All Fun and Games: Mill Creek Awaits Visitors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The whiteboard calendar in Chris Bundy’s office is full, and he does not care to erase it for a second straight year.

Fortunately, his schedule stayed intact as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and the Board of Park Commissioners approved the schedule of events at its April 12 meeting. The calendar of events began April 13 and run through December.

The par-3 golf course, volleyball courts, playground, batting cages and sporting fields are open and accessible. Bundy says he’s taking reservations for field usage, including a dek hockey rink initiated by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Dek hockey is a variation of street hockey in which the game is played on a rink with a rubberized surface.

Lake Newport and Lake Glacier Boathouses will be open, along with the splash pads at the Wick Recreation area, on Memorial Day weekend May 29-31.

Listings for leagues, events and other items are on the Mill Creek MetroParks recreational planner brochure for 2021, found at various park facilities. Bundy hopes the schedule can get close to the way it was in 2019, before COVID-19 restrictions limited or canceled most activities.

Last year, the MetroParks planned to launch a youth hockey league, youth and adult dek hockey league, adult sand volleyball league, disc golf and pickleball tournament, family movie night, a turkey bowl flag football game and many other events. However, those were put on hold because of COVID restrictions.

Those activities will be implemented along with an adult soccer league, a “learn to play” dek hockey program, adult softball league, and par-3 golf leagues for men, women and seniors. Updates and news on recreation programs can be found HERE, or by calling 330 740 7114.

“We’re very excited for our programs to open up this year,” Bundy says. “We look forward to implementing new programs each year.”

Mill Creek attracted many golfers, walkers and runners last year.

It’s a safe estimate that about 200,000 visited the park’s resources in 2020, says Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek MetroParks golf and recreation director.

The MetroParks staff wants to make its James L. Wick Recreation Center the go-to place for every program, league sporting event and family event.

Currently, Bundy and his staff are in a trailer next to the par-3 course that is serving as the recreational office until renovation is complete at the nearby warming house to turn it into a park-wide recreation hub. Tolnar estimates the project will be complete by November or December.

The Mill Creek recreation office is where groups and individuals go to rent park facilities, Tolnar says. One goal of the renovation is to bring more families to the park for recreation, Tolnar says. That not only includes the Wick, Volney Rogers and Scholl recreation areas, but outlying areas like the MetroParks Farm in Canfield where there is disc golf and archery.

“There’s a lot of potential, a lot of underworked areas that we think we can take advantage of and continue to grow our footprint here in the Mahoning Valley,” Tolnar says.

The new recreation hub at the Wick Recreation Center can serve as an opportunity spot for all four seasons, he says. It’ll encompass a team shop, food and beverage opportunities, rental space, recreation offices and locker rooms.

“Having a really established hub for us is going to benefit not only us, but everyone in the community, knowing where adults and children can sign up for various activities,” Bundy says.

Pictured: Chris Bundy and Brian Tolnar stand in front of a green at the par-3 course at the James L. Wick Recreation Area at Mill Creek MetroParks.

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