Mill Creek class members learn to put on their swag | News, Sports, Jobs


YOUNGSTOWN — Sue Reardon recalled when she and her husband, Bob, competed in cycling at Mill Creek Park on the steep incline near Glacier Lake that leads to Fellows Riverside Gardens.

More recently, however, Reardon has reached the top with far less strain, a different mode of transport and for a very different reason in a very different season: to try his hand at arts and crafts.

“I thought that would liven things up a bit,” said Reardon, of Austintown.

Specifically, she went to the DD and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center at the People’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday morning to make a winter swag, which is a small decoration that can look like a wreath. Garlands add a festive and colorful touch to homes as they are usually hung on front doors, outdoor light fixtures, fences and lamp posts.

Crafts made by Reardon will likely provide the extra color needed, as she has already disassembled her Christmas tree, lights, and decorations. The loot – especially the green parts – will also bolster her yearning for spring, she said, adding that Fellows Riverside Gardens is one of her favorite places in the park.

“I’m not cunning at all. That’s why I love Judy’s classes,” said Reardon’s good friend Mary Swartz of Canfield.

Swartz was referring to Judy Stanislaw, who led Saturday’s 90-minute class.

Swartz intends to put the loot she crafted back on her front door. The move will likely fill the color void left after she also recently removed her Christmas tree and decorations, she added.

Swartz and her husband also have a strong connection to Mill Creek Park as they alternated months taking their daughter there for craft-related programs, she continued.

Stanislaw explained that a winter swag can be crownless, even if it’s the same shape as one. Those made on Saturday relied primarily on white pine, hydrangeas, asparagus ferns and eucalyptus, with a touch of glitter, she noted.

Stanislaw has been teaching such classes for about 50 years, she added.

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