It’s almost officially summertime, and StoryWalks are back! In partnership with the City of Vaughan’s Department of Parks, Forestry and Horticulture and five Canadian publishers to bring a selection of picture books to local Vaughan trails, where park visitors will be able to piece together stories one page at a time as they make their way along the trails. It’s a great way to explore the great outdoors while fostering a love of reading. You’ll find one picture book in each of Vaughan’s five wards, plus a sixth book at the Kortright Centre! Read on for a taste of what to expect this year at our local parks.
Little readers can follow the friendship journey of Emma and Frank at the Mackenzie Glen District Park, where we’ll be reading Friends for Real by Ted Staunton and illustrator Ruth Ohi (IG: @ruthohi / Twitter: @Ruth_Ohi). Mackenzie Glen is the perfect place to meet a new friend, whether it be on the soccer field, at the splash pad or playground, or maybe at one of the many concerts and events that take place on the park grounds (see The Caverners: Tribute to the Beatles on July 26!). This relatively flat parkland means it’s easy and accessible for families with little ones, and a parking lot and onsite public washrooms make picnicking a breeze. As part of the Bartley Smith Greenway (a 15 km trail running from Steeles Ave all the way up to Teston Rd) the park also has easy trails situated conveniently within a subdivision.
In Sometimes I Feel Like a Riverby Danielle Daniel (IG: @danielledaniel) and illustrator Josée Bisaillon (IG: @joseebisaillon), readers can follow short poems about nature that invite mindfulness as they stroll through the park. Young readers are encouraged to use all their senses to fully experience the world around them and connect with nature. With the poems spread throughout Nort Johnson District Park, travel the easy 1.5 km trail along the Humber River and focus your attention on the rushing water, the trees, the sunshine, and the birdsong as you make your way through the book. Located near the Woodbridge Pool & Memorial Arena, pop by Nort Johnson District Park after a swim for a picnic, or hit up the Woodbridge Village Farmers Market throughout the summer! Parking is available at the arena.
Now that the snow has melted and the parks and trails are starting to become green and vibrant again, it’s time to go visit the StoryWalks once more! Starting in late May, you’ll find a nice surprise to greet you at each of the same trails as before, with new StoryWalk panels installed at select parks throughout Vaughan (one in each ward)! These are new titles, so if you made your way through all of them last year, be sure to check them out once again! If you haven’t heard about them before, VPL has partnered with the City of Vaughan’s Department of Parks to offer a different reading experience: you get to read a story as you make your way through the park. Who says reading is an indoor activity?
And while you’re making your way out onto the trails, why not bring along one of our many Nature Backpacks with you? We have 7 different types of Nature Backpacks, each packed with themed activities, including magnifying glasses, binoculars, books and more! Do you go crazy for bugs? Check out Things with Wings, or maybe Creepy, Crawly Critters! Animal lover? You can learn how to identify Who’s Been Here? with our Nature Backpacks, so you’ll be able to figure out who’s visiting your local park or backyard. Or if you love seeing Spring bloom and grow, you might be interested in Buds, Blossoms & Leaves. And if you just love everything there is to know about the outdoors, you’ll want to get your hands on the Explore Outdoors backpack! In fact, the fun doesn’t end once Winter comes around again, so don’t forget about the Winter Outdoor Fun backpacks!
If you’ve been to the Kortright Centre since 2018, you may have noticed the StoryWalk panels along the trail showing you one page of a story at a time as you make your way along the path. This year, VPL is excited to announce that, in partnership with the City of Vaughan’s Public Works Department, VPL is expanding the StoryWalk offerings across the city!
With the province under the current Stay-at-Home order since April 17, hitting the trailsis a great way to exercise outdoors while still staying in line with the lockdown restrictions. And what better incentive to get outside and explore the trails spread throughout Vaughan than the joy of discovering stories as you walk these paths? As you walk along the trails, you’ll discover one page at a time, until you’ve read a whole book at the end! It’s a fun, educational activity for the entire family that also brings the library to families during these times when we can’t visit the library the way we used to be able to.
While you’re out on the trails, why not check out our Nature Backpacks, which come with different themed activities, tools such as magnifying glasses or binoculars, books, and identification sheets, all in a backpack for easy carrying! And for the cyclists among us, don’t miss out on our Basic Bike Maintenance online program happening Thursday May 13 – just remember to register on Eventbrite!
The StoryWalks are being installed this week, and will officially be launched in early May to celebrate Canadian Children’s Book Week and Public Works Week all at once. Each of the five wards of the city will be getting a StoryWalk along a public trail, in addition to the one already at the Kortright Centre, so head to your local trail for some fresh air, outdoor exercise, and an engaging story that unfolds along the way! And of course, remember to use the hashtags #LoveVPL and #PlayVaughanLocal if you post any photos from your StoryWalks on social media!