ODNR opens more trails to promote literacy and a healthy lifestyle.
BELMONT, Ohio – Through a partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has added a new Storybook Trail at Barkcamp State Park. The trail will create a new opportunity for children and their families to promote childhood literacy, develop a love of nature, and encourage healthy living.
“I encourage Ohio families to explore the new Storybook Trail at Barkcamp State Park,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “Reading is one of the single greatest things we can do for and with our children and all of the young people in our lives. Reading on a Storybook Trail in a beautiful state park setting is even better!”
Barkcamp State Park is one of the few places visitors can get a glimpse of what Ohio's forests looked like prior to settlement. The park's picturesque hills and quiet lake draw campers, paddlers, anglers, horseback riders, and hikers. The story featured on the park’s new Storybook Trail is “When the Storm Comes” By Linda Ashman. Through a series of child-sized panels, families can learn about how animals prepare and ride through a storm and what they do when the skies clear.
“Storybook Trails promote both physical and mental development with Ohio’s most scenic areas as the backdrop,” said Director Mertz. “There’s no better place to explore, learn, and grow together than the great outdoors, and we’re excited to provide kids and their families with more opportunities for adventure.”
ODNR launched the Storybook Trail program in 2019 and partnered with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 2020. There are currently 12 half-mile Storybook Trails located at state parks throughout Ohio, each with 16 child-height panels featuring pages of a children’s book and an activity to accompany the text on the page.
There are currently 321,565 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. To learn more about the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library and how to participate, visit OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
Ohio is lucky to be filled with Storybook Trails created by all types of park and library districts across the state. ODNR will be installing several more Storybook Trails through the summer. Use our interactive map of Storybook Trails in Ohio to learn more about the trails and where you can find them here.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.