MetroParks trustees discuss bike trail, change fishing rules


Mill Creek MetroParks officials say they feel those denouncing the MetroParks for using the courts to acquire private property to complete a bicycle trail only make up a small, albeit vocal minority in the community.

One attendee of a Monday board of commissioners meeting asked why park-goers who may have complained about the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway’s first two construction phases — but now enjoy it — haven’t approached the media in support of the trail.

“Unfortunately, when you’re enjoying something and you don’t have any complaints, you don’t come forward,” commissioner Germaine Bennett said. “Unfortunately, that’s the way things are set up. [The media is] looking for something more salacious to report on.”

Steve Avery, MetroParks planning director, on Monday presented commissioners a summary of the trail’s history, funding and progress. He said though officials are now hearing concerns about increased crime or loss of privacy due to the trail, they’re much the same worries that arose during the project’s earlier phases and “they’ve fallen away, because they’re not really a reality ... The majority of the people are there for [recreation].”

Lee Frey, president commissioner, said: “Sometimes, people that scream and yell and call up [the media] and have a nice presentation ready, act distraught — they get airtime. And that’s too bad.”

Avery said the final designs for the third phase of Mahoning County’s portion of the five-county trail are expected to be finished next month.

In other business, commissioners approved a rule change permitting fishing in all MetroParks creeks, streams, lakes and ponds, unless otherwise specified.

Under the previous rule, fishing was only permitted in waters south of Lake Newport Dam and south of Lake Glacier Dam to the Lake Cohasset Dam, as well as Yellow Creek and other specially permitted areas.

“It’s really just an attempt to allow people to maximize potential fishing opportunities in the MetroParks,” Aaron Young, executive director, told commissioners.

He said parks officials are also considering regularly stocking park waters with fish while encouraging fishers to release their catches.

Fishing in the MetroParks will still only be permitted from March 1 to Nov. 30 under the new rule.

Read MORE in Tuesday's VINDICATOR.

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