Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering more communities a path to encourage childhood literacy, a love of nature, and healthy living for families, through a partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Rocky Fork State Park because home to a new Storybook Trail during the Summer of 2022.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine joined ODNR Director Mary Mertz to open the trails that is located near the South Beach area of Rocky Fork State Park.
“There’s no better place to explore, learn, and grow together than the great outdoors, and we’re excited to provide kids and their families with more opportunities for adventure,” Governor DeWine said. “I think this creates a great experience for everyone who strolls down a Storybook Trail in one of our great state parks.”
Over 15 Storybook Trails are now spread throughout Ohio state parks. Each Storybook Trail features a different book, which is revealed panel by panel on a half-mile trail in a beautiful nature setting.
“We know a child’s brain is 80 percent developed in the first three years, which is why reading at an early age is so very important,” said First Lady DeWine. “We now have 45 percent of Ohio children under the age of 5 enrolled in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, getting free books every single month. Putting an Imagination Library Book on a park trail makes the learning experience even better.”
Rocky Fork State Park in Highland County offers hiking trails, caves, natural wetlands, and a 2,080-acre lake for boating and fishing. The Storybook Trail here features “Birds of a Feather” by Sita Singh. On the child-sized panels lining this new trail, families can read about the story of a peacock who learns to use his strengths to help his friends weather a storm.
“Storybook Trails promote both physical and mental development with Ohio’s most scenic areas as the backdrop,” said ODNR Director Mertz. “Adding Storybook Trails to some of our state parks gives Ohioans – and visitors – one more reason to get out and enjoy Ohio’s beauty.”
You’ll find everything you’re looking for right here in Highland County, Ohio.