Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks
Temperatures have dipped into the teens and lower. Snow melts just long enough to tease with patches of ugly brown grass before a new layer of white stuff covers them.
It’s the kind of weather that makes one dream of a vacation to a tropical locale, even if that bank account balance is a constant reminder that the only affordable destination is the hardware store for a new snow shovel.
The snow still is visible looking out the windows at Fellows Riverside Gardens’ D.D and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center, but inside it’s filled with tropical sights for the annual Jewels of Winter Orchid Exhibit, which is on display through March 11.
“It’s a glimpse of spring,” said Rob Chismar, garden supervisor for Mill Creek Metroparks. “Even though the orchid is not typically a spring flower, it’s just so nice to come out of the snow and ice outside and see these beautiful and fragrant flowers. It’s a sensory experience at an otherwise snowy time of year.”
While some orchids like the Phaleanopsis Blume (or moth orchid) can be found at floral shops year round, many of the flowers on display at the gardens are more rare, both in this region and at this time of year.
At least 150 different types of orchids will be shown.
“There are so many different varieties, so many different types,” Chismar said. “Most folks are familiar with what they see when they go to the big box stores, but there are just so many different varieties and types. There’s something for everyone with orchids, whether you like color, whether you like fragrance, whether you like more of a foliage-based look to a plant. They’re just a bit more exotic than what you find in our area.
“Many orchids are native to a Costa Rican environment, so you don’t see these unique specimens every day.”
Some of flowers have a bell-like bloom on them that has earned them the nickname lady slipper; other features two of the blooms to create a pair of lady slippers. Some have characteristics that make them resemble animal heads. The unique qualities of each plant make the show particularly popular with photographers.
The center has a geothermal design that helps regulate the temperature inside, but Chismar said they need to take additional care about not leaving the loading dock open too long or doing anything else that could drop the temperature inside.
It’s not just the temperature that can make raising orchids a challenge. Chismar explained that orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow on another type of plant material.
“They don’t like someone to come up with a watering can and just dump water on them,” he said. “They need to have that oxygen around their root base … You have to have the right potting media for every orchid — moss, bark, you have to find what works best for that particular type of orchid.
“You have to understand, if an orchid is struggling, you can’t go, ‘Oh, it needs water,’ and grab a water can and some Miracle Gro and toss it on there. We have to err on the side of caution. We’ll do a finger test on every single plant for the duration of the show. If they’re dry, we may supplement them with some water. Others may not need water for the duration of the show.”
This is the 60th anniversary of Fellows Riverside Gardens, which influenced the design of the show.
“We’ve tried to incorporate into almost every show or thing we do this year some type of diamond theme,” Chismar said. “There are a a lot of geometric shapes, diamond shapes. It’s a little more formal than last year’s orchid show. That was done deliberately to let the orchids shine through, to let the beauty of the blooms be at the forefront.”
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A Niles runner has recently fulfilled a 20-year dream.
Bo Marchionte celebrated his 20 year anniversary on January 4, for running the trails every day in all weather conditions.
Mill Creek officials say Marchionte logged 10 or more miles a day.
About two weeks before his anniversary, Marchionte’s wife and friend decided to raise money and donate it back to Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation in honor of his love for the trails.
“I am amazed at the long-term effort and dedication brought forth by Bo. We are honored to accept this donation on his behalf. With the MetroParks newly established endowment fund, this donation will aide in the continued enhancement of the MetroParks trail system for the enjoyment of our park visitors,” says Aaron Young, Executive Director of Mill Creek MetroParks.
The Primanti Brothers in Niles held a fund raising event from January 4-7, where a percentage of sales were donated.
In just two weeks, the family was able to donate over $5,000, breaking the original goal of $2,500.
On Thursday, Marchionte and his family presented a check in the amount of $5,258. The check is the first contribution to the Trail Endowment Fund at Mill Creek MetroParks.
Park officials say the purpose of the fund is to provide the maintenance and care of the trails.
“I love the park and running the trails there. I am thrilled the contributions on my behalf will be the kickoff of this endowment”, says Marchionte.
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As part of the MetroParks’ ongoing capital improvement initiative, Mill Creek MetroParks is pleased to announce the completed construction of a 20-vehicle aggregate parking lot at the Sebring Woods facility in the Village of Sebring.
The new parking lot is located on North Johnson Road and provides access to a 0.7-mile primitive hiking trail loop. The primitive trail loop features two natural creek crossings and meanders through a variety of habitats, including wooded wetlands and upland forests.
Along with future projects to be completed in early 2018, the addition of the parking lot provides visitors easier access and enhances the overall user experience at Sebring Woods.
Sebring Woods is the MetroParks’ westernmost facility in Mahoning County. Situated at the intersection of Courtney Road and North Johnson Road, the 39-acre preserve was established in 2010 with a grant through the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.
Sebring Woods consists primarily of floodplain forest and wooded wetlands interspersed with open marsh and upland habitats. Fish Creek, a tributary to the Mahoning River, meanders through the property and helps create and maintain the wet conditions throughout the year.
In May 2010, staff and volunteers from the MetroParks, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Northeast Ohio Naturalists performed an inventory of Sebring Woods and discovered three plant species that had not been previously documented in Mahoning County. Other rare plants and insects were also observed, as well as a large variety of more common wildflowers and songbirds.
To explore, experience and enjoy Mill Creek MetroParks, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org or call 330-702-3000. Like metroparks on Facebook at (Mill Creek MetroParks) and follow on Twitter (@MillCreekMetro) and Instagram (millcreekmetroparks).
View the full article at salemnews.net