‘Readers to Leaders Story Book Trails’ brings reading outside at Pulaski County trails
PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A new story book trail program is gearing up to set up throughout Pulaski County.
The first ‘Readers to Leaders Story Book Trails’ is set to open with a celebration July 3 at Eubank Park and the official opening the day after on the fourth.
The idea is to set up a series of plaques showing a page or two of a book on each one.
It all started in Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Leadership Lake Cumberland Class. The project was the group’s final project in the class, but they decided to see it to the end and actually bring it to life.
“No, never saw this coming together so fast. You think well we’re going to do a group project and then we all go back to work because we all have jobs, you know, this is just extra that we’re doing, and then all of sudden you just start rolling with it,” Kristin Whitson, one of the group members, said.
Keep in mind, the group was brain-storming during a pandemic, so it’s only fitting the activity is social distance friendly.
“I worked from home for the first three months of the pandemic so being outside was one of our main objectives because being inside four walls was very difficult,” Amber Snell, another member, recalls.
The story book trails are funded through sponsors, with different levels of markers per sponsorship levels.
Jessica Carlton is a group leader for the project and says the actual cost is a lot less than the projected $5,200 per story trail because the community is pitching in their time to install the plaques.
The first few books are also written by local authors.
Rising fifth grader Kadence Lyons says she and her friends are hoping to be first in line at the opening.
“Especially because my friends love nature so much and animals and basically everything in nature,” she said.
Her mom agreeing, it’s a great way to get outside and do something educational.
The group also expects activities for the kids too.
So far, there are eight parks with approval for a story book trail and are as follows:
Rocky Hollow Park
White Lily Park
Pulaski Co Park*
These are also all paved trails, so that hopefully families and kids of all abilities are able to access the story books.
An area technical college’s carpentry class is making the podiums so the next trail to open is dependent on how fast the class continues its production in the fall.