HIWASSE – A “walk of stories” and a small free library were presented during an inauguration ceremony on November 7 at Hiwasse Park.
Gravette Mayor Kurt Maddox thanked the various entities that worked together to bring the storytelling walk to Hiwasse Park. Samuel, Elijah, Noah and Abigail Holloway joined Maddox in cutting the ribbon.
Zina Weihe, a representative of the Hiwasse committee, spoke about the small free library, which contains books for all ages.
The boardwalk features 18 displays set up along a quarter-mile walking path, with each display containing part of a picture book, allowing people to read as they travel along the path. A different book will be displayed during the story walk each month. At the inauguration event, the book presented was “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves”, written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke.
The StoryWalk project, created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., aims to provide an innovative way for children and adults to enjoy reading and being outdoors.
“It’s a fun way to combine fitness and literacy,” said Gravette Public Library Manager Karen Benson.
The Gravette Public Library, the Gravette Parks Department and the Gravette Public Security worked together to bring the storytelling walk to Hiwasse Park. The project was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Arkansas State Library, a private donation and support from the Friends of La Gravette Public Library.
The Little Free Library project began in 2009 when Todd H. Bol built the first Little Free Library as a tribute to his late mother. Hiwasse Park’s Small Free Library was purchased with proceeds from the recent Hiwasse Fall Festival and is painted red to reflect the park’s fire station theme. People can pick up a book to read or leave one for someone else to read.