Enumclaw library, supporters to build Story Walk at McFarland Park

Funds and volunteers are needed to finish the project, which aims to encourage families to read together.

The Friends of the Enumclaw Library and the King County Library System are looking for the community to help fund a permanent story walk at a local park.

A story walk is just what it sounds like — a story that you read as you walk along a park path, which in this case will be McFarland Park. You may have already seen temporary story walks on small signs in the park around the play areas.

This particular story park project, according to Steven Bailey, a KCLS librarian, plans to construct up to 20 weatherproof, transparent frames to house book pages along the path that winds around the park, if enough funds are raised.

The Friends of the Enumclaw Library then plans to purchase two copies of 12 books to be displayed in those frames, and rotate the books out every month.

“Our Children’s Librarian at the Enumclaw Library is Gretchen Nelson, and she will be selecting titles for display in the Story Walk,” Bailey added. “She will select books that have met the King County Library System’s Materials Selection Criteria, with an emphasis on encouraging intergenerational reading experiences through stories focused on nature, the seasons, and movement. All selections will also be available for checkout through the King County Library System, allowing families who have enjoyed a Story Walk selection to bring that title home for repeated readings.”

KCLS plans to announce what books will be featured via social media and through its events calendar.

This project is estimated to cost around $10,000, which mostly goes to constructing the frames. Work will be done by WebleyMade Custom Fabrication, an Enumclaw-based metal fabricator and supporter of the story walk project.

The Friends of the Enumclaw Library, a nonprofit, already secured $3,500 from the city of Enumclaw’s Lafromboise Memorial Fund, which helps fund library projects with interest on the investment.

Another $4,500 has already been raised through individual supporters and local businesses, meaning the project only needs about $2,000 left before its fully funded.

Anyone who wants to donate to the project will be recognized as sponsors on the story walk itself, “either on a dedicated panel or spread across multiple panels,” Bailey said. “We will list the names of businesses and individuals, and when possible, we will include the business logo.”

Fabrication has already begun, and delivery of the frames is estimated for October.

Installation planning is still being set, and hopes are to get the story walk up and ready by the first quarter of 2023.

That said, KCLS and The Friends of the Enumclaw Library are looking for assistance to install the frames.

“We hope to identify individuals or an organization or business with the right knowledge and experience to complete the task, either on a volunteer basis, or for a reasonable fee,” Bailey said.

Sponsorship forms are available at the Enumclaw library, and checks should be made out to The Friends of the Enumclaw Library.

Those who want to volunteer to install the frames can contact Bailey at 253-931-3018 or bailey@kcls.org, or Enumclaw Parks and Rec Director Michelle Larson at MLarson@ci.enumclaw.wa.us.

Story walks were created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT; StoryWalk is a registered trademark.