Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.” Now Celina families can combine both nature and books on the Story Book Walk at Old Celina Park. Located on a trail west of the fields, follow the trail to the right to begin with the cover of the featured book of the month and wind your way around to enjoy each page. Delight in a family-focused activity that promotes childhood literacy, healthy habits, and the love of nature!
Linda Shaw, the Director of Library Services at Celina Public Library, answers our questions about the Story Book Walk at Old Celina Park.
Tell me some background about the Story Book Walk. What inspired it?
I know that many public libraries are putting in storybook walks in their communities and thought Old Celina Park would be a good location for a Story Book Walk. On a visit to the park, I saw a paved sidewalk that meandered around a grassed area with trees and park benches located at intervals along the half-mile route of the sidewalk. Drawn by the natural beauty and peacefulness of the setting, I approached Assistant City Manager Kim Brawner and Parks and Recreation Director Cody Webb about creating a Storybook Walk along the paved path.
Did the library partner with any organization/division?
The Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Celina High School AG Science department, led by teacher Jacob Brown, to design and build 20 powdered-coated steel stands. A Plexiglass sheet is bolted to the top of the stands, creating a weatherproof top with book pages inserted beneath it. The height of the stands is geared to the height of young children so they can easily see the pages. Parks staff who worked on this project are:
- Cody Webb, Parks Director
- Gary Don Hendricks
- Steve Metdker
- Zach Hebert
- Lake Fowler
How does it work, and when did it begin? How often will the book change?
The Story Book Walk is open year-round. Each month the library prepares laminated pages from a picture book appropriate to the season of the month. The pages are picked up by Parks and Recreation staff at the beginning of every month, who take them to the park and mount them under the Plexiglass sheets. The Celina Marketing Department informed the public about the Story Book Walk and its opening day on March 7, 2022. The first book displayed was “The Busy Tree” by Jennifer Ward. The Story Book Walk is a wonderful example of a creative partnership between Celina Public Library, Celina Parks and Recreation, Celina Marketing Department, and Celina High School students and instructors.
In today’s electronic/gadget-centered environment, the walk is a great way to combine reading and nature. Can you speak to that?
The Celina Public Library Story Book Walk provides an outdoor adventure that encourages family connection, early childhood development, and health and wellness. Stories are hand-picked by library staff with a child’s enjoyment in mind. The book pages are posted on the stands along the path, allowing families and friends to enjoy a story as they walk and take in the fresh air and scenery.
What has been the response from the community?
Response to the Story Book Walk continues to be positive. It provides a fun way to unplug and refresh!
Ryan Wilcox, a partner in the development of Browning Safes (BrowningSafesTX.com) and Local Spirits (LocalSpiritsTX.com), and family - wife Stephanie and sons Troy and Trevor - enjoyed the family walk and stopping to read each page! Check out Browning Safes and Local Spirits opening soon!