Photos by Delaware State Parks Volunteer Photographer Becca Mathias
What is the Storybook Trail? Located near the Can-Do Playground at Alapocas Run State Park, the new Storybook Trail is a way to see books in a new light! As you move through the trail, the story unfolds. There is time in between the stops to think about what you just read, talk about what you just heard, and prepare for what comes next. The trail beautifully encapsulates reading and nature all in one.
The trail was inspired by the Storywalk ® Project which encourages literacy and physical activity. Taking the idea of a storybook trail, Ana Wik, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at University of Delaware, and Olivia Kirkpatrick, UD Class of 2018, created a whimsical landscape plan that incorporated native plants with elements appealing to children. With the Wilmington Area Rotary Club securing financial support through Discover Card, volunteers and park staff were able to transform the once underutilized piece of land into a literary adventure.
Throughout the Storybook Trail, there are surfaces that are barrier-free, which is another way the Can-Do Playground can continue to offer opportunities for children of all abilities. The park staff also created benches and walls sourced from local blue rock. Raised beds created from plant materials add interest in an otherwise flat landscape. Plants native to Delaware are spread throughout the garden to bring color throughout the seasons.
The stories tell the tales of the natural world and its phenomena. The pages are safely encased in sturdy metal frames and incorporate educational panels that further explore the topics of the story. The stories on the trail will change to coincide with a new park program called Story on the Go. This program will be a combination of short online videos, the story pages of the trail, and park explorer kits.
The Storybook Trail is not just one story, but the meeting place of countless stories that will be told there in the future. We invite you to join us at the Storybook Trail as we explore this literary path together.