Land and money were donated to Mill Creek Park in 1958 by Elizabeth Fellows, an avid gardener, to establish and maintain free public gardens, which were first planted in 1963.

The 12 acres of gardens, with hilltop vistas of Youngstown and Lake Glacier, are open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk, and feature colorful seasonal displays of annuals, perennials and flowering bulbs and shade, herb and rock garden plants.

The nearly $6 million D.D. & Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center, which opened at the gardens in December 2000, features an auditorium, banquet hall, horticultural library, historical museum, cafe, gift shop, classrooms, outdoor terraces and an observation tower overlooking Lake Glacier.

Outdoor wedding ceremonies limited to 100 participants may be scheduled by permit in the Gazebo or Kidston Pavilion. The fee for these outdoor ceremonies is $100 for Mahoning County residents and $150 for nonresidents.

Rooms in the Davis Center may be rented for rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and other functions. Renters must hire one of 38 caterers from the park’s approved list, and bartenders must be hired through that caterer. Fees vary depending on which space is rented and duration of occupancy.

Wedding photography is allowed in the gardens without reservation or permit and at no charge on a space-available basis.

Forthcoming event: Bridal Fair, noon to 4 p.m. July 15, at which the Davis Center and gardens will be fully decorated with bridal vendors present, and a 3 p.m. wedding fashion show.

The gardens are funded by the Mill Creek MetroParks general fund, the Fellows Trust, Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens and individual contributions. Rental and marriage fees go to the park’s general fund.

Located at 123 McKinley Ave., the Davis Center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

The Davis Center was built entirely by private donations raised by the Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens.

Source: Mill Creek MetroParks

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