Mill Creek Golf Course to Offer Tuesday Night League

The Mill Creek Golf Course will be offering a 2-person team scramble league every Tuesday beginning September 12, 2017. The league will run 8 weeks and will consist of two divisions – men’s division and a mixed division. “We’re happy to expand our reach to golfers in and around the Mahoning Valley by offering this fun and exciting golf league at Mill Creek this fall. It’s a relaxing format that is open to players of all ages and abilities. The league scramble format offers a stress free environment for golf, plus an opportunity to enjoy some of the great autumn sights at the Mill Creek Golf Course,” says Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek MetroParks PGA Director of Golf.

Registration is available by calling 330.740.7112 or in person at the Mill Creek Golf Course Fieldhouse. Registration deadline is Friday, September 8, 2017 by 5:00 pm.

Green Cathedral Race to Benefit Wick Recreation Children’s Play Area

Mill Creek MetroParks will host the 5th annual Green Cathedral on Sunday, September 10, 2017. The race will begin and end in the Wick Recreation Area located at 1861 McCollum Rd. in Youngstown, Ohio. Events include The Kids Fun Run beginning at 8:00 a.m., Half Marathon at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K Run/Walk at 8:45 a.m.

This event is open to competitors of all ages and abilities. Awards will be given for the Half Marathon and 5K Run/Walk according to appropriate age groups. The Kids Fun Run is free for children 10 and under and children will receive a participation award. The Half Marathon registration fee is $35 for Early Bird registration (on or before August 27) and $40 through race day. The 5K Run/Walk registration fee is $25 Early Bird (on or before August 27) and $30 through race day. The youth (10 years old and under) Kids Fun Run is free. 

The Green Cathedral is sponsored by 21 WFMJ/WBCB. All proceeds will benefit the Juliana Kurinka Children’s Play Area at Wick Recreation Area. For more information and to register, visit or

Mill Creek Golf Course Closure

The Mill Creek Golf Course will be closed Friday, August 18, 2017 for the Vindicator’s Greatest Golfer of the Valley Tournament. Both North and South Courses will be closed. The Course will reopen to the public after 5:00 pm. The Practice Range and Par-3 Course will be open all day and available.

Mill Creek MetroParks to Offer Fall Junior Golf Program

Mill Creek MetroParks will offer a new fall Junior Golf Program for children aged 6 to 14 years old on select Sunday’s in September and October. The fall program will rotate between the Mill Creek Golf Course and Mill Creek Wick Recreation Par-3 Course. The program will run on Sunday’s from September 10, 2017 to Sunday, October 1, 2017. The four-week program will include five hours of PGA Professional golf instruction, practice drills, on-course playing time, skills competitions, games, prizes & a tee shirt for each participant. Juniors who do not own a set of golf clubs and wish to participate will be provided with clubs to use for the day by Mill Creek. “It’s great to be able to add this event to our fall line-up of golf instructional programs at Mill Creek. The player development programs for golf at Mill Creek have been exceptional this year and the interest level of the participants has created this opportunity to expand our reach this fall,” says Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek MetroParks PGA Director of Golf.

Registration is available by calling 330. 740. 7112 or in person at the Mill Creek Golf Course Fieldhouse or Wick Recreation Par-3 Course. The cost is $79.99 per junior. Registration deadline is Thursday, September 7, 2017 by 5:00 pm.


Tony Armeni featured at outdoor gallery

Fellows Riverside Gardens, 123 McKinley Ave., is currently featuring the organic steel artwork of artist Tony Armeni in the outdoor gallery. Armeni, a native Ohioan and teacher at Youngstown State University, has returned to the Gardens to showcase his work. Armeni breathes life into cold, hard material to celebrate life figures, flowers, and celestial spheres. These dynamic structures stand tall, firmly planted, yet light on their feet.

This free exhibit is being displayed now through October, 2017. A Meet-the-Artist session is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday in the outdoor gallery. This is an opportunity to meet and visit with Armeni and learn about the techniques employed in his work. For more information, visit or call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330-740-7116.

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Snake celebrates 20th birthday

The rat snake at Ford Nature Center celebrated her 20 birthday on July 15.

Guests came to visit the snake, make a craft and enjoy refreshments for her birthday. This is the first time the snake’s birthday was celebrated with the public.

Ray Novotny, former naturalist with Mill Creek MetroParks, pitched the idea to Ford Nature Center naturalist, Marilyn Williams, to host a birthday party and allow the public to come and see something they wouldn’t normally see.

While the snake stays at Ford Nature Center, she is used to education children and other guests who come to the different programs.

“I had it’s mom and dad, they lived here, and in ‘97 the mom laid a dozen eggs,” said Novotny.

Novotny took care of the mom and dad snake at Ford Nature Center. When the mother laid her eggs, about half of them hatched and Novotny decided to keep one and let the rest go. Rat snakes can live to be in their late 20’s to early 30’s.

The guests who attended the birthday party had the opportunity the hold the snake and take pictures with her. The party lasted two hours and was open for guests to come and go as they pleased.

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Notice of MetroParks Special Board Meeting

The Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet for a Special Meeting on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 6 p.m. in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, on Rt. 46 in Canfield. Agenda items are Finance Director’s report, award of bid for parking lot improvements, water quality presentation, Horticulture Standing Committee report, draft collaborative agreement, and Executive Session to consider the appointment, employment, discipline, or compensation of public employees.

“Organic Steel” Currently on Display in Outdoor Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens

The Organic Steel artwork is currently on display in the Outdoor Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Artist, Tony Armeni, a native Ohioan and teacher at Youngstown State University, has returned to Fellows Riverside Gardens to showcase his work. Armeni breathes life into cold, hard material to celebrate life figures, flowers, and celestial spheres. These dynamic structures stand tall, firmly planted yet light on their feet.

This free exhibit is being displayed now through October 2017. On Sunday, August 13 from 1 – 3 pm a Meet the Artist session is available in the Gazebo/Outdoor Gallery. Take this opportunity to meet and visit with this extraordinary sculptor, Tony Armeni, and find out about the techniques employed in his work.

For more information on the Meet the Artist session or this outdoor exhibit, visit or call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116.

About Tony Armeni
Tony Armeni is a native Ohioan and teacher at Youngstown State University. Armeni’s public outdoor works can also be found on the property of the Butler Institute of American Art, Mahoning Avenue in the Mahoning Commons area. More recently, Tony Armeni’s Bus Shelter Sculpture was selected as one of five projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts awarded last year to Youngstown State University.

Creepy crawlers captivate crowd at reptile show

Earlier this year, James Kagarise went to the Animal Charity Humane Society in Boardman on behalf of his dog, but returned with more than he bargained for.

“We went to Animal Charity for flea treatment and came home with a reptile,” the Youngstown man said with a chuckle.

Soon, the family had a new member: Chewbobca, an 11-year-old, 40-pound tortoise. At first, Kagarise’s children couldn’t agree on a name, so they came up with one that is a combination of Bob and Chewbacca, a character from the popular “Star Wars” series nicknamed Chewie.

Chewbobca may have stayed home, but several other tortoises of all sizes were on hand to delight the Kagarise family and others who attended Sunday’s Reptile & Amphibian Show at the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road (state Route 46).

Sponsoring the five-hour free, family-friendly event was 21 WFMJ/WBCB.

Numerous species of snakes, turtles, salamanders and tortoises were the program’s main attraction. The primary purpose was to foster a greater awareness of and appreciation for a variety of animals that often are feared and viewed negatively largely because of certain myths, noted Mandy Smith, the MetroParks’ education manager.

“It’s good to have the whole family learn together, and that’s what this event provides,” Smith said, adding that unfavorable portrayals of such animals can reinforce people’s fears of them.

Kagarise’s children – Jimmy, 4, Jamie, 8, and Madeline, 10 – felt anything but fear, however, as they got acquainted with Diego, a nearly 4-foot-long Argentine black-and-white tegu. Also enjoying the experience was 10-year-old Lizzie Pfeffer of Austintown, a family friend.

“I’ve had him since he was a baby. He was the best Christmas present I’ve received,” said Ben Hosler of Chesterland, who owns the large lizard, the likes of which have a distinct pattern of black and white dots and stripes on their bodies, are quite docile and live mainly in rain forests and savannas of Argentina and other regions of South America.

Sure enough, Hosler’s 7-year-old tegu seemed to take all the attention it received in stride. Diego also can be quite sociable, Hosler continued, adding that his pet’s diet consists largely of wet dog and cat food as well as many vegetables.

“I’ve been told that we made him a Facebook page and all that social media stuff,” added Hosler, who’s also a member of the Northern Ohio Association of Herpetologists, a 43-year-old organization dedicated to offering the public accurate information regarding the care, breeding and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

The animals at Sunday’s event were courtesy of NOAH and the Herps Alive Foundation, a South Euclid-based charity that lists as its primary goal saving, rehabilitating and caring for neglected, abused and unwanted amphibians and reptiles.

Other attractions were four species of tortoises – the largest of which was an African spur thigh, which can weigh up to 150 pounds, and an 8-year-old Russian variety.

“These guys are very inquisitive, very friendly and very intelligent,” said Dr. Erica Giles, a veterinarian and Herps Alive volunteer. “They remind me of a dog, in that they have such good personalities.”

Among those who agreed with that assessment was 3-year-old Mollyann Hulings of Petersburg, who enjoyed holding the Russian tortoise. Accompanying the youngster were her parents, Tom and Denise Hulings, and older brother, Zachary, 5.

Snakes of all sizes, colors and shapes also were a big draw, including a yellow-and-white 8-foot albino Burmese python, the likes of which are native to tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia. They prey on birds as well as rats and other mammals.

“She’s a domestic snake that never lived in the wild, and that’s why she’s so gentle,” Katie Shipka, a park volunteer, said about Chutes, a 7-year-old striped corn snake, the likes of which are common in the southeastern U.S.

The nonvenomous snake Shipka held and demonstrated to interested attendees was predominately rust-colored, complemented with mottled spots and a large stripe from the head to its tail. The reptile, however, didn’t feel like many people probably expected it should, she said.

“Most people think they’re wet and icky, and they’re anything but,” Shipka added.

Herps Alive also provided information on healthful vegetables and other foods for reptiles, proper heating procedures for enclosures and feeding tips for snakes and insect-eating reptiles.

Displays included a native snake exhibit, courtesy of the Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center, along with jars containing small frogs, turtles and snakes, and a table with samples of turtle shells, an alligator skull, snake and frogs eggs and nonpoisonous snake skeletons.

Many children engaged in arts and crafts that allowed them to draw, cut and color snakes they made from paper plates.


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