StoryWalk trails start Wednesday at Seattle Parks for Earth Week


by Ronnie Estoque

On Wednesday, April 21, the Seattle Public Library (SPL) and Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) launched StoryWalk in the Parks for Earth Week in four different local parks. The collaboration aims to encourage an outdoor reading experience, where families can read picture books that are displayed along the walking trails of Genesee Park (Upper Field parking lot) and Herring’s House Park (Tualtwx), as well as from Magnuson Park and Northacres Park. The event will last until Saturday April 24.

The various StoryWalk trails aim to present a diverse group of picture books relevant to nature and its preservation. Each park chosen is in a different geographic region of the city, which was an intentional choice to make the program more accessible to all Seattle residents. Louisa Storer, children’s librarian at the Broadview branch, selected most of the books chosen for Earth Week, including We are water protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, Cultivated Harlem by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, and The tin forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson.

Cover for We are water protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, courtesy of the Seattle Public Library.

According to Elisa Murray, communications specialist at SPL, StoryWalks are a great activity for families and children.

“It takes place outdoors, while encouraging reading and exploring from a distance,” Murray said in an email. “The pages of a book are placed along a trail on signposts, almost at train stations, and families can follow the trail while reading. It encourages reading, imagination, fitness and exploring your community.

Murray thinks a StoryWalk is a perfect pandemic activity as it’s outdoors with story panels spaced along a trail in each park and small groups are recommended for park visitors in addition to the harbor. masks and a six-foot distance between groups. Lan Lum, community naturalist at SPR, hopes StoryWalks can have a positive impact on people’s mental health during the pandemic.

Cover for Cultivated harlem by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland, courtesy of the Seattle Public Library.

“… We [SPR] understand the power of the outdoors on the health and well-being of our people, ”Lum said in an email. “StoryWalks have the potential to connect people to books, to nature, and to each other. They can offer meaningful shared experiences and spark conversations between family and friends. “

Those planning to visit the StoryWalk at Herring’s House Park (Tualtwx) are encouraged to also visit the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center to learn more about the history and culture of Duwamish in the area.

According to Lum, future StoryWalks will be available to the community for the rest of the spring and into the summer.

“The StoryWalks Pop-ups will be included as part of the Seattle Park Rec’N the Streets mobile entertainment program during this spring and summer, which travels to various parks around Seattle,” Lum said.

SPR also has other activities throughout Earth Week that people can participate in, including making Earth Day take-home kits, viewing an education playlist. environment on YouTube, participation in Clean Up Our Parks events and nature walks.

Elisa Murray told the emerald that at the end of April, SPL will present a StoryWalk in Spanish and English, featuring the book While waiting for the Biblioburro by Marcia Brown. More information about the event can be found on the SPL website.

Ronnie estoque is an aspiring Seattle-based storyteller and documentary maker. He is determined to raise marginalized voices in the South Seattle community through his writing, photography and videography. You can follow his work by following his Twitter and Instagram.

?? StoryWalk in the Parks graphic courtesy of Seattle Public Library.

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