Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meetings

The Horticulture Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at 6 p.m. at Fellows Riverside Gardens.

The Nature Education Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Monday, July 30, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

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

Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway Closure

The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC) will be replacing the existing turnpike bridges over the MetroParks Bikeway, located directly south of Kirk Road Trailhead. The project will begin on July 17, 2018 and is expected to be completed in late 2019. Bikeway access through the project area will NOT be permitted throughout the construction project but the remainder of the bikeway will remain open.

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

West Newport Drive to Temporarily Close for Improvement Project

West Newport Drive in Mill Creek Park will be closing on Monday, July 16, 2018, for a road improvement project. The project consists of improvements to West Newport Drive from Sheban Drive to the Hampton Drive entrance. The project is designed to improve stormwater drainage, roadway surface conditions, aesthetics and park user safety along the drive. Improvements include pavement planing, placing intermediate and surface courses of asphalt concrete, installation of aggregate shoulders, new pavement markings and miscellaneous related items. 

The project was awarded to Butch & McCree Paving Inc. at a total cost of $271,092.95. The project is partially funded through ODOT using their Park District Road Improvement Fund at $126,933. The project should be completed in approximately three weeks. In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly.

In 2017, the MetroParks completed a comprehensive improvement project along West Newport Drive between Canfield Road (Route 62) and the Hampton Drive entrance, and in 2018 completed a stormwater and linear grading project in preparation for this improvement project. Upon completion of this upcoming improvement project, the entire length of West Newport Drive in Mill Creek Park will be improved.

“A Diamond in the Rough” currently on display in Outdoor Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens

Local topiary artist, Mike Gibson, uses his self-taught landscaping and art skills to creatively turn ordinary trees and shrubs into whimsical living sculptures. The exhibit, “A Diamond in the Rough”, showcases a rare art form of unique shapes that bend the rules on what is possible with topiary in the Outdoor Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Mr. Gibson recognizes Fellows Riverside Gardens 60th anniversary in his exhibit title. His landscape work is featured throughout the Mahoning Valley at local businesses and private residences.

This free exhibit is being displayed now through December 31, 2018. A Meet the Artist session will take place on Sunday, August 12 from 1 – 3 pm in the Gazebo/Outdoor Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Take this opportunity to meet and visit with this talented artist and see his works.

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

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 Golf Course to host U.S. Kids Golf Tournament in September

Mill Creek Golf Course will be hosting the U.S. Kids Golf Tournament on Saturday, September 29, 2018 on the South Course. This one-day tournament provides juniors the opportunity to advance to State, Regional, and World Championships. Local Tours are designed for the beginning competitive golfer, as each event provides a fun environment where kids can develop their skills. The event will host junior golfers from around the world in the 5 – 14 age division.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to add the U.S. Kids Tournament to our schedule this September at Mill Creek Golf Course. The event will allow us to showcase the MetroParks to junior golfers and their families from all across the United States. Events such as this support the local community and make a strong financial impact to the Mahoning Valley,” says Brian Tolnar, Mill Creek PGA Director of Golf.

About U.S. Kids Golf Tournament

The mission of U.S. Kids Golf is to help kids have fun learning the lifelong game of golf and to encourage family interaction that builds lasting memories. Today, with more than 900 tournaments organized yearly in 50+ markets, players, ages 5 to 14, learn to compete in their local community and then advance to State, Regional, and World Championships. Local Tours are designed for the beginning competitive golfer, as each event provides a fun environment where kids can develop their skills. Two-day events like our State invitational tournaments and Regional Championships are ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard and are the next step for competitive junior golfers. At each level, players may earn Green, Orange, or Blue Status in order to gain entry into more challenging events. 

U.S. Kids Golf was started as a family business desiring to stay true to the mission and purpose of bringing kids into the game. Because providing the right equipment needed to be coupled with improved programs, coaching, and opportunity for competition, like other organized sports, the Foundation was started. The vision of families spending time together outdoors and playing golf is our true passion, and many people throughout the golf industry have joined us in our efforts.  We are thankful for our role in giving kids the lifelong game of golf.