Scout’s StoryWalk project unveiled at Eisenhower Park
Parents and children walked along a path at Eisenhower Park this past weekend, following the pages of a children’s story book mounted on covered posts. The first page told them about a bear named Bruce, and they followed the posts along the trail to find out just what Bruce had gotten himself into.
The pathway of storybook pages is called a StoryWalk, and after nearly a year, a StoryWalk was unveiled at Eisenhower Park in Milford Saturday.
Mayor Ben Blake, Boy Scout officials, Milford Public Library staff, Friends of the Library and others who supported the effort gathered at Eisenhower Park to cut a ceremonial ribbon and read the first StoryWalk installment.
“As you meander along the trail, you're led to the next sign containing the next page of the story,” Milford library officials said in announcing the new park amenity.
The entrance to the StoryWalk is behind the pickleball courts and next to the splash pad at the park, which is located on North Street.
StoryWalk is the Eagle Scout project of Marco Buschauer and was done in partnership with the Milford Public Library.
“Since I was five I’ve been reading non-stop,” Marco said during Saturday’s ceremony. “I wanted to share that passion with the people of Milford.”
His project, he said, combines literacy and exercise.
The first StoryWalk book is “Mother Bruce” by Ryan T. Higgins, a book that Marco said the library staff recommended.
The story is about a grumpy bear named Bruce who, through a case of mistaken identity, learns the importance of family.
StoryWalk stories will be changed quarterly by library staff.
Local Boy Scouts worked with the Milford Fire Department and Public Works Department to install the signs for the project. The work included putting six-foot poles into the ground and pouring concrete.
StoryWalk was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and has since appeared in all states and 14 countries, according to the City of Milford website.
“I love this project,” said Milford Library Director Chris Angeli when the StoryWalk was getting started. “The installation will bring literature to people in an unexpected way, and hopefully, instill a desire for more. We hope children and families will get outdoors and get some exercise — both physical and mental, while spending precious quality time together.”
During the unveiling Saturday, Angeli recounted how Marco had approached the library staff about an Eagle Scout project, they had presented him with the “ambitious” StoryWalk idea, and “without blinking an eye he ran with it.”
The Friends of the Milford Library supported the StoryWalk in two ways, according to Friends President Pam Pilla. The group provided funding and acted as the fiduciary for the project.
“Marco presented the project to the Friends in August 2018,” Pilla said. “We also thought the project sounded awesome and very much in line with the mission of the Friends as it supports literacy and community involvement.”