Storywalk coming to North Ridgeville!

Released On: 7/24/2019

Put on your walking shoes and hit the trail because we have a story you won’t want to miss coming to North Ridgeville!

Later this summer, a Storywalk® will be installed to South Central Park at 7567 Avon Belden Road as part of a partnership between the Lorain Public Library System’s North Ridgeville Branch, the North Ridgeville Parks and Recreation Department and North Ridgeville Heart and Sole, a part of Lorain County Public Health.

Branch Manager Jennifer Winkler said the Storywalk® will feature children’s picture book pages mounted on frames that are then laid out on the .7 mile trail inviting children, families, caregivers, teachers and others to follow along the path.

“A Storywalk® is an exciting way to combine physical activity with literacy,” she said. “It is an innovative and enriching activity to get people of all ages outdoors walking and reading. It’s a fun and easy physical activity that helps foster an inclusive family-friendly environment.”

Winkler said the branch staff will select the picture books monthly from April through November, weather permitting, while Parks and Recreation will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.

Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Fougerousse said South Central Park was selected because it’s a 30-acre park in the heart of the community, offering a variety of amenities, including the asphalt trail where the Storywalk® will be.

“This shows how three entities can come together and work as one to see a project through,” he said. “It provides a fitness element along with a literacy function for the entire community and I am excited to see it completed within the next month.”

LCPH Program Manager Erin Murphy said the Heart and Sole collaborative, facilitated by Lorain County Public Health, is a community group dedicated to making the healthy choice easy in North Ridgeville.

“Collectively, Heart and Sole decided that the Storywalk® would be a positive way to increase physical activity opportunities in the city, especially for multiple generations,” she said. “Heart and Sole is powered by the United Way of Greater Lorain County, so funding was designated by the group for the Storywalk®.”

Murphy said similar initiatives have included the Keystone Empowers You (K.E.Y.) collaborative, which installed Storybook Stroll stations in LaGrange Community Park and Penfield Recreation Park in partnership with the Elyria Public Library System.

“This particular project is a great example of how community entities work together for a common cause instead of functioning in silos,” she said. “In addition, this project addresses multiple factors associated with lifelong health including literacy, physical activity and social connection with family and friends.”

Stay tuned for more details, including the unveiling of the first book title, a grand opening