Storytelling and physical exercise have merged to create a new activity in Martinborough.
StoryWalk is a popular concept overseas which aims to combine physical exercise, nature and a love of reading.
Using a series of posts, it tells a story along an established walkway page by page, weaving a narrative for the follower.
One of these walks has been placed in Considine Park, Martinborough.
It has been funded by The Friends of Martinborough Library and was developed in consultation with the Wairarapa Library Service.
Wairarapa librarian Sylvia Arnold said the walk embedded a range of early literacy skills.
“For example, as you move from post to post to read the next page of the story, a sense of anticipation builds.
“It is a fun activity that increases the joy of reading.”
An official celebration is planned for November 30, with sneak previews for the Wairarapa Walking Festival.
Approved by South Wairarapa District Council and the Considine Park committee, the walk is expected to get plenty of use from Martinborough School and a number of daycare centres nearby.
“We also know this will be a perfect addition to a family-friendly park alongside the pump track project and community pool,” Arnold said.
“It’s a great way of placing storytelling in an area where people are spending recreation time, and encouraging them to visit one of the [Wairarapa] libraries.”
The StoryWalk is a local initiative with help from the Martinborough Menz Shed.
The first story is Mr Phelps’ Fish Truck, written by local author Phillip Percy and illustrated by Dale Percy.
The StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
StoryWalk is a registered service mark owned by Ferguson.