The next time your family takes a walk around Central Park Lake in Chesterfield, your kids will go on a literary adventure that revs up their imagination and stirs their love of the great outdoors.
Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts and St. Louis County Library have partnered together to launch the StoryBook Walk at Central Park, the latest book-infused trail in the region. Joining other walks like those in St. Charles County, the initiative inspires kids to discover the joy of reading by putting their favorite books in an unexpected setting.
Chesterfield’s StoryBook Walk starts at the front of the Central Park playground and features 18 kiosks in a loop around the lake. Each kiosk features one to two pages of a select children’s book handpicked by the library staff and tied to either the current season or nature itself, giving your family a chance to follow the story at every stop. By the time your walk is complete, so is the book.
The focus on early literacy, health and environmental awareness has been a key factor in driving this project forward for families.
“We want to give people at the park an educational experience they can share with their child,” said Linnsie Gebert, rec specialist for Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts. “Families will continue to enjoy the natural scenery at the park with the animals and lake, but now they’ll get the chance to read with their kids as well. It’s really giving the lake more of a family vibe.”
The first book to kick off Chesterfield’s StoryBook Walk is “When Spring Comes” by the award-winning husband-and-wife team of author Kevin Henkes and illustrator Laura Dronzek. Books will be switched out every two months and include titles such as “Gives Bees a Chance” and “Bear Can’t Sleep.” For kids who want to relive the adventures at home, families are encouraged to stop by the St. Louis County Library after their walk to pick up other beloved children’s books.
According to Gebert, the city and the library are currently planning activities tied with the StoryBook Walk over the next few months, including possible arts and crafts sessions, educational walks and speakers, and talks with local authors. To stay informed of all the latest happenings as well as the book selection calendar, visit the StoryBook Walk page on the City of Chesterfield website.
Photo: City of Chesterfield
Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL
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