Photography Exhibit 2014 | Photographer Profile: Richard States

Dick StatesThis is the first in a series of profiles highlighting the winners of our Nature Photography Exhibit.
Richard States of Cortland, Ohio won first place in the ‘Wild Plants’ category and also took Best of Show for his photograph, Milkweed!

LC: How did your interest in photography begin?
RS: I started teaching horticulture in Warren in 1972. I did not have any good slides to teach my students plant identification, so I purchased a used camera and macro lens taught myself how to take pictures and developed my own slides. After 5 different slide series and the script to go with them, I could then teach plant identification. The students were required to learn 125 different trees and shrubs by common and scientific name.

LC: How many years have you been taking photographs?
RS: 42 years.

LC: Tell us about your winning photograph, Milkweed.
RS: I found this milkweed growing along Mosquito Lake on the east side along the road that goes along the lake by the bridge. I always take pictures of milkweed; it’s one of my favorite subjects. There’s so much variation in each pod with the seeds spewing out as they ripen and the wind blows. They have great texture and beauty all by themselves. There’s just so much beauty in nature.

Richard States - MilkweedLC: What kind of camera/gear did you use?
RS:  Nikon D-700 with a Nikon D200 macro lens on a tripod and cable release. Taken at F22 with 1 second exposure.

LC: What’s your favorite kind of photography?
RS: As a photographer I do mostly close-up/macro photography. I enjoy being outside and finding flowers and plants to take pictures of. I put many of my images together and do PowerPoint programs for groups.

The Nature Photography Exhibit runs through March 9 at Ford Nature Center. Click here for event details. Look for more profiles of photographers featured in the exhibit all this week!

Last Weekend for Skating on Mill Creek MetroParks’ Lily Pond

Mother Nature provided a great opportunity for Mill Creek MetroParks to allow ice skating on the Lily Pond for the past few weeks. As we look toward spring, Mill Creek MetroParks will hold one final weekend of ice skating on the Lily Pond before the pond closes. Final days for supervised skating will be Friday, February 28 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, March 1 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 2 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Bring your skates (no skate rental is available) for one last weekend of outdoor skating fun.

We were happy to provide this opportunity to the community and are glad so many were able to enjoy pond skating. MetroParks officials would like to thank the public for their support and hope visitors continue to make Mill Creek MetroParks their recreation destination for all seasons. Mill Creek MetroParks officials would also like to remind visitors that due to the fluctuating temperatures, trails throughout the MetroParks might be slippery. Visitors and hikers should use caution when on these trails.

Thomas J. Bresko named OPRA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner…Retired Mill Creek MetroParks Director honored February 4

Retired Mill Creek MetroParks Director Thomas J. Bresko has been named the 2013 Harvey Woods Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA). Bresko was honored at the annual OPRA Awards Celebration on February 4, 2014, at the Kalahari Conference Center.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award,” Bresko said. “I must thank my many coworkers and volunteers who supported me during my three-decade plus career at Mill Creek MetroParks. This recognition would never have happened without them.”

Bresko began his career with Mill Creek MetroParks in the summer of 1973 on a seasonal labor crew. After graduating from Ohio State University in 1975, Bresko remained employed with the MetroParks through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program, and worked in maintenance for two years between the Par 3 Golf Course and Fellows Riverside Gardens. He was named Recreation Director in 1977 after the current director resigned unexpectedly. Bresko spent the next 32 years as Recreation Director, the longest term to date. During his tenure, he shaped and expanded programs and annual special events like Sunfest, Sunset at the Farm and Easter Eggstravaganza. He also nurtured collaborations with numerous organizations for the purpose of holding their special events, especially foot races and walks throughout Mill Creek MetroParks.

In 1982, Bresko took on additional administrative duties of Ford Nature Center and Lanterman’s Mill. He was very involved in the conversion of Mill Creek Park to a metropolitan park district, Mill Creek MetroParks, in 1989. After the conversion Bresko also took on administrative duties of MetroParks Farm, Yellow Creek Park, Vickers Nature Preserve and McGuffey Wildlife Preserve. Bresko became MetroParks Interim Executive Director in September 2009 until he was named Deputy Director in December 2010 and served until his retirement October 1, 2011. The Board of Park Commissioners named the pavilion in Wick Recreation Area the Thomas J. Bresko Pavilion in a resolution in 2011.

“I worked with Tom for 15 years and learned to appreciate his love for the MetroParks,” said Dennis Miller, Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director. “Tom is a well-deserved winner of this award.”

About the OPRA Harvey Woods Lifetime Achievement Award

Harvey Woods served as a parks and recreation professional not only in his day-to-day tasks, but also by mentoring young professionals and serving OPRA and NRPA. This award is presented to an outstanding individual who has emulated this work, with a minimum of 30 years of service within parks and recreation.

About Mill Creek MetroParks

Mill Creek Park was established in 1891 by Volney Rogers as the first park district in Ohio. In 1989, the diverse lands now known as Mill Creek MetroParks officially became a metropolitan park district, providing visitors of all ages the opportunity to relish “the gem” of Mahoning County. From the casual visitor to the local explorer, Mill Creek MetroParks offers a natural escape and recreational activities for the enjoyment of all ages.

The mission of Mill Creek MetroParks is to provide park, recreational and open space facilities of regional significance. In fulfilling this mission, our objectives are to be responsive to community needs; to be environmentally sound; to be adaptable; and to be economically feasible.

To explore, experience and enjoy Mill Creek MetroParks, please visit or call 330.702.3000. Like us on Facebook (Mill Creek MetroParks) and follow us on Twitter (@millcreekmetro) and Instagram (millcreekmetroparks).