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 entitles “Walk on the Wild Side” by Nicholas Oldland and was installed in June. We have received a great response from both old and young. The trail is less than a mile and takes about 15 minutes to stroll and read as you go.
The concept is to deconstruct a book, laminate each page for durability and weatherproofing, and then be 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 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 August we will install another book, this time starting in front of the library on Nye Street and continuing around the corner to Literacy Park on Olive Street. Our featured book is “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” by Julia Sarcone-Roach.
Thanks to our partnerships with Lincoln County Parks and the City of Newport Department of Parks Recreation we have reached more people in the community and visitors to our area than we would otherwise reach within our four walls. “Trail Tales” are a new healthy alternative for reading and spending family time outdoors 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 our storybook walks.