Activities scheduled in April at Mill Creek MetroParks facilities.
April 1: 10 a.m., book discussion. "Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics and the Ethics of Business." Lowell Satre, author of "Chocolate on Trial" and Youngstown State University professor of history emeritus, will discuss his book.
In 1901 Cadbury Bros. Ltd., a successful Quaker-owned chocolate manufacturer in England, discovered that the cocoa beans they were buying were produced by slave labor. "Chocolate on Trial" focuses on the events surrounding the libel trial in which Cadbury sued the London Standard, after the newspaper's accusation the company was hypocritical in its use of slave-grown cocoa. Meet at Ford Nature Center.
April 1: 1:30-3 p.m. Each child age 6 and up with their adult companion will plant two carnivorous plants in a miniature bog terrarium. Call (330) 740-7116 to register. Fee: $10 residents; $14 nonresidents.
April 1, 8, 22 and 29: 8:30-10 a.m. Yoga at Fellows Riverside Gardens taught by Heidi Suraci. Call (330) 740-7116 for information. Fee: $9 per class.
April 2: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Welcome the spring season and the new arrivals at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield. Bring your family to see and pet baby chicks, calves, lambs, piglets and much more. Cake and punch provided.
April 2: 2 p.m. YSU graduate student Alyson Eggleston will explain why April Fools' Day practical jokes are considered funny on a hike through Hitchcock Woods. Meet at Deerpath Drive off Hitchcock Road. Moderate difficulty, 2 miles.
April 4-5: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Garden Guide Training. Learn to lead group tours through Fellows Riverside Gardens to discuss the highlights of the season. Dress for the weather and walking. Call (330) 740-7116 to register.
April 4, 11, 18 and 25: 5:30-7 p.m. Yoga at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Call (330) 740-7116.
April 6: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Preschoolers celebrate Mill Creek Park's 115th birthday. Each preschooler with an adult will listen to a story, blow out 115 candles before sharing cake and make a memento to take home. Call (330) 740-7116 to register.
April 6: 6:30-8 p.m. Veggie Garden volunteer meeting. Do you have experience with vegetable gardening, and are you interested in sharing your enthusiasm with children who garden at the MetroParks Farm? Dedicated volunteers are needed to help Wednesday mornings with this summerlong program of gardening, cooking and activities. Attend this informational meeting at Fellows Riverside Gardens to learn more about becoming a part of the special program. Call (330) 740-7116 to register.
April 6, 13, 20 (morning only) and 27: 8:30-10 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. Yoga at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Call (330) 740-7116.
April 7: 6 p.m. The timberdoodle is a unique bird more commonly known as the woodcock. The males perform a spring mating flight at dusk and dawn. Join in on the timberdoodle quest. View a 30-minute video before the hike. Wear boots. Meet at MetroParks Farm. Easy rating. 1.5 miles.
April 8: 11:30 a.m. The area's largest Easter egg hunt starts at 11:30 a.m. sharp as children ages 4-10 dash for candy, toys and prizes. There will be a separate area for children 2 and 3. The raw-egg toss for adults is immediately after the hunt. Held rain or shine on the Judge Morley Pavilion lawn in the Wick Recreation Area.
April 9: noon-5 p.m. The Mahoning Valley Dahlia Society will offer unique varieties of dahlias that will add to your collection. Held at Fellows Riverside Gardens.
April 9: 1-4 p.m. Did you know a baby rabbit is called a kit? Learn more fun facts about rabbits. Children of all ages will make a small craft to take home. Held at MetroParks Farm.
April 9: 2 p.m. Bring your favorite canine for a hike along East Cohasset Drive. Dogs must be nonaggressive, on a leash, in good health and able to hike 3 miles. One dog per person. Bring bottled water for your pet. Meet at Ford Nature Center. Moderate difficulty because of length.
April 12: 9 a.m. Health and wellness walk. Meet at Golf Course overflow parking lot on West Golf Drive. Easy rating, 1 or 3 miles.
April 13: 10, 10:45 or 11:30 a.m. Mother Earth will introduce 2-year-olds and their favorite adults to the wonders of nature through a story and an exploration that engages all of the senses. There will be plenty of creative, hands-on activities. Call (330) 740-7107 to register.
April 13: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Deby Clark will teach participants how to make a long-lasting corsage using miniature carnations and greenery and a handmade bow. Call (330) 740-7116 to register. Fee: $15 R, $20 NR.
April 15: Noon-5 p.m. Fellows Riverside Gardens Daffodil Show.
April 15: 2 p.m. Hikers will look for some of the earliest blooming spring wildflowers such as adder's tongue, spring beauty and squirrel corn. Meet at Newport Wetlands. Easy rating, 2 miles.
April 16: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fellows Riverside Gardens Daffodil Show.
April 16: Noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Celebrate Easter at Fellows Riverside Gardens and enjoy a buffet catered by The Georgetown. Afterward take a springtime walk in the gardens. For reservations, call (330) 740-7074. Fee: $14.95 adults, $8.95 children (12 and under).
April 16: 2 p.m. Early wildflowers hike. Meet at Yellow Creek Park office in Struthers. High, waterproof boots are a must because of creek crossings. Moderate difficulty, 3 miles.
April 21: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Artist Gary Bukovnik will conduct a workshop to demonstrate his watercolor technique. Painting supplies for practicing will be available for students. Call (330) 740-7116 to register. Fee: $25 ($20 FFRG members).
April 21: 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Preschoolers ages 3-5 and their parents are invited for a exploration of our important connections to water. Preregister at Ford Nature Center. Fee: $2 R, $3 NR.
April 22: Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will spend the morning cleaning out winter's accumulation of litter in the park system. Unit leaders must call (330) 740-7107 by April 4 to reserve a work area and time.
April 22: 8 a.m. Explore the Newport Wetlands in search of the park's variety of birds. Bring binoculars. Meet at Newport Wetlands parking lot. Easy rating, less than one mile.
April 22: 9:30 a.m. John Holzbach Memorial Gathering and Walk. John Holzbach (1938-2005) began his career as a Mill Creek Park naturalist and retired as superintendent of Boardman Township Park District. Walk begins indoors to reminisce about his life and then participants take a walk through the park and reflect upon his work. Call (330) 740-7107 to register. Meet at Georgeanna Parker Activity Center, Boardman Park. Easy rating, 1 mile.
April 22: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Kite festival at the MetroParks Farm. Members of the Ohio Society for the Elevation of Kites and Fly Pittsburgh will provide a day of expert flying, ingenious designs and outrageous color. Bring kites of your own creation. Contests and games will be held throughout the day.
April 22: Noon-5 p.m. Spring Flower Show presented by Garden Forum of Greater Youngstown at Fellows Riverside Gardens.
April 22: 2 p.m. Earth Day hike led by naturalist emeritus Bill Whitehouse, who will discuss Mill Creek Park's natural and cultural history. Meet at Ford Nature Center. Moderate difficulty, 4.5 miles.
April 23: 9 a.m. Wake-up walk around Lake Newport. Meet at Newport Wetlands parking lot. Moderate difficulty, 4.5 miles.
April 23: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Garden Forum Spring Flower Show.
April 23: 1-4 p.m. Adults will learn how easy it is to make backyard composting part of their daily routine. Call the Mahoning County Green Team at (330) 740-2060 to preregister for one of two sessions and for fee information. A compost bin is included with fee. A children's activity will include making crafts out of recycled materials. All visitors can enjoy wagon tours of the Farm. Held at MetroParks Farm.
April 25: 7 p.m. Project directors from the Ohio State University will present a program for instruction on conducting the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II, a "citizen science" project. Sponsored by Audubon Society of Mahoning Valley. For details, call (330) 783-6287. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m.; program begins at 7 p.m. Held at MetroParks Farm.
April 26: 9 a.m. Health and wellness walk. Meet at MetroParks Bikeway trailhead at Kirk Road, Austintown. Moderate difficulty, 2 or 4 miles.
April 28: 8:30-10 a.m. Start your morning with a brisk garden walk. Return to the Garden Cafe for a light breakfast and learn more about the dogwood family. Call (330) 740-7116 to register. Fee: $6 R, $8 NR.
April 28: 8:30 p.m. If conditions are right -- warm and wet weather -- participants will hear the songs of male frogs serenading females. Flashlights are permitted; boots are recommended. Meet at Vickers Nature Preserve. Easy rating, 1 mile.
April 29: 8 a.m. Bird walk. Bring binoculars. Meet at Newport Wetlands parking lot. Easy rating, less than one mile.
April 29: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Getting to Know Trees: Part 4. Beginners are invited to attend the final session of this four-part, four-season approach to the study of trees. Bill Whitehouse will discuss identification, folklore, uses, ecology, conservation, anatomy, physiology and reproduction. Bring a lunch and drink. Workshop will be indoors and outdoors at the Ford Nature Center. Registration and fee are due at Ford Nature Center by April 25. Fee: $3 per session R, $5 per session NR.
April 30: 2 p.m. On this slow-paced stroll, participants will see the progression of spring wildflowers at Poland Municipal Forest. Originally established in the 1930s, this 250-acre tract of wet woodland features a blue carpet of Mertensia virginica along with other short-blooming beauties. Meet at College Street entrance to Poland Forest. Easy rating, 2 miles.
Fellows Riverside Gardens, Davis Education & amp; Visitor Center
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Weller Gallery: Nature photography by amateur photographers through April 9. Nine categories fill the gallery for your viewing pleasure.
April 14-June 4: Giant watercolor blossoms painted by nationally known artist Gary Bukovnik. The exhibit is underwritten by the John & amp; Doris Andrews Memorial Education Endowment.
Melnick Museum: Charles Eliot: Landscape Architect, through May. The prominent Boston landscape architect, hired by Volney Rogers, was influential in the early design of roads and paths around Lake Cohasset in Mill Creek Park.
MetroParks Farm reopens in April. Visiting times are 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Animal barns will be open. Group tours include wagon rides and are by appointment.
Lanterman's Mill reopens April 1, noon-4 p.m. Weekends only through April. Call (330) 740-7107 to arrange group tours.
Become a volunteer naturalist and help to share the wonders of nature. Educational sessions will be at various locations from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays beginning April 5 for 10 weeks. The program provides participants with a firm knowledge of the environment, an understanding of land stewardship and the opportunity for hands-on experience.
Participants will learn about geology, mammals, birds, fish, archaeology, agriculture and communications as well as topics such as the management of land, forest and aquatic ecosystems. Guest lecturers will share their expertise and field trips will take you outdoors. Call (330) 533-5538 to register. Fee: $125.
Abbreviations: R means Mahoning County residents; NR means nonresidents; FFRG means Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens.

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