The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) has announced its 2018 Annual Awards of Excellence winners. Mill Creek MetroParks’ Wick Recreation Area Dek Hockey Rink Project placed 3rd in the Capital Improvement Projects under $1,000,000 category. The awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio. “Parks and recreation professionals throughout Ohio work every day to improve the quality of life of the people they serve,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward. “This effort is a shining example of that kind of work, and we are pleased to be able to present this award.”
The MetroParks partnered with the Youngstown Phantoms Hockey Team of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation to renovate the former ice skating rink at Wick Recreation Area into a street hockey rink, also known as Dek Hockey. The goal of the project focused on improving functionality and use through rehabilitation, restoration, and adaptive reuse. The vision was to create year-round public availability, play for individuals or groups, league play, and instructional programming for both youths & adults thus making Wick Recreation Area a premiere regional, four-season, active recreation facility. The scope of the project included installation of dasher boards and chain link fencing, tile surfacing, scoreboard, overhead structures for player benches, and site work including demolition, concrete repair, and electrical work.
Along with donations from The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Home Savings Bank, the incredible outreach continued on a hot day in August 2018. Local volunteers and representatives from the Pittsburgh Foundation, Youngstown Phantoms, Home Savings Bank, and Mill Creek MetroParks joined together to install the decking material for the rink. “This project exemplifies the culmination of planning that included adaptive reuse, third-party funding, partnerships and volunteerism, which serves as the model for future MetroParks’ projects,” says Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Aaron Young. “Partnerships like this allows us to increase recreational opportunities to our park visitors.”
The OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence will be presented at a banquet hosted by the association on February 5, 2019 in Sandusky, Ohio.
Incorporated in 1963, OPRA is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 1400 professionals and citizen board members striving 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.