Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Construction to create closure, detour of Mill Creek Bike Trail for a year

A popular bike trail will be closed or detoured for approximately one year while construction crews work on the nearby turnpike. 

Mill Creek MetroParks announced Thursday that the bike trail will be closed near Kirk Road beginning Tuesday, July 17th.

According to park officials, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission will be replacing the turnpike bridges over the Bikeway. 

OTIC will replace the bridges with a large concrete arch culvert, thus creating a tunnel for the bikeway under the turnpike. 

A release says the project will be completed in two phases. 

During the first phase, pedestrians/bicyclists will not be able to travel south on the bikeway from Kirk Road Trailhead and pedestrians/bicyclists traveling north from Herbert Road will arrive at a “dead-end”. 

Cyclists traveling north will be met with a sign at Herbert Road alerting them that the trail will dead end ahead of the construction. 

The second phase of the project is anticipated to begin in November 2018 and includes construction of a detour for the bikeway. At that time, through access for pedestrians/bicyclists will be restored by means of the detour. 

Once OTIC’s project is totally completed in 2019, the detour will be removed and bikeway traffic will be routed through the new tunnel.

View the full article at wfmj.com

Family Fun Friday inside the family garden

Families gathered at Fellows Riverside Gardens on June 15 for the Family Fun Fridays event hosted at the gardens.

The program took place at the gardens’ Family Garden. The program had a weather theme to it, so the children participated in weather-related activities in addition to playing with the set already located at the park.

“It’s to get families out, enjoy the weather and get to the park,” said Nick Parish, a naturalist with the park. He, along with two other Mill Creek employees, ran the program.

The special activities for the program included a tornado in a jar and a cloud making station. The park placed out jars with a ball in them, so that children could shake them in circles to create a tornado effect. The children used shaving cream, water and food dye to make their cloud in a jar.

The Family Garden also has play areas for the children. They dug in a sandbox for gems buried in the sand, played in a small pool, rippled a children’s parachute and a small play set. The families could also enjoy the plants in the area and look at the bees stored in the garden.

The event happens weekly throughout the summer with a different theme each week. They also have organizations join them many weeks, such as Fantasy Face Painters at this event.

The program began on June 8 and will continue until Aug. 24. Each event runs from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and families can just drop in to visit.

View the full article at vindy.com

Construction to create closure, detour of Mill Creek Bike Trail for a year

A popular bike trail will be closed or detoured for approximately one year while construction crews work on the nearby turnpike. 

Mill Creek MetroParks announced Thursday that the bike trail will be closed near Kirk Road beginning Tuesday, July 17th.

According to park officials, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission will be replacing the turnpike bridges over the Bikeway. 

OTIC will replace the bridges with a large concrete arch culvert, thus creating a tunnel for the bikeway under the turnpike. 

A release says the project will be completed in two phases. 

During the first phase, pedestrians/bicyclists will not be able to travel south on the bikeway from Kirk Road Trailhead and pedestrians/bicyclists traveling north from Herbert Road will arrive at a “dead-end”. 

Cyclists traveling north will be met with a sign at Herbert Road alerting them that the trail will dead end ahead of the construction. 

The second phase of the project is anticipated to begin in November 2018 and includes construction of a detour for the bikeway. At that time, through access for pedestrians/bicyclists will be restored by means of the detour. 

Once OTIC’s project is totally completed in 2019, the detour will be removed and bikeway traffic will be routed through the new tunnel.

View the full article at vindy.com

Topiary sculptures on display at Fellows

The topiary works of local artist Mike Gibson are now on display at Fellows Riverside Gardens, 123 McKinley Ave., on the West Side.

Gibson has used his self-taught skills in topiary – the art of trimming trees or shrubs into ornamental shapes – to create

a series of whimsical living sculptures on the gardens’ grounds.

The free exhibit is titled “A Diamond in the Rough,” which is a nod to Fellows 60th anniversary celebration. It is being displayed now through Dec. 31.

A Meet the Artist session will take place Aug. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the gazebo at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

For information, call Fellows at 330-740-7116.

Gibson’s landscape work can be seen throughout the Mahoning Valley at local businesses and private residences.

View the full article at vindy.com

Children observe wildlife in the gardens

Mill Creek MetroParks hosted a story time for young children at Fellows Riverside Gardens on June 7.

Marilyn Williams, a naturalist with the park, created the Children’s Nature Hour for the park. The program focused on listening and seeing the wildlife present in the garden.

The event began at the Kidston Pavilion in the gardens. The children had a small coloring activity to complete while other families arrived. Williams placed out mats for the children to sit on during the event.

Williams read “Quiet in the Garden” by Aliki, a story about a child who sits and listens to the animals in the garden. The child talked to animals and learned about what they eat.

After the story, the group went on their own walk through the gardens to see what they could see and hear. Williams led them through the park, and they stopped at certain spots to try and see wildlife. At a certain point, she gave the children binoculars to look for birds in the trees.

On the walk, the children saw birds, bumblebees and spiders. They sat and listened and could hear the rushing water of the creek, the songs of birds and the sounds of scurrying chipmunks.

The group headed back to the pavilion after the walk. Williams passed out plastic bird feeders and string for everyone to make their own feeders. They looped the string around the feeders, then they put beads on the string to make it personalized. The families took the crafts home with them to use in their yards.

A number of the previous Children’s Nature Hour events occurred at the Ford Nature Center in the past, but Williams scheduled future events throughout the park for the summer. The program runs the second Thursday of each month. Future events include a program on ponds at the Lily Pond and an event about bugs at the Stitt Pavilion.

View the full article at vindy.com

Mill Creek set to host AJGA event

Brian Tolnar had two goals in mind when he moved back to the Mahoning Valley. He also had a pretty good idea of how to reach those goals and put a plan in place.

In bringing the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation American Junior Golf Association All-Star Tournament to Mill Creek Golf Course, he found a way to accomplish those goals.

This week, the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation AJGA All-Star Tournament will showcase the best golfers between the ages of 12 and 15 at Mill Creek Golf Course.

“I’m super excited,” said Tolnar, Mill Creek’s PGA Director of Golf. “It took a year for us to land this event for Youngstown. I had the pleasure of working in Rochester and they held one of these events. When I moved back here, they were first people I contacted.

“[The AJGA] wanted to be in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh market,” Tolnar said. “We were able to fulfill that.

“We had two goals. Number one, we wanted to impact the community. Number two, we wanted to showcase Mill Creek Metroparks. This is a great way to accomplish both.”

The tournament opens with a 100-player qualifier beginning today at 8 a.m. with a select number of players earning their way into the field. That number is yet to be determined.

There will be a practice round on Monday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. leading into a Junior-Am charity tournament beginning at 1:30 p.m. Three local amateurs will be paired with a top-15 player in the world for the event.

“The girls winner will be about 5- or 6-under,” Tolnar said. “The boys winner will be between 7- and 10-under. They’ll shoot good numbers and the course won’t play easy, by any means.

“If we have half of the Big Ten [Conference] here checking out 12-to 15-years-olds, it’s pretty big. It’s pretty big if we’re getting Oklahoma State, UCLA, Texas to fly in. These kids can hit the ball a mile. They chip and putt like wizards. They’re really fun to watch.”

The field will include golfers from all over the United States and the world.

“There are six Junior All-Star events,” Tolnar said. “They qualify on points. We’re one of six hosting cities. We have a number of kids in from countries outside the United States and states outside of Ohio. Last year, we had kids from 17 countries and 42 states.”

The first round will begin Tuesday at 7 a.m. with pairings being released Monday evening. The field will include 136 players. Round 2 will begin Wednesday at 7 a.m.

“Historically, these events have 96 players,” Tolnar said. “In this area, we have the largest wait list with 70-plus kids [who would like to play in the event]. They expanded the field to 136 players.”

After the first two rounds, the field will be paired down to the top 70 scores and ties for the final round, which will run Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 2:30 p.m.

Spectators are welcome throughout the event.

The tournament will impact the Mahoning Valley in a big way, as it did during its first two years in existence. The impact will continue for a minimum of three more years.

“The first two years, this event brought about $755,000 in financial impact to the Mahoning Valley,” Tolnar said. “This year, it’s projected to be about $58,000 more than that. I’m proud of the impact we’re able to have on the community.

“This year, Mike Senchak, CEO of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation, ponied up $110,000 to sponsor the event and signed a four-year deal. About $100,000 will go to the event and about $10,000 will be used for course beautification. This keeps the money in the area. We’re happy to have him here. He ensures this event stays in the area for the next three years.”

The area won’t be the only benefactor of the tournament.

“The AJGA has typically donated about $10,000 to be split between the ACE Grant and the Mill Creek Metroparks Foundation,” Tolnar said. “This year, they’ve told us it will be north of $15,000.”

View the full article at vindy.com

Daybreak Nation on Location: Boathouses at Mill Creek Park

If you’re looking for some outside fun in the area, Mill Creek Park has the perfect place for you.

Lake Glacier has lots to do, including kayaking, peddle boating and passenger boats. 

Lake Glacier Boathouse is open Wed- Sun and Holidays 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For videos and article, visit wytv.com

 

Fellows Riverside’s rose garden now forever Joanne’s jewel

Tim Beeghly’s eyes filled with tears as he recalled his late mother’s love for one of Mill Creek MetroParks’ most revered and attractive areas.

“It brought so much peace and happiness to her life. She never dreamed it would be named after her,” the Charlottesville, Va., man said about his mother, Joanne Beeghly, and her longtime relationship with the rose garden section of Fellows Riverside Gardens near downtown.

That section of the botanical gardens was renamed the Joanne F. Beeghly Rose Garden during a dedication ceremony Monday morning in her honor.

An emotional Tim Beeghly, along with a few dozen other family members and guests, attended the gathering next to a plaque bearing her name and honoring his mother, who died in June 2017 at age 92.

The Beeghly family has donated money to the park for a variety of garden and other projects over several decades, noted Andrew Pratt, Mill Creek MetroParks’ gardens director. Monday’s special dedication will allow the rose gardens “to remain a jewel in perpetuity,” he said.

At its peak, more than 1,000 colorful roses bloom in that area, which was established more than 50 years ago, Pratt said.

Tim Beeghly recalled that his mother was active in the Garden Club of Youngstown for about 20 years, and family members often visited Mill Creek MetroParks for holiday picnics, to play baseball and for a host of other reasons.

“We loved the park. It was always a big treat for us,” he said. “So we jumped at the chance to do something like this for our mom.”

Also on hand was Beeghly’s daughter, Summerlyn Beeghly of Charlottesville, who said she derives tremendous comfort in knowing that a part of her grandmother’s legacy will live on because the rose garden bearing her name will await her whenever she visits the Mahoning Valley.

“This garden made my grandmother more happy than anything else,” Beeghly said. “This defines how I would like to remember her.”

A $215,300 endowment fund made the rose garden dedication possible, said Chris Litton, the MetroParks’ development director. A portion of those funds will go toward caring for and maintaining the gardens, said Litton, who added that the project also coincided with several other park endowment efforts.

Even in her later years, Joanne Beeghly continued to cherish and embrace Mill Creek MetroParks’ offerings and to spend time there, Tim Beeghly remembered.

“She used to glow at the idea of someone putting her in the car and taking her to the park,” he said. “This gives all of us a way to celebrate our mother.”

Making additional remarks was Aaron Young, the park’s executive director, who unveiled the plaque.

View the full article at vindy.com

Mill Creek MetroParks road closures

According to reports, there will be several roads in Mill Creek MetroParks closed to vehicular traffic, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 26th.

The reason for these closings is a race beginning at 9 a.m. at the Youngstown YMCA, heading into Mill Creek Park, around Lake Glacier, and back to the YMCA.

The following roads will be closed: East Glacier Drive, Memorial Hill Drive, West Glacier Drive, and Price Road.

Authorities advise that people should always use caution when driving on MetroParks roads, as many of these roads are also used by pedestrians and bicyclists. 

Pedestrians and bicyclists should also use caution and be aware of drivers when on these roads.

For more information about Mill Creek MetroParks, please visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

View the full article at wfmj.com

Mill Creek MetroParks kicks off kayaking season

The unofficial start of summer brings with it the beginning of kayaking season at Mill Creek MetroParks.

Beginning today, MetroParks visitors can hit the water on their own or participate in a kayaking trip led by a MetroParks guide.

“We’re very happy to get the season started,” said MetroParks naturalist Marilyn Williams, who will lead the First Kayak of 2018 event from 10 a.m. to noon today at Lake Newport.

Kayaking is permitted on lakes Newport and Glacier, with launch points from boathouses located on both lakes. Visitors can bring their own kayaks, or the MetroParks offers kayak and paddle boat rentals at the boathouses.

Williams said all skill levels are welcome. For the next several months, the MetroParks will host weekly guided kayaking trips, which Williams said are good opportunities to learn the basics.

“We will show you how to paddle,” she said. “It’s a good way to learn with a group, with the volunteers and naturalists here to help you. It’s easier than you think.”

Williams said kayaking trips provide good opportunities to explore nature and relax.

“It’s very quiet and soothing,” she said. “We do see a lot of birds. It’s a good way to come out and enjoy the lakes and the wetlands.”

MetroParks naturalists and volunteers prepared for the start of kayaking season this week with a scouting tour. Williams explained the weather can lead to yearly changes in the water channels, which only adds to the experience.

“Each time is different. Each season is different,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to see.”

Guided kayak trips are scheduled every weekend of June, July and August, plus two dates in September and one in October. For a complete schedule, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org. Register and pay two days in advance at Ford Nature Center. The cost is $12 per person for Mahoning County residents, $15 for nonresidents, and the second seat in a tandem kayak is half price.

Rentals are available at the Lake Glacier Boathouse from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and on holidays. They are available at Lake Newport on weekends and holidays.

Pedal-boat fees range from $5 to $15, based on length of rental and residency.

Kayak rental fees are $8 per hour for county residents and $4 for an additional half-hour. They are $15 per hour and $7.50 for an extra half-hour for nonresidents. The second person in a tandem kayak is half price in both cases.

The MetroParks also offers passenger-boat rides from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays, as well as chartered boat trips.

For information, visit the MetroParks website or call 330-740-7107.

View the full article at vindy.com