Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center receives $1 million gift


November 2, 2018: The campaign to renovate Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center received a $1 million challenge grant from the Sand Hill Foundation of Menlo Park, California. The Sand Hill Foundation is a private family foundation established by Tom and Susan Ford in 1995. The $3 million campaign to renovate the 106 year old former Robinson Mansion, which houses the Ford Nature Center, has raised $1 million to date. The challenge grant offered by the Sand Hill Foundation will match new donations to the campaign up to $1 million. The estate was originally gifted to Mill Creek MetroParks in 1968 by the heirs of the late Judge John W. Ford. After a brief period of hosting the park's administration offices, the site was transformed into the Ford Nature Center in 1972. Since then, many generations of Valley residents have enjoyed the exhibits, programs, walking trails and special events contained within the MetroParks. The Center receives over 14,000 school children visits every year. "On behalf of the staff of the MetroParks and the board of directors of the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation, I would like to express my gratitude to Susan Ford Dorsey for this generous gift. This gift will allow us to not only extend the mission of educating the park's visitors about the natural wonders of the world for generations to come, but it also extends the wonderful legacy of the Ford Family here at Mill Creek,” says Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development. 


Seismic surge in giving hits Mill Creek MetroParks


September 13, 2018: Those looking to quantify the level of passion many in the Mahoning Valley feel for Mill Creek MetroParks need only look at the incredibly robust size of monetary contributions to the Mahoning County park district so far this year. On Monday night, MetroParks Development Director Chris Litton reported the district has raked in more than $2.4 million in private donations since January. That impressive figure gains even more luster when comparing it to the annual total of $17,334 in private giving in 2016 a mind-blowing 13,745 percent increase. Please follow the link below to read more from The Vindicator:


Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation Tops $1.6 Million 2018

June 1, 2018: The Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation topped $1.6 Million in private sector investment for the first half of 2018. The bulk of the investment has been provided by way of $823,609 of endowment gifts to the foundation. Beginning in 2018, the MCMPF launched an endowment drive for the purpose of securing funding for the perpetual maintenance and care of specific areas of the Mill Creek MetroParks.


Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development indicated that there have been several Naming Right endowments started, which are endowment gifts of $100,000 or more. Litton indicated that once an endowment is “named” it is still open for private contributions.  

Currently, the following naming right endowments have been launched: Joanne F. Beeghly Rose Garden Endowment and The Collier Family Bikeway Endowment, through the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. Litton said that there are two other endowments which will be formally named within the next few months. Litton indicated that other areas of large scale investment have created through sponsorship of programming and capital improvements made throughout the MetroParks. 


Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley Commits $100,000 to MetroParks Bikeway Endowment

May 15, 2018 : A generous $100,000 donation from the Collier Family was accepted last night at the MCMP board meeting. The donation was given to establish The Collier MetroParks Bikeway Endowment, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

For more information on the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation or the various Endowment Funds please visit:

(L to R: Lee Frey - President, MCMP Board of Park Commissioners, Aaron Young - MCMP Executive Director, Shari Harrell - President of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley)


MCMPF Awarded $110,000 Grant From The Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation

May 10, 2018: A big donation will go a long way for the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation. 

The Mahoning Valley Hospital presented a check for $110,000 to the foundation on May 8th. 

The donation means that the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation will be the title sponsor of the American Junior Golf Association Tournament over the next four years. 


Organizers say this takes some of the pressure off of them.

“It’s good for the longevity of the event. In addition to that, it’s a huge economic impact for our facility and the Mahoning Valley being just a little bit under $2 million when it’s all said and done over the four-year term, so we’re excited about that and what it does for the local community here,” said Mill Creek’s PGA Director Brian Tolnar. 

A portion of the donation will also be used for two beautification projects at the US-224 and West Golf Drive entrances of the golf course.

MCMPF Launches New Endowments


April 9, 2018: The Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation announces $520,500 in new endowments to benefit the Rose Garden, Ford Nature Center, the MetroParks Bikeway and the Natural Trails. View full article

Lanterman's Mill Wheel Restoration


April 6, 2018: After several months of work, the restoration of the wheel at Lanterman's Mill has been completed. View WFMJ segment 

Niles man Starts Trail Endowment for MetroParks


February 4, 2018: Bo Marchionte celebrates 20 years of continuous running in Mill Creek MetroParks by raising $5,500 to benefit the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation's Trail Endowment. Read more

Endowment Fund Drive Is Underway


April 2, 2018: The Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation's 2018 Endowment Fund Drive is underway with opportunites to contribute to the prepetual care of your favorite areas of the Mill Creek MetroParks. Read more 

Major improvements coming to Mill Creek MetroParks


 March 26, 2018: As warmer weather approaches, Mill Creek MetroParks is gearing up for a slew of capital improvements. Read more 

Renovations at Mill Creek Golf Course


April 2, 2018: A host of upgrades and renovations await golfers at Mill Creek MetroParks Golf Course in 2018. Read more