Outside media coverage of Mill Creek MetroParks

Annual Olde Fashioned Christmas offers taste of past

When it comes to doing her part to get people more in the holiday spirit, Kathy Adams doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.

“I do one show a year; it’s my hobby,” the Austintown woman said about highlighting her abilities with clay and other materials that are hallmarks of her artistic tools of the trade.

Adams, who works at Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman, spent part of Saturday afternoon displaying her talents with wet clay and a few sharp tools as she crafted and carefully shaped a few snowmen to sell. Her efforts also were part of the annual Olde Fashioned Christmas at Lanterman’s Mill gathering in and next to the mill on Canfield Road.

Fourteen artisans and other vendors are the main attraction for the event, which continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the mill. Sponsoring the free, family-oriented and holiday-themed gathering is 21- WFMJ / WBCB-TV.

For Adams, who also studied for more than two years at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Olde Fashioned Christmas event truly is a family affair, because helping her sell hand-painted and glazed turtles, cats, cardinals and other items she made are her daughter, Sara Sinchak, and granddaughter, Nina Sinchak, 10.

“The ornaments are baked (in a kiln), hand-painted, glitzed and shellacked, and ribbons are tied,” said Sara, who added that she assists her mother mainly with the business and organizational aspects.

“I sold a lot of them,” an excited Nina said, referring to a variety of stenciled and cut-out tree ornaments she crafted, a few of which were shaped like Snoopy, a cardinal and Forky, a spork character from this year’s popular film “Toy Story 4.”

Attendees who are looking for Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers likely won’t return home disappointed or empty-handed. Merchandise for sale includes scented soap bowls, wooden kitchenware products, ornaments made from beeswax, fleece dog tug toys, picture frames, spool-and-bobbin night lights, pottery items and dog bandannas.

For the sentimental at heart, local artist and historian Bob Barko Jr. has for sale numerous prints of Idora Park and other iconic places that capture much of Youngstown’s history. In addition, selling his prints and notecards is C. Scott Lanz, a longtime nature photographer who in 2005 started his photography business, LanzScape Photography Ltd.

Each year, Lanz publishes and sells the Mill Creek MetroParks calendar. A portion of the proceeds benefits Fellow Riverside Gardens.

Providing a bit of a personal touch to the holiday season is Kathy Bowman of Austintown, who is a regular fixture at the Olde Fashioned Christmas festivities.

“I use a mallet on wet leather, then place and stamp a letter,” Bowman explained about her ability to design then personalize leather bracelets, many of which contain children’s names.

She also had on her table a few delicate and web-like dream-catcher items that are symbolic of many Native Americans’ beliefs about and interpretations of dreams.

“The good dreams go through the net, but the bad dreams get caught in the web and are destroyed in the morning by the morning light,” she said about the belief.

Many attendees Saturday also spent considerable time outside of the mill, where they were treated to chestnuts being roasted over an open fire, courtesy of Ray Novotny, a park volunteer and former naturalist. Also heating things up a bit in the 40-degree weather was Howard Mincone, a comedian and magician whose audience enjoyed a display of pantomimes, juggling and fire-eating acts.

Event organizers also are encouraging people to bring new hats, scarves and mittens that will be placed on a “giving tree” and distributed to children in need this winter. Monetary donations also are being accepted.

Providing the entertainment is “One String Short,” an acoustic group that performed several traditional Christmas carols.

Full article at vindy.com

Local volunteers decorate dozens of Christmas trees at Davis Center

Dozens of volunteers were decorating Christmas trees on Monday for the annual “Tree Walk” inside the Davis Center at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park.

This is part of the facility’s “Winter Celebration, which starts on Saturday.

More than 50 local non-profit groups–including the Leonard Kirtz School, Second Harvest Food Bank, Goodwill Industries and Ursuline High School–will have trees there.

This year’s theme at the Davis Center is “The Magical Woods.”

View full article at wkbn.com

FELLOWS RIVERSIDE GARDENS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boulder climbing approved behind Bears Den Cabin in Mill Creek Park

People who like to climb boulders can now do it legally in an area of Mill Creek Park.

The park’s board of commissioners unanimously approved boulder climbing around an outcrop of boulders behind Bears Den Cabin.

It’s the only section of the park where boulder climbing will be allowed.

The idea was proposed by the Ohio Climbers Coalition in September.

A study was done to determine if any endangered plants would be harmed.

When the study came back negative, the decision was made to approve boulder climbing.

Full article at wkbn.com

Section of MetroParks Bikeway to be closed for a week

Starting Wednesday, a 2-mile section of the Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway will be closed for a pavement repair and asphalt resurfacing project.

The section of the bikeway in Canfield Township between Western Reserve Road and state Route 446 will close for approximately one week.

The project will address poor pavement conditions by repairing cracks, planing and excavating uneven pavement, and installing a new course of asphalt pavement.

Access to the bikeway from Western Reserve Road, Leffingwell Road, state Route 446 and the MetroParks Farm Trailhead will be prohibited for the entire duration of the project. The work schedule may be adjusted due to bad weather, which could cause delays to the start or completion of the project.

Full article at mahoningmatters.com

Mill Creek Park hopes to enhance visitor experience with improvement projects

Four years ago, voters in Mahoning County agreed to provide a million dollars a year to Mill Creek MetroParks for capital improvements. A 15-year plan was started in 2017 and the third year is just about over.

On Tuesday afternoon at Mill Creek South, crews were doing drainage work around the 17th green — part of $300,000 of drainage work done this year on 29 of the golf course greens.

“Last year, we did the bunker restoration at the golf course,” said Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Aaron Young. “This year, we’re finishing greens drainage.”

Repairing the golf course greens was one of 13 projects completed, totaling $1.75 million.

“The improvements have been well needed and well-received,” Young said.

Some of the improvements can be seen at the MetroParks offices and farm in Canfield, where the parking lot has been paved, new signs in what will now be the MetroParks style have been put up and a new $50,000 restroom.

Another restroom facility just like it was built at the Wick Recreation area this year. Over the next 10 to 15 years, the plan is to replace all of the restrooms in the park system.

“Quite frankly, if we had the resources, you could argue that they all need replaced right now. We already know that,” Young said.

One of this year’s major construction projects was around Lanterman’s Mill — one of the park’s top attractions.

The entire corner leading to the mill was reconfigured. The area around the mill and Canfield Road has been redone, as has the road that connects the mill with the Silver Bridge.

Like all of the restrooms, all of the roads and parking lots will eventually be redone.

“Everybody likes smooth roads, everybody likes a clear, delineated parking lot and everybody likes a nice restroom experience,” Young said. “You’re ahead of the game if you can provide those base-level amenities.”

The plan next year behind the Morely Pavilion in the Wick Recreation area is to build a new $500,000 maintenance building, which will open up the warming cabin for public use.

In 2020, work on renovating the Ford Nature Center will begin — 90% of the money is in place.

“Anything and everything that the park does needs some level of improvement, and we’re going to try to address as much as we can with the resources that are available,” Young said.

Fifty percent of this year’s capital improvements budget was spent on roads, bridges, parking lots and restrooms. Fixing the old log cabin cost $25,000. Putting in a disc golf course cost another $25,000. About $115,000 was spent on Fellows Riverside Gardens and the East Hike and Bike Trail got $150,000 in improvements.

Full article at wkbn.com

Community members gather in search for Bigfoot in Mill Creek Park

“Does he exist, does he not exist?”

To some, Bigfoot is just a myth. But to others, he is a real creature yet to be found.

On Friday, dozens of people gathered in Mill Creek Park to begin an adventure into the whereabouts of Bigfoot.

“Mill Creek Park, there’s a mystique about it and there’s a mystery. We thought it would be fun, given it’s fall, it’s October, Halloween is right around the corner,” said Lynn Zocolo, an educator with Mill Creek MetroParks.

This is the first year of the Bigfoot Weekend event in Mill Creek. It runs from Friday through Sunday, with different activities for each day.

“To be in the park after dark is quite something special. So tonight is for older kids and adults that are interested or curious,” Zocolo said.

Amy Bue is a local investigator who said she has had her own Bigfoot experiences. Now she travels to different areas looking for him and teaching others how to investigate.

“The first time I ever heard about the fact that — or the idea that Big Foot could be a real creature was after I saw something just right here in Mahoning County in 2012,” Bue said. “I was a passenger in a car going over Meander Reservoir and across the reservoir on the opposite side, holding onto a tree was what, immediately, what I thought looked like Bigfoot.”

On Friday, the group heard a little of Bue’s experiences, then split up to go searching through the park.

On Saturday, there will be some kid-friendly activities and Sunday, there will be a presentation on Bigfoot at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield.

Zocolo said Saturday’s event is full, but Sunday is open to the public and anyone can join.

For more information on the events, you can visit their Facebook event page.

Bue also encourages people to reach out to her with their own experiences. Her email address is bigfootamy@gmail.com.

BIGFOOT-THEMED WEEKEND PLANNED AT MILL CREEK METROPARKS

WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Mill Creek MetroParks hosts first Bigfoot weekend family event

Mill Creek MetroParks is hosting its first Bigfoot weekend.

Local Bigfoot investigator and educator Amy Bue will share her knowledge on how to conduct an investigation and how to collect evidence.

Bue will also share her own experience of what she says is a Bigfoot sighting.

The family-fun events include:

Night investigation – Fri. Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. (For teens and adults; includes s’mores around the campfire)

Kid-friendly stations – Sat. Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. (includes their own investigation and campfire)

“Bigfoot: Fact or Fiction?” presentation – Sun. Oct. 6 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Bue will share her own sighting that she says took place in Mahoning County)

Space is limited for the event. Call Fellows Riverside Gardens at (330) 740-7116 for more information on fees and registration or visit www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

Full article at wkbn.com

Mill Creek Park hopes new technology could prevent algae growth and fish kills

A Youngstown-based environmental company is running some tests around Mill Creek Park for the next few weeks, trying to find ways to kill off dangerous algae.

Green Water Solutions will be testing a new technology around Lake Newport over the next few weeks, using a system that puts more oxygen into waterways.

“A new form of aeration, similar to what we just installed at the Lily Pond,” said Nick Derico, natural resources steward at Mill Creek. “That system was designed to run 24 hours a day, 365. This will be more of a limited treatment period.”

The system doesn’t use hazardous chemicals. Instead, it sprays tiny ozone bubbles into the water.

“The technology is injecting ozone, infused into the nanobubbles,” said Chris Antinone, Jr., with Green Water Solutions. “The nanobubbles sink into the water. One of the things we are trying to do here is put it in downstream, let the nanobubbles come upstream, and see how far they work and how well it works coming up.”

The ozone turns into oxygen, and cleans out some of the nitrogen and other pollutants algae need to grow.

It’s being done in late summer because that’s when algae blooms are the worst.

Scientists from Youngstown State and federal agencies will monitor the results.

“They’re going to look at what’s in the water and what did we take out of the water,” Antinone said.

The park is interested to see how the project turns out. It’s been tested before at Mosquito Lake and in Florida.

This could be a way to control the dangerous bacterial growth like the one that killed thousands of fish in the park in 2015.

“In theory, it is possible,” Derico said. “I don’t want to say a solution, but it could help control those bacterias.”

The company will track nanobubbles down through the park’s waterways and see how far they travel.

Full article at wkbn.com