(WKBN) — The Coitsville Township Trustees have passed a resolution in support of Mill Creek MetroParks retaining ownership of the McGuffey Wildlife Preserve.

The resolution passed unanimously on May 24, 2022. 

The Preserve comprises 73 acres off of McGuffey Rd. in Coitsville Township. It’s the land where William Holmes McGuffey, author of the famous “McGuffey Eclectic Readers,“ was raised.

The resolution stated, “We wish to convey our deepest desire to have Mill Creek Park remain a presence in Coitsville Township for many years to come.”

At the May meeting of the MetroParks Board of Commissioners, President Lee Frey asked that returning McGuffey Preserve to the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society be considered at its June 13 meeting. 

The society donated the land to the MetroParks in 1998, but recently officials with the society have expressed dissatisfaction with what they say is a lack of maintenance to the dock and pond.

“It’s obvious they’re very upset with our handling (of the preserve),” Frey said at the May meeting. “So we’ll discuss (returning it) at our next meeting.”

The Mahoning County Commissioners have also sent a letter to the MetroParks Board asking that its members – along with Probate Judge Robert Rusu who appoints the board members – meet with officials of the McGuffey Society to see if something can’t be worked out.

MetroParks Executive Director Aaron Young confirmed “the issue will be discussed at the meeting (on June 13).”

One MetroParks Board member, however, isn’t confident the property will be returned.

“I don’t think anyone is serious about giving the property back,” said the board member.