Billings Public Library, in collaboration with the Billings Public Library Foundation and McCall Homes, has successfully implemented Montana’s first Story Trail around the outdoor amphitheater at Josephine Crossing located at the intersection of Front Street & Lost Creek Road.
Story Trail is a wonderful way for adults and their young children or grandchildren to combine literacy skills and healthy exercise as they walk roughly 1,300 feet to each of the 20 reading stations while enjoying beautiful scenery year-round. Laminated pages from storybooks are attached to metal posts, which are installed around the park path. As visitors stroll the path, they are directed to the next page of the story. Some posts will even include an activity.
“Opening the Story Trail is just one way we’re bringing library services to our community,” said Allynne Ellis, the Children’s Librarian at Billings Public Library. “The joys of reading and love of the outdoors aren’t mutually exclusive, and the Story Trail offers a great way to blend the two.”
The first story presented on the Story Trail is “Under My Tree” by authors Muriel Tallandier and Mizuho Fujisawa. This story introduces children to the magical world of trees. With its vivid illustrations and interactive sidebars, “Under My Tree” is sure to be a big hit with children and adults alike. The featured story on the walk will change periodically to align with seasons or programming at the library.
The Billings Public Library plans to create more story trails across Billings as funding becomes available.