BALTIMORE — Baltimore County Public Library in partnership with Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum debuts a story trail in the park’s nature play area on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 11 a.m. The story trail, which is a series of picture book pages posted along a walking path, was developed to promote literacy, exercise and family fun for Baltimore County residents and visitors.
This is the library’s second story trail in Baltimore County— Oregon Ridge Nature Center debuted a story trail behind its outdoor children’s area in 2017. Baltimore County Public Library’s Catonsville Branch staff who initiated the collaboration, will maintain the posts and change the story seasonally to keep bringing families back.
The project was funded by Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library and Benjamin Banneker Foundation; the book stands were installed by Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks.
“Our staff loves branching out from what people consider traditional library services,” said Melissa Gotsch, Catonsville Branch manager, “with efforts like our community garden and campfire stories at Patapsco State Park.”
The first book featured on the story trail will be Explorers of the Wild by author/illustrator Cale Atkinson. The brightly colored book describes Bear and Boy, two explorers who love to explore the outdoors. When they meet in the woods, they’re both scared, but “no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side.”
“We chose books that highlight outdoor activities while instilling a love of reading among kids and caregivers,” Gotsch said.
“We have the space and it fits our mission, said Winny Tan, senior naturalist/director of Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum. “Benjamin Banneker was an avid learner and voracious reader, so providing this recreational and learning opportunity for the community complements the visitor experience.”
“Reading is so important to a child’s success,” continued Tan, “and now we can incorporate it with fresh air, nature, exploration, exercise and good impacts on health.”