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Wonders in the Woods



Published: Mon, November 19, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

A winding $1.2M path opens new vistas on Fellows Riverside Gardens

photo

Jack Anderson and Barbara Dean look over the new bridge and drainage area along the new path in Fellows Riverside Gardens of Mill Creek MetroParks. Anderson designed the handicapped accessible path that goes through the gardens’ native woodlands display.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Fellows Riverside Gardens is known for its roses, tulips and daffodils, but new paths opening next month will take visitors inside a native woodland setting filled with hemlock, oaks and sugar maples.

When Elizabeth Fellows donated the land in the 1950s, she requested that a portion remain in a natural state, said Keith Kaiser, the gardens’ horticulture director.

That led to the Ohio Woodland Garden in the southeast corner of the property. Until now, many visitors might have overlooked or skipped the area that was accessible only through rough paths.

“The new winding paths are laid down and people can follow them and find themselves spending 45 more minutes there exploring. There’s something about public gardens that are both orderly and an opportunity for discovery,” said Janet Yaniglos, president of Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens.

“It just opens up new vistas and experiences,” she added.

The Friends is a volunteer, nonprofit organization that collaborates with the gardens and Mill Creek MetroParks. The group helped raise money to put toward the estimated $1.2 million project cost that includes the woodland paths, rainwater cascade drainage system and, in the future, an elevated canopy trail.

The project is part of gardens’ master plan, which was updated in 2008. Though some funding for the drainage system came from the MetroPark’s capital improvement fund, most was privately donated, Kaiser said.

The paths are brick with a concrete base and wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. Construction took about three months.

“We’re very proud that we’ve made the experience so much more open for people with disabilities. You so often see people taking a senior family member in a wheelchair through our gardens, and these paths will make this all the more possible,” Yaniglos said.

Another addition is the Woodland Gathering Rocks, where individuals and groups can rest or have discussion.

Kaiser said the proposed canopy walk, which would be an offshoot near the woodland paths, also would be handicapped accessible.

“We want people to feel like they’re in the treetops. Not everyone had the opportunity as a kid to climb a tree,” he said, adding that funds are still being raised for the canopy portion of the project.

But the public can use the woodland paths in December when the walkways will be decorated with electric lights and torches during the gardens’ Winter Nights.

In spring, Kaiser said native wildflowers, such as trillium, Dutchman’s breeches and witch hazel, will bloom in the woodland garden.

“We have many people say ‘I never went back there before,’ and we think this will change that,” Kaiser said.


Comments

1IslandMike(748 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Only 63 shopping days left until Obama's 2nd Inauguration!!

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2JS(584 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

When money is no object who could object to the spending of it? So here we have spent $1.2 million destroying the natural beauty of the land.

Suggest removal:

3Bigben(1996 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Lets see the lady wanted to leave a portion natural so you want to develop it . What bone heads. That place was beautiful in the 1980s now it is a freak show.

Suggest removal:

4whosyerdaddy(8 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

They used to be dirt paths that no one wanted to use, and now they are accessible by all. Freaky 'eh?

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5rickking123(286 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Island mike

Please save your obama drivel for articles about obama. unless you're saying that the park district spends other people's money just like obama does......

Suggest removal:

6IslandMike(748 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

rickking,

You need a tissue. Who started the bailouts?

HILLARY 2016!!!

Suggest removal:

7rickking123(286 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Island mike

Who spent 6 trillion in 4 years after complaining that budget deficits were unpatriotic?

Suggest removal:


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