DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) — Alum Creek Park has a new attraction for families.
Students at Alum Creek Elementary School helped the Ohio Department of Natural Resources select the book “In the Trees, Honey Bees” for the areas’ first storybook trail.
Alyssa Sarko, director of special projects at ODNR, said, “It really exercises the mind and body, and to help get back outside and explore nature. We want the kids to explore from the tree lines to the ground.”
It is now one of 10 in the state to help kids like Caroline, 4, and Harrison, 3, Gonzales get outside and enjoy reading.
Linda Gonzales, who was in town visiting Storybook Trail with her grandchildren, said, “You’re identifying, you’re showing them things. And as you go, you read to them, and show them what the words are, show them the animal. They learn what’s outside: bees and birds, all those things they wouldn’t see if they were inside.”
And not only can they learn about these things, but get to be hands-on with planting milkweed for monarch butterflies to enjoy along the half-mile trail.
“This is a milkweed pod,” Sarko said. “When you crack them open, you’ll find this fluff, and attached to the ends is seeds, and we have kids out here throwing the fluff and helping us with our pollinator pathway. So, in the spring, this place will be full of monarchs, swallow tales, honey bees, tons of pollinators.”
While this is a fun activity, there’s one thing that stands out most to the Gonzales family.
“I think we’re closer to them because they’re actually paying attention to us, and listening to what we have to say,” Linda Gonzales said. “Communication, I guess, is an important thing, especially with grandkids. We have a lot to tell them that they don’t know, so we think that it’s important.”
It’s free to get into any of the state parks in Ohio, including Alum Creek, and can you visit the Storybook Trail anytime from sunrise to sunset.
The story along the trail is expected to change in April, then again in the summer.