Liz Davis, center, reads from a panel from the StoryWalk, which launched Saturday along the North Street Community Connector Trail and Messalonskee Stream. Davis is reading “Daniel Finds a Poem” by Micha Archer. Taylor Abbott/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Walking along the North Street Community Connector Trail, visitors now have a new interactive activity to participate in: an 18-panel StoryWalk located along the Messalonskee Stream.

For Liz Davis, children librarian at the Waterville Public Library, the idea of having a story walk is something that “has been a dream of mine since I became a children’s librarian about 13 years ago.”

“A StoryWalk is a lovely way for children and adults to wander in discovery and delight with great children’s books immersed in nature,” Davis said.

Thanks to partnerships between several community groups — including Waterville Public Library, Children’s Discovery Museum of Central Maine and Waterville Creates — the trail can be found behind the North Street playground and alongside Messalonskee Stream. The walk out to each sign is just over half a mile and copies of the book are available at the library.

In Waterville, organizers plan to change the story on a quarterly basis, beginning this weekend with “Daniel Finds a Poem” by Micha Archer. Each of the 18 panels includes a page from the book as well as discussion prompts to ponder while walking to the next page.

Additionally, Davis said, another StoryWalk is in the works for next year and fundraising efforts are underway.

Advertisement

Serena Sanborn, education and outreach manager at Waterville Creates, added that some of the funding came from a Partner Incentive Grant. Sanborn has worked with the children’s museum and library staff members to select books for the walk and Sanborn helps create the prompts.

“I’m certified as a Maine Master Naturalist and I provide nature facts during our trail walks,” Sanborn added.

The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson in Vermont. The idea behind the project is to turn pages of a book into signs placed along a trail, allowing visitors to follow the path of pages, read a story and observe the areas around them.

Davis led the first group out on a guided walk Saturday to kick off the project; at the first sign, visitors learn about the story character, Daniel, who is learning about poetry and looking to his surroundings at the park for inspiration.

By the end, children in the group were racing to the next sign, eager to learn more about poetry and interact with their surroundings along Messalonskee Stream.

Upcoming guided StoryWalks are scheduled for Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.; Nov. 6 at 1 p.m.; and Nov. 18 at 1 p.m., all events are weather permitting and details on the events can be found online.

Comments are no longer available on this story