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A History of Friends

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Founded in 1988, Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens, Inc. is a non-profit corporation committed to the preservation and improvement of Fellows Riverside Gardens as a cultural, educational, and aesthetic center in the community where people and plants connect. Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens are independent of the Gardens and Mill Creek MetroParks, yet work in steady collaboration to sponsor events and programs and to fund large-scale garden projects. 


Under the auspices of Mill Creek MetroParks, a county-based park system serving Mahoning County, Fellows Riverside Gardens encompasses twelve acres in the Mahoning Commons near downtown Youngstown. 


Fellows Riverside Gardens is the culmination of Elizabeth Fellows' dream to create a beauty spot for all to enjoy. Mrs. Fellows willed the land and money to Mill Creek MetroParks to build and maintain a free public garden. In 1958, Elizabeth died at the age of 96 in her home. Since its first planting in 1963, the Gardens have been shaped by the generosity of many people.     

What We Do

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Who We Are

FFRG is led by a board of dedicated individuals who are actively working to keep the dream of Elizabeth Fellows alive.

We seek to achieve this mission through stewardship of numerous endowments including those allocated for specific purposes such as building and grounds upkeep; education programs; direct funding of appropriate Gardens' projects; and use of profits realized by the Shop in the Gardens, an entity that the Friends organization buys for, manages and operates under contract with Mill Creek MetroParks.


Additioanlly, FFRG also directs resources to enhance horticultural learning and understanding for our members and community.  We are committed to advocacy for Fellows Riverside Gardens, evident through our numerous, ongoing communications and celebratory events.

President: Denise Stewart • Vice-President: Andy Detesco • Secretary/Treasurer: Emily Huggins

Board of Directors (Voting Members): Deby Clark, Bill Conti, Sallie Dutton, Marcia Haire Ellis, Jim Houck, Thomas F. Hull II, Carl James, Scott Lanz, Sarah Lowry,  H. Marcus Masters, Deb Metzger, Bill Mullane, Mary Ann Navarro, Gene Pusateri, Patrick Russo, Chris Soller


Kathleen Krantz, Operations Manager


Through the fundraising efforts of Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens and generosity from the Davis family, this exquisite facility opened December 15, 2000. Constructed entirely through private donations, the building was given to Mill Creek MetroParks for the community to enjoy. This year-round facility welcomes visitors from the local community and across the nation and serves as a special venue for a variety of events, programs, and rental needs.


Many of the rooms inside the Davis Center are available to rent for weddings, meetings, and special events. Visit the Fellows Riverside Gardens rental page on the MetroParks website to find out more.


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