A new and permanent activity is coming to a park in Rosebush this summer. A StoryWalk will be installed in Isabella Township Park to provide local families with an interactive, outdoor reading experience.
Created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, a StoryWalk is an interactive story aimed at getting kids outdoors, moving, and engaged. Pages from children’s books are enlarged and placed along a walking path for families to read as they walk.
Each page will have a corresponding activity, one to get the child moving and one that doesn’t require being mobile. The signs will also have braille.
The Veterans Memorial Library is collaborating with others in the community to get a permanent StoryWalk installed in Isabella Township Park. The signs will be metal, weatherproof and built so that they can be removed and new stories can be installed on a regular basis.
The first book will be “My Heart Fills With Happiness” by Monique Gray Smith, a Native American author. The story encourages the reader to think about the things that make them happy.
Andrea Graham, who works on family programming at the library and is in charge of the project, hopes to have the signs installed in July so families can enjoy the StoryWalk this summer.
“This has been long coming, this StoryWalk,” says Graham. “Our end goal is to have multiple StoryWalks in our library district and then be able to switch out the storyboards. But that is all dependent upon funding and, of course, permission to use walking paths.”
Part of the project was funded by the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF) who provided a total of $9,665 from three endowment funds: James Dale Ervin Memorial Fund,
Mary Ellen Brandell Access to Recreation Fund, and Robert and Geraldine Krapohl Literacy Fund.
“We’re talking about three different funds that were all named for people who are no longer with us,” says Amanda Schafer, Executive Director of MPACF. “This is going to be a real project, something you can see and touch and experience in Rosebush, and it’s going to honor, indirectly, these three people.”
One of those funds was the James Dale Ervin Memorial Fund which provided $2,500 toward the project. James’ father, Terry Ervin, will be the one to install the signs along the trail.
“When Andrea presented that, I thought “That’s a fantastic idea,”’ says Ervin. “So I wanted to do everything I could to help her out and to keep the cost as low as possible.”