Explore the stories of the city

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Above: The library has joined four other properties in town (Chestnut Hill Farm, Finn & Woodward and SRT Schools) that encourage the combination of reading and outdoor activities. (clockwise photos by Beth Melo, Southborough Trails Committee, Lori Winer and TTOR)

For residents looking for something to do away from the screens, I post reminders and good news. This summer, a display unit combining reading and outdoor activities was installed at the Southborough Library. Four other properties in town also have StoryWalks® available for children. A fifth exhibit on a city trail is aimed at older audiences.

This summer, the Southborough Library installed a StoryWalk display. (If you’ve explored it before, you might be happy to hear that a new story has been installed for August.)

If you’re unfamiliar, StoryWalks takes children’s picture books and divides the pages on outdoor displays. The aim is to encourage literacy and physical activity in the open air.

Looking at the details of the exhibits, I remembered a similar biased display for older readers. This one, on a town trail, is to educate the public about the history of Southborough. (Scroll down for more details.)

More details on the literary exhibitions in Southborough can be found below.

Southborough Library
(On the lawn behind the parking lot at 25 Main Street)

With funding from the Southborough Community Fund and help from the Department of Public Works, the Library installed a series of exhibits earlier this summer. The first selection of stories was “also an octopus”. For the month of August, they inserted a new story, A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.

If you really like reading outside, you can also check out a few books and read them from the outdoor seating areas of the library.

Storywalk launched at the library earlier this summer (photo by Beth Melo) Storywalk Library (Photo by Beth Melo) August story exposed (from Facebook) Frog Prince reading bench at the library (photo by Beth Melo) outdoor seating and charging station at the library (by Beth Melo)

Chestnut Hill Farm
(On the trails of 5 Chestnut Hill Farm Road)

Reservations administrators installed a StoryWalk on the farm in 2019. At that time, they shared:

Chestnut Hill Farm Tale Walk from June 2019StoryWalk is an innovative and fun way for kids and adults! – to enjoy both reading and the outdoors. Designed as a way to inspire parents, teachers and caregivers to take young children outdoors for physical activity and learning, StoryWalk helps develop children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for everyone.

Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are set up along one of the trails on our farm. As you walk the trail you are taken to the next page of history. What a great way to enjoy the farm!

Before you go, check out the Chestnut Hill Farm trail map.

Mary E. Finn Elementary School
(60 Richards Road)

Former Principal Randell at the dedication yesterday (contributing photo)The Kindergarten to Grade 1 school was the first location in Southborough to feature a temporary StoryWalk exhibit in 2016.

In 2019, permanent display cases were installed as part of an Eagle Scout project and in collaboration with the Southborough Education Foundation. The first story displayed, everyone is welcome by Alexandra Penfolds and Suzanne Kaufman, was dedicated to former principal James Randell.

The StoryWalk is open to the general public when school is not in session.

Albert S. Woodward Memorial School
(28 Cordaville Road)

Students enjoying the WW Spring storyboard displayThe School for Grades 2 to 3 was the first school in Southborough to offer temporary StoryWalk exhibitions in 2016. A permanent exhibition (also dedicated to former Principal Randell) was installed in September 2018.

The StoryWalk is open to the general public when school is not in session. (However, be aware that Southborough Recreation is hosting their summer field camp this summer.)

For older readers – Sudbury Reservoir Trail
(On the southern edge of the reservoir behind 84 Main Street, between Parkerville and Deerfoot roads)

Alex Flynn Eagle Scout Project on Sudbury Reservoir Trail (from SC Facebook page)In 2018, a section of the SRT was cleared to walk along the reservoir behind the Burnett House. To help walkers appreciate the view, a historical background has been posted along the trail. Three signs have been installed to inform walkers about the historic estate and Southborough. Each included QR codes leading to the Historical Society website.


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