Friday, June 23, 2017

Outdoor exploration and adventure available to families with Story Walk by Jennifer Davis

Now that summer is officially under way, it is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore the great outdoors. What better place to start than your own town.

Windham Parks and Recreation is excited to announce the opening of a new Story Walk, located at 45 Falmouth Road in Windham, with the trail entrance located behind at the East Windham Fire Station. 

Historically, one may be familiar with Lowell Preserve as it offers several walking and ATV trails, a small playground and some ball fields. However, on Saturday, June 10, this new addition to the trails officially opened. My family took the opportunity to explore the Story Walk this past weekend on Father’s Day and it did not disappoint.   

 “This is the second Story Walk that Windham Parks and Recreation has established,” Sarah Davenport from Windham Parks and Recreation said. “The first one is at Donnabeth Lippman Park in North Windham, and it opened in 2014. We have a rotating set of stories for both of these trails, and are continuing to grow our library of stories every year.” 

 The story walk begins about 100 yards from the trail entrance and is clearly marked on the left side off of the main trail. Once you enter the Story Walk, you become part of the story and searching for the next page becomes an adventure to find out the next piece of the story. This continues along the path until you reach the end of the story and end up back on the main hiking trail.  

My two sons, six year old Lincoln and three year old Grant, could not wait to reach each page of the book to see what happened next as we moved along the trail. The hike is an easy walk for all ages. It offers shade for the majority of the hike, keeping the walk fairly cool.  

“Story Walks are a unique way for families and individuals to enjoy both the great outdoors and great children’s stories,” Davenport stated. “Our purpose in creating these spaces is to provide opportunities for children and families to connect with and explore our parks.” 

The book currently featured at the Lowell Story Walk is “Sheep on a Hike” and will remain until the beginning of July.  

The Windham Public Library and Parks and Recreation will be working together this summer with the next event occurring on July 12 at Lippman Park from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. where a new book will be introduced: “Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site.” is a great book for children of all ages and their families, and it is a regular read at our home. “We will be walking through and reading the story together, and everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards,” stated Davenport  

I encourage everyone to get out and explore this new addition to Lowell Park and the next Story Walk at Donnabeth Lippman Park. While you are there, take a few minutes to look around; there is much to explore. When you add family time, nature, literature and a picnic lunch together, you have the perfect combination for a great summer day in Maine.

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