SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Mill Creek MetroParks is expanding with recently purchased property in Mahoning County.

An official announcement about the project happened Wednesday at the site of the new park.

An 88.38-acre parcel off of Springfield Road, just north of Interstate 76, in Springfield Township was recently purchased and will be improved to include a trail system, an entrance drive, parking, new signage, a fishing dock/boardwalk and ecological restoration.

This is the first property in Springfield Township owned by the park system.

“We are always looking for opportunities to expand and serve the residents of Mahoning County, and an opportunity came up in Springfield Township. Thanks to some successful grant applications, through the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, we are here today with the trustees of Springfield Towship to celebrate the 88 acres in their township,” said Executive Director Aaron Young.

The purchase is an effort to expand Mill Creek MetroParks to underserved areas of Mahoning County.

Money for the $392,575 purchase came mostly in a grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. Other funds came in matching gifts from the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation and from proceeds of a bargain sale. Funding for upgrades to the property will also come from the same entities.

The name of the new property is called “Springfield Forest.”