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New StoryWalk® Combines Reading and the Outdoors

A StoryWalk® has been added to Lakeside Park in Menomonie thanks to Health Dunn Right, the Dunn County Community Health Coalition. Health Dunn Right was looking to establish an activity that families could enjoy together and would also promote reading and the outdoors. With help from the Community Foundation of Dunn County, Mayo Clinic, the City of Menomonie, and the Menomonie Public Library, Health Dunn Right was able to secure funding for the StoryWalk® and install it early this winter.

“Our goal was to establish a StoryWalk® in a high-traffic greenspace in Menomonie as an outdoor activity that families could enjoy together,” said Library Director Joleen Sterk, who is also a member of the Health Dunn Right Chronic Disease Action Team.

A StoryWalk® consists of a series of signs placed along a walking route, with each sign having laminated pages from a children’s picture book. Families follow the path to read the book. In addition to having the story, each sign has directions for kids and parents to do some physical activity.*

Lakeside Park, just north of the library, was chosen for several reasons. “City officials suggested Lakeside Park--there’s a heavily used boat landing, excellent parking, a walking path was already established, and it was ADA accessible,” said Sterk.

The current story on the StoryWalk® is Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming, about a bear and her friends getting ready for the weather to turn. While families can enjoy the StoryWalk® right now, there are plans for a grand opening in the spring.

“At this time, we plan to change the story about six times per year. But, since it just went up, this could change as we go along and see how it is used,” said Jodi Bird, Public Services Manager at the library.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

*The current story does not have a physical activity listed, but future stories will.


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