A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

StoryWalk is back after vandalism

The installation was discontinued last September after someone damaged the poles and podium plexiglass

Families can once again enjoy picture books one page at a time while strolling through Soldotna. For the second time, the Soldotna Public Library has announced the opening of a StoryWalk in a city park — this time at Parker Park near the Soldotna Senior Center.

The first iteration of Soldotna’s StoryWalk, at Soldotna Creek Park, was discontinued last September after the library became aware that someone had vandalized the installation’s poles and podium plexiglass. The project was the product of a $2,500 donation made by the Soldotna Library Friends in 2021.

The StoryWalk idea originated with Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, who developed the concept in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Podiums with children’s books are placed along walking and hiking trails to encourage outdoor recreation and literacy.

Because of copyright laws, libraries who implement such programs must display the actual dismembered pages of the book, as opposed to making photocopies. A StoryWalk is also being offered along the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s Keen-Eye Nature Trail from refuge headquarters to Headquarters Lake.

Parker Park is located at 145 W. Park Ave. in Soldotna. More information about the StoryWalk can be found on the library’s webpage at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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