Strike a bargain for future of Mill Creek MetroParks


Those in the Mahoning Valley in the market for an idyllic home amid an expansive verdant setting won’t want to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to benefit themselves and the Valley’s most valuable natural asset in the process.

That opportunity takes the form of a 4,417-square-foot mansion that straddles Struthers and Poland Township currently valued at $450,000 that’s up for auction through 4 p.m. next Wednesday and will likely sell far, far below that price. The top bid Tuesday stood at $175,000.

But the lucky individual home buyer is not the only one who will benefit from the sale. So, too, will the stately Ford Nature Center, an educational institution and learning lab that’s an integral part of the Mill Creek MetroParks system.

Thanks once again to the generosity and community-mindedness of Valley philanthropists extraordinaire Bruce and Nancy Beeghly, all proceeds from the sale of the property will be funneled into a $3 million renovation and modernization of the 46-year-old nature center on Old Furnace Road in Mill Creek Park’s northern tier in Youngstown.

Several years ago, Bruce and Nancy Beeghly donated the home to the MetroParks. After park officials determined it would best be preserved as residential property, the benefit sale was on.

To be sure, the Clingan Road contemporary home built by the Beeghlys in 1993 is no run-of-the-mill property. Consider some of its tantalizing features: vaulted ceilings, multiple decks, large windows that bathe the rooms in light and look out onto surrounding woods, four bedrooms (two of which are master suites), three full bathrooms plus two half-baths, great room with a fireplace, den, Florida room and attached garage.

We encourage all of those with sufficient resources to register their bid online at Byce Realty’s online auction site at www.byceonline.com or contact the Realtor for more information at 330-747-7000.

On its website, Byce calls the property, “the most substantial single family residence we have ever brought to auction. Don’t miss this opportunity.”

LEGACY OF BEEGHLY GIVING

That opportunity also continues a proud and productive legacy of community giving that stretches back a century for the Beeghly family, a name synonymous with the titans of business and industry in the Mahoning Valley.

The property gift mirrors the Beeghly family’s donation of the family homestead in Boardman to Western Reserve Care System in 1965, which today has expanded into the home of Akron Children’s Hospital-Mahoning Valley, Beeghly Campus. Bruce and Nancy donated an additional $1.5 million to that campus for a major expansion project last year.

Over the years, the family has contributed to well over 100 groups, organizations and causes, including a $1.5 million donation to Youngstown State University’s ongoing We See Tomorrow fundraising campaign.

Whoever is lucky enough to secure the Clingan Road property also claims bragging rights to enhancing a key institution in the Metroparks.

The nature center, itself once a residential property, was donated by the family of Mahoning Common Pleas Judge John W. Ford in 1968 and began operations as a hands-on educational facility four years later. Since then, its use and popularity have grown multifold, but its physical stature has begun to show its age. Without a corrective face-life, the center will find it difficult to maintain and build upon its stellar reputation, park officials warn.

The nature center, in particular, and Mill Creek MetroParks, in general, rise as community gems and merit support. Such financial gifts also result in less reliance on local tax dollars for critical park maintenance.

For those without the means to bid on the Clingan Road home, the park is accepting donations of all sizes for the nature-center campaign. We hope many chip in as an investment in the future of the park and of the entire Mahoning Valley.

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