Byron Forest Preserve installs two StoryWalk trails

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:03 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Nature hikes and storytime is the perfect prescription for a fun day in the sun and you can experience it right now at the Byron Forest Preserve.

“I think it’s just awesome to combine the outside and also reading,” said Julie Reckamp, Byron Public Library head of youth services.

The Byron Public Library and The Byron Forest Preserve joined forces to create StoryWalks.

“It’s amazing, it came together so quickly the woodshop volunteers here built the poles so we didn’t have to pay for those. I mean, we paid for the lumber. The forest preserve took care of that and I paid for the books and the lamination so it was just a wonderful partnership,” Reckamp said.

Reckamp says the pandemic canceled most summer activities, so it was the perfect time to bring StoryWalk to life

“It’s just like reading a book. You just have to walk to each page, So, it’s sort of a fun thing for your child, like where’s the next page, what’s the next part of the story,” Reckamp said.

There are two StoryWalks installed at the forest preserve.: One is for older kids on the Indigo Trail, the other for young kids at the Heritage Farm Museum.

“I think it’s just really exciting for them. Plus it’s an easy day for mom or day or caregiver to come on out here to the forest preserve without any planning and maybe just a snack. Then you just go for a walk, enjoy a nice hike and get some free time outside,” said Crystal Frisk, Byron Forest Preserve preschool teacher

Frisk says the StoryWalk is a great activity for her students during these challenging times.

“They are excited, running to the next spot, They are doing all of these things. They are active, happy, healthy, safe, and I think it’s a great place for them to be,” Frisk said.

The stories are changed about every six weeks and will end at the start of fall when the Byron Forest Preserve does its prairie burn.

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