As you walk along the River Village Park Trail at Duane R. Harte Park, you can now enjoy nature and a story at the same time.
The Santa Clarita Public Library joined residents in celebrating the launch of Trail Tales Thursday at the park, an outdoor reading experience where a children’s book is deconstructed and its pages scattered along the paseo.
“As families are walking the trail, they can also read a story,” Librarian Shannon Vonnegut said, “so it’s incorporating outdoor activity, along with literacy and just the enjoyment of books.”
The library partnered with the city’s Arts and Events department to come up with a way for children to continue to enjoy reading through the pandemic when libraries were closed and came up with an idea that ticks all the boxes: Nature, kids, exercise and literacy, according to Senior Librarian Liza Purdy.
Trail Tales’ first featured story stars city mascot Sammy Clarita, in the book, “Sammy Stories Volume 2: Sammy Gets To Work.”
It was the book’s theme that inspired Thursday’s event, as like Sammy does in the book, children had the opportunity to learn about and even try their hand at various city positions, such as graffiti removal complete with chalk art, landscaping, environmental services and youth recreation, followed by a story time at the end of the trail under the oak trees.
“We’re super psyched about this spot,” Purdy said of the park. “It’s so pretty.”
The park is one Santa Clarita resident Heather DeGeorge said she just discovered a few weeks prior and was excited to bring her two sons to for the event.
“It’s tucked away and hidden, so it’s good to have events at places where we don’t know that they exist,” DeGeorge said. “It’s gorgeous. I think we’ll come back.”
DeGeorge also appreciated the Trail Tales addition and the fact that they could go at their own pace.
“We’ve wandered around and learned … about not littering in the river, so it’s been educational,” DeGeorge said of the event, “so we’re enjoying it so far.”
The Trail Tales story is set to change quarterly, as library staff work to not only expand the current setup of podiums to accommodate for longer stories, but also implement similar programs at other city sites.
To learn more about upcoming library events with the Santa Clarita Public Library, visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com.