(Mt. Sterling, Ohio)—Through a partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), First Lady Fran DeWine opened a new Storybook Trail in Deer Creek State Park today. After an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, children and families walked with the First Lady on the new trail to mark the celebration.
“Experiencing a Storybook Trail gives children and their families the opportunity to take an adventure inside a great book while experiencing an outside adventure at one of our great State parks!” said First Lady DeWine. “I hope this new trail gives Ohio families – and visitors – new memories that will last a lifetime.”
Within driving distance of Columbus, Deer Creek State Park is set in rich farming country. The park’s resort, marina, large campground, and 18-hole golf course facilities blend perfectly with outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, camping, and hiking.
The story featured on the park’s new Storybook Trail is “Drop” by Emily Kate Moon. On the child-height panels lining this trail, children can follow the story of the cutest drop of water as she takes readers on an adventure through the water cycle.
“Storybook Trails offer families another place to enjoy quality time with their friends and family, while encouraging the little ones to read and learn about nature,” said Director Mertz. “We are excited to provide more opportunities to link literacy with healthy living through our Storybook Trails. There really is no better place than an Ohio State Park to explore, learn, and really appreciate everything the great outdoors has to offer.”
First Lady DeWine encourages all Ohioans to explore the Storybook Trails at state parks and enroll children under the age of five in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.
There are currently 324,887 Ohio children enrolled in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, which provides one free book every month to children enrolled in the program from birth to age five. Any Ohio child in this age group is eligible to receive the books, which are paid for by the state and local county partners. If a parent or grandparent enrolls a child at birth, that child could receive all 60 books in the program. To learn more about the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library and how to participate, visit OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
ODNR will be installing more Storybook Trails this summer and fall. To find a local story trail near you, use this interactive map.