During the past two months, the Coalition has collaborated with several local land trusts to install a children’s book along a short trail in reserves around Buzzards Bay. The installation is relatively straightforward: book pages turned into temporary signs along the path, allowing visitors to take the story in slow bites as they walk along.
“Getting outside has never been more important to people’s health and sense of well-being. We may not be able to organize our Bay Adventure group activities right now, but we are still working to connect people with the incredible natural resources that we have around Buzzards Bay,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.
The response from families to the StoryWalks has been enthusiastic. For example, the May 19 social media post announcing the installation of the beloved classic Where The Wild Things Are at P.J. Keating Woods in Acushnet reached more than 96,000 people on Facebook and was shared more than 700 times. That online interest has translated into a noticeable increase in daily visitors to the Coalition-owned property, too.
“We loved that StoryWalk. It was a beautiful little hike for my two toddlers, and they had so much fun following along with the book,” said Kristen Jones who visited the trail in late May and shared some adorable photos on the Coalition’s Facebook page.
Another visitor, Trisha Gomes, commented that the StoryWalks are “a great way to get out of the house and keep a little one entertained during a walk. We can’t wait to go again.”
In some cases, the story that was installed related directly to the environment in which it appeared. Swimming Home, a story about herring returning to spawn, was paired with the Agawam River Trail in Wareham, during the height of the spring herring run. The story was installed in collaboration with the Wareham Land Trust. In Falmouth, working with the The 300 Committee Land Trust of Falmouth, the Coalition installed the story Big Night for Salamanders, a reflection of the vernal pools that can be found at the reserve.
Rebecca Vasa, the Coalition’s Outdoor Explorations Manager, said that more StoryWalks will be installed on other local reserves in early June, some featuring books by local authors. Meanwhile, the Keating Woods StoryWalk will remain in place until Monday, June 15.
Have a suggestion for a good book that would make for a great StoryWalk? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.