Storybook Trails expand across Ohio

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) – The Storybook Trail program in Ohio is growing. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) started the program in collaboration with the Governor of Ohio’s Imagination Library in 2019. There are now 10 half-mile trails in various state parks, each with 15 to 20 child-sized boards and pages of a children’s book and an activity that accompanies the text on the page. To date, Oregon’s Maumee Bay State Park is the only state park in northwest Ohio with a trail. While this trail has welcomed visitors for almost a year, others are just getting started.

On Wednesday May 12th, Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine helped open a new path in Elyria, OH. It is located in the Black River Reservation Burr Oak Park. “I think that’s what families really like, that they see things and see the trail in a new way that they have never seen them before,” said First Lady Fran DeWine. “Even if you know the park in question.”

It’s not just Ohio State Parks that offer these family literary experiences. Olander Park in Sylvania added StoryWalks in the summer of 2020. The park currently offers two storybook trails in collaboration with regional libraries and organizations. Danielle Marino, program coordinator for the Olander Parks System, said she loves seeing local families on the trails. “For me it’s perfect. It brings families together. It makes them read a story while enjoying the great outdoors. “Marino said the parking system is pushing for permanent storybook trail markers, similar to ODNR’s panels and markers. Currently, the pages of each book are laminated and placed along the park’s circular path. To find out more about events and programs at Olander Park, visit their website.

Governor and First Lady DeWine will be joining ODNR to introduce several other new Storybook Trails in the coming days. For a full list of ODNR Storybook Trails, as well as similar trails in parks and library districts across the state, visit ohiodnr.gov.

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