Burlington County Library holds Kick-Off Party to celebrate new StoryWalk

The Burlington County Commissioners joined with library staff, volunteers, and community members for a fun Kick-Off Party to celebrate the new attraction.

Commissioners Linda Hynes and Dan O’Connell and Evesham Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper and Burlington County Library System Director Ranjna Das welcome families to the new StoryWalk outside the Burlington County Library in Westampton.(David Levinsky/Special to the Sun)

The Burlington County Library System has a new fun and exciting way for children and families to experience the joys of reading together in the great outdoors.

A StoryWalk pathway opened Wednesday next to the amphitheater adjacent to the Burlington County Library in Westampton. The Burlington County Commissioners joined with library staff, volunteers, and community members for a fun Kick-Off Party to celebrate the new attraction. 

Residents can now take a stroll down the StoryWalk path, where they will be able to enjoy the vivid illustrations and a charming story of The Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson in a cool and engaging new way.

Pages from illustrated picture books are displayed on stands along the walk, with literacy tips and activity challenges that will entertain adults, children, and entire families.

“Reading doesn’t need to be a solo activity, nor does it need to be confined to indoors, or at a desk, table or couch,” said Burlington County Library System Director Ranjna Das. “StoryWalk lets readers of all ages experience a book’s illustrations and stories in a new and different way. It combines both literacy and outdoor activity and can help bring communities together.”

In addition to the StoryWalk unveiling, Wednesday’s Kick-Off Party featured a sing-along performance by Mr. Scott the Music Man at the amphitheater and a take-home craft.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Burlington County Library System developed creative ways to not only carry out its mission, but they actually expanded services to make the library more accessible and enriching,” said Commissioner Dan O’Connell, the Board liaison to the Library System. “Now coming out of the pandemic, they continue to step up and deliver more for our residents. This StoryWalk is a fantastic new attraction that will give families a fun way to experience the joys of reading and the great outdoors.”

Evesham Deputy Mayor Heather Cooper, who is a commissioner on the Burlington County Library Commission, also attended the Kick-Off Party and cheered the fun new addition.

“For a century the Burlington County Library System has been a source of knowledge and entertainment and a vehicle for bringing communities together,” said Cooper. “This StoryWalk is yet another way the library can engage young readers and families and bring our communities closer together.” 

StoryWalk, an international movement that combines reading with physical activity in the great outdoors. StoryWalk was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, who developed it in partnership with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Similar projects have been installed in all 50 U.S. states and 13 countries, including Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and South Korea.

The StoryWalk path outside the library was developed in partnership with the Burlington County Library System, Friends of the Burlington County Library Inc., and the Burlington County Parks Division.