Video: Minister Unveils StoryWalk Initiative

May 31, 2024 | 0 Comments

Minister of Public Works David Burch was on hand to unveil the StoryWalk initiative at the Botanical Gardens yesterday [May 30].

Minister Burch said, “I am pleased to be here alongside the talented author Karen E. Franks, representatives of Deloitte, and Bobby DeGraff of Crafty Carpentry and Maintenance to officially unveil the StoryWalk initiative at the Botanical Gardens.

Danny Simmons, Ministry of Public Works, Sara-Lee Crockwell, The New Sunbeam Nursery, Karen E Franks, author, Marla Smith, Bermuda National Library, Leah Amaral, Marketing Manager at Deloitte and Minister Burch:

Minister of Public Works David Burch StoryWalk Initiative Bermuda May 2024 (1)

“Firstly, I want to thank Ms. Franks for her contribution to this project. Her captivating children’s story Abigail’s Dream Adventures provides the foundation for this educational experience.

“Thank you, Ms. Franks, for allowing your work to be used in such an innovative and inspiring way.

“The StoryWalk concept was first created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. The concept combines the joy of reading with the beauty of the outdoors, creating a delightful and educational activity for families. This initiative promotes early literacy, encourages physical activity, and provides quality family time outdoors.

Minister of Public Works David Burch StoryWalk Initiative Bermuda May 2024 (2)

“The StoryWalk initiative is a wonderful educational opportunity for the Botanical Gardens, and we are therefore thrilled to bring this concept to Bermuda.

“Here in the gardens, our application of the concept will allow patrons, especially families with children, to experience a Bermudian author’s story while walking a specified route through some of the gardens’ most scenic locations.

“This high-quality, passive engagement project exemplifies the type of activity that a Botanical Garden should host.

Minister of Public Works David Burch StoryWalk Initiative Bermuda May 2024 (3)

“The installation features seven storyboards strategically placed along a route that perfectly aligns with the adventures outlined in “Abigail’s Dream Adventures.”

“The walking route begins under the Ficus trees near the old Parks Headquarters building, meanders through the sensory garden, into the palm collection, and concludes at the bottom of the celebration lawn.

“Each of the seven stations contains a part of the story for visitors to read before moving on to the next station. The storyboards, designed by the National Library – Youth Services, are visually engaging and enhance the reading experience.

Minister of Public Works David Burch StoryWalk Initiative Bermuda May 2024 (4)

“The installation was made possible through Deloitte’s generous sponsorship and the skilled craftsmanship of Bobby DeGraff of Crafty Carpentry and Maintenance, who completed the signage posts. Our Department of Parks maintenance team installed the posts along the route.

“I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of QR codes on several of the storyboards. These codes provide additional information and resources, with links to both the National Library’s and the Department of Parks’ websites. Technology integration enriches the educational experience and offers visitors more ways to engage with the content.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Department of Parks and the National Library for their hard work and dedication in bringing this initiative to life. The collaboration with the Bermuda National Library has resulted in a project that combines literacy, exercise, and the beauty of our natural surroundings to create an enriching experience for all who visit.

Minister of Public Works David Burch StoryWalk Initiative Bermuda May 2024 (5)

“I encourage everyone, especially families and children, to come and enjoy the StoryWalk. It is a fantastic way to combine the joys of reading and outdoor activity, promoting both health and literacy. Bring your walking shoes and your reading glasses, and immerse yourself in the adventures of Abigail and her friends.

“This StoryWalk will be available until the end of summer, at which point we hope to rotate the story and continue this wonderful project with other local authors. We look forward to seeing many more stories come to life in the beautiful setting of our Botanical Gardens.

“I hope you enjoy the StoryWalk as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.”

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