scenes, Mill Creek MetroParks Scenes, Nature with a Human Touch, Monochrome, and Young Photographers. Submit photos, application, and fee per entry at the Ford Nature Center (840 Old Furnace Road, Youngstown) between December 18, 2018 – January 6, 2019; Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am -5 pm; Sunday, Noon – 5 pm. Full details and application form available by visiting www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

The Nature Photography Exhibit will be on display to the public, free of charge January 19 through March 24, 2019 in the Weller Gallery of the Davis Education & Visitor Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens during normal operating hours of Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Mondays.

Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meeting

The Nature Education Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 4:15 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

Mill Creek MetroParks Winter Road Closures

Effective Friday, December 7, 2018 the following roads in Mill Creek Park will be closed to vehicular traffic for the winter:

 

  • High Drive, between Chestnut Hill Drive and West Cohasset Drive
  • Chestnut Hill Drive, between Canfield Road and High Drive
  • Calvary Run Drive, between Belle Vista Avenue and Milton Avenue

 

When closed to vehicular traffic, these roads are available for recreational use for hiking, cross country skiing and sledding. Aside from recreational opportunities, benefits of winter road closures include cost savings associated with snow/ice removal as well as a reduction of negative environmental impacts from deicing salt. All roads will reopen in the spring when weather permits.

 

In the winter months, snow and ice can create slippery roadway conditions. Roads with limited shoulders, lack of guardrails and steep grades can become increasingly hazardous for motorists. Always use caution when driving on MetroParks roads.

Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meetings

The Nature Education Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

 

The Development Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Friday, December 7, 2018, at 3 p.m., in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

 

The Environment Standing Committee to the Board of Park commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at 12 noon, in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

Invasive Species Burn at Lake Newport

Beginning Saturday, December 1 through December 31, 2018, Mill Creek MetroParks will be conducting an open burn at the Newport Wetlands on weekdays from approximately 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The burn will not impact access to or use of facilities in and around the wetlands. Invasive species, along with small undesirable trees and shrubs, will be cut and burned in small piles with the fire being completely extinguished each day. Open burning is a form of recognized horticultural, silvicultural, and invasive species management.

Mill Creek MetroParks presents Winter Celebration: Frozen in Time

From December 1 through December 30, the D. D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center will be adorned for the annual Winter Celebration event, which is a family-friendly, admission-free event sponsored by WKBN 27 First News. This year’s theme, “Frozen in Time”, is a celebration of the Garden’s 60th anniversary and can be experienced by visitors Tuesdays – Sundays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with special extended hours on Saturdays. 

 

Bring the family to discover a sparkling winter wonderland brought indoors to the Davis Center. View photos displayed of favorite memories at Fellows Riverside Gardens submitted by Valley residents, participate in a scavenger hunt, and of course, the beauty of seasonal blooms on display. Guests will also be able to experience the annual tree walk on display throughout the Davis Center where non-profit organizations display their uniquely decorated trees.

 

Every Saturday in December, the Gardens will be open until 7 p.m. for guests to experience Winter Nights featuring an outdoor light display highlighting winter’s beauty. Inside the Davis Center you’ll find the Toy Workshop and Reindeer Games along with live holiday music by local musicians (except for December 29th).  Additionally, the “Snow Sisters” will be visiting the Gardens on Saturday nights to greet winter’s littlest fans!

 

In the spirit of giving, non-perishable food item donations are being accepted for the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley. Please note special dates for Visitor Center hours include being CLOSED on Mondays.

 

For more information, please call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116 or visit millcreekmetroparks.org.

Notice of November Board Meeting

The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, of Mill Creek MetroParks is scheduled for Monday, November 19, 2018, at 6 p.m. in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, on Rt. 46 in Canfield. The agenda will be available on the website after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.