The Newport Public Library has created two community picture book trails. We call this project Trail Tales. The first book is stationed along the Ocean to Bay Trail starting at the Big Creek end of the trail. This trail features a book entitled “Walk on the Wild Side” by Nicholas Oldland and was installed in June.
The concept is to deconstruct a book, laminate each page for durability and weatherproofing, and then mount it to a post. We then place the posts, page by page, throughout the park for families to enjoy and for readers to share with others as they engage in a healthy walk. This project combines family time, nature, reading, literacy and physical activity into one engaging event with multiple benefits, which ties in with our summer theme, which is “Ready, Set, READ” with an emphasis on healthy activities.
Reading with adults provides an opportunity for children to gain new vocabulary, learn new concepts, describe events and spend precious time together. The books we have purchased for this project all have characters who live in or spend time in nature, are responsible caretakers of their environment, and they show care and respect for each other.
For July we have installed another book, this time at Mike Miller Park in South Beach. July’s book is “North Woods Girl” by Aimee Bissonette. Our partnerships with Lincoln County Parks and the City of Newport Department of Parks & Recreation allow us to reach more people in the community and visitors to our area than we would otherwise reach within our building. “Trail Tales” are a new healthy alternative for reading and spending family time in nature simultaneously. It’s a win-win-win, families will be reading together, walking together and the parks will have a rise in visitor numbers.
Many thanks to the Yaquina Bay Optimists, the Newport Library Foundation and the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund who all provided grant funding. Funds were used to purchase the materials necessary to create three children’s illustrated storybook walks, one for each of the summer months. The “Trail Tales,” as we are calling it, will be available for anyone who uses the trails. We have collaborated with the City of Newport Parks and Recreation Department and Lincoln County Parks to use their trails to post our story pages.
Story by Newport Public Library