A permanent StoryWalk® is coming to Elm Street Green this spring, thanks to a collaborative partnership between Hussey Mayfield Memorial Public Library and Zionsville Parks and Recreation. The free, multi-station exhibit will be installed along the half-mile paved loop around the prairie meadows section of the park.
“These permanent structures will allow the library to share a book, page-by-page, with park visitors,” said Youth Librarian Laura Gangstad. “The self-guided story is a great way for people to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time.”
“We’re excited to celebrate this collaboration with the Parks Department and the HMMPL Foundation during an official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 AM March 20,” said Gangstad.
“The new feature at Elm Street Green supports our mission to provide unique and accessible services that inspire people to learn, play and engage,” said Director of Recreation Services Mindy Murdock. “The Zionsville Parks Department has enjoyed years of partnership with the library. This collaboration allows us to continue to develop exciting recreational opportunities and reach new community members.”
All ages are invited to join the March 20 opening celebration where participants will be able to enjoy the new StoryWalk® and other activities. The schedule includes:
10 AM – Ribbon Cutting and StoryWalk® at Elm Street Green opening
10:15 AM – Roll and Read – Grab your wagon or stroller and join Zionsville Parks as we search for signs of spring along the path and read “Bloom Boom” by April Pulley Sayre
11 AM – Spring Story Time with HMMPL
11:30 AM – Join Zionsville Parks to plant your own seeds and watch them “Bloom Boom” at home
A free gift will be given to the first 50 attendees. All participants 2 years and older will be expected to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.
The StoryWalk® project is the result of months of work behind the scenes. Last fall, HMMPL and the Parks Department agreed to partner on a temporary StoryWalk® to gauge interest and determine if a permanent installation would be a good fit for the park. Librarians from HMMPL used temporary signage to prepare and set up two different stories: “A Friend Like You” by Tanja Askani and “Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland.
Funding for the purchase of the permanent exhibit structures and supplies was made possible through a $9,000 grant from the HMMPL Foundation. The Zionsville Parks Department will donate the time and labor for the installation and maintenance of the exhibit, and HMMPL will provide the story schedule and update the books.
“The Library Foundation board was very excited about this grant,” said HMMPL Chief Development Officer Tracy Phillips. “The project is a wonderful partnership between the Library and the Parks Department and brings the Library’s mission of lifelong learning out of our campus and into our community.”
The StoryWalk® project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC) and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.