Miller lays out future plan for MetroParks

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) –  The Mill Creek Park most people know is a bike ride past Lake Newport, walking a dog along a path or drinking from one of the stone fountains.

There’s also the silver bridge, under which runs Mill Creek itself.

But that is yesterday and today. What’s in store for the Mill Creek MetroParks of tomorrow and beyond?

“We started with raising awareness of what we are all about,” Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Dennis Miller said.

Miller helped put together a 10-year action plan that started last year. At the top of the list are more hiking and biking trails.

“When we did our public survey, our community input, when we were establishing the plan, that was number one. Establishing more hiking and biking trails in the park,” Miller said.

Since becoming a MetroParks system in 1989, numerous properties, like the Mill Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Beaver Township, have been added.

Miller said more land may be acquired if it is appropriate.

“Open spaces, maybe opportunities to create a wildlife preserve or the sanctuary,” Miller said.

Miller is always looking for more money. A ballot issue to renew the current levy will be on the November 2015 ballot and there’s also a plan to expand the Mill Creek Park Foundation.

“There was a Mill Creek Park Foundation, but basically it was a three-person distribution committee. And it was almost like a pass-through. It was a place where people who wanted to donate to the park, that is where it went. And it is a standalone 501(c)3, but we want to expand that board to get these folks more involved with the park,” Miller said.

To see the park’s strategic plan, click here.

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