Young book lovers soon will have two more interactive storybook displays where they can experience reading a picture book outdoors.

The Johnson County Public Library is installing two new StoryWalks this year — one in Trafalgar and one in New Whiteland. The StoryWalks are walking paths with pages of children’s books posted around the route that let young readers in pre-school or kindergarten and their families read the books as they stroll.

In August, New Whiteland will be the home of a new StoryWalk at Country Gate Park, just off of U.S. 31. Sean Donaldson will construct the StoryWalk posts for his Eagle Scout project, and he will build a Little Free Library at the end of the walk, said Lisa Lintner, director of the Johnson County Public Library.

“Families will be able to pick up a free book or leave a book they’ve already read for another family,” she said.

Before New Whiteland, however, Trafalgar will be the next home of a new StoryWalk. The book, “Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef,” by Marianne Berkes, will be posted on the trail. The walk will open in June on the Prairie Trail next to the library.

“We want families to connect with wonderful literacy opportunities for young children, both inside and outside the walls of the public library. On a StoryWalk, children can connect with nature, have a dynamic learning experience and share an adventure with their family.

“We also want to encourage children to be physically active and use their imagination in new ways. After our first StoryWalk in Franklin, we wanted to extend the experience to everyone in our library district,” Lintner said.

The StoryWalks in the urban forest along South Street in Franklin, near Greenlawn Cemetery, and in Independence Park in the Center Grove area are still operating and will continue to have new books installed every two months. Those locations also have Little Free Libraries where families can take or exchange books.

In addition to kick-off events at the new locations, the library will host fun programs at the other StoryWalks throughout the year such as the BooWalk, Pumpkin Trail or Earth Day programs, Lintner said.

“Creating positive interactions with young children and reading is essential during a child’s first three years of life — when their early language and literacy skills are being developed. StoryWalks create a delightful experience that promotes early literacy, fitness, nature and family engagement,” she said.

If you go

Johnson County Public Library StoryWalks:

The Franklin StoryWalk is located in Franklin’s Urban Forest, off of South Street, near Greenlawn Cemetery. The current book is “Jonathan and Martha,” by Petr Horacek

The Center Grove area StoryWalk is at Independence Park in Greenwood, 2100 S. Morgantown Road.The current book is “Whoever You Are,” by Mem Fox.

The county library will open two new StoryWalks this year.

In June, the Trafalgar StoryWalk will premier with the book “Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef,” by Marianne Berkes. The walk will be on the Prairie Trail by the Trafalgar library, 424 S. Tower St.

In August, a new trail will premier at Country Gate Park in New Whiteland.

Author photo
Anna Herkamp is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at aherkamp@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2712.