May 24, 2016
Contact for Kestrel Land Trust:
Kari Blood, Communications & Outreach Manager
Phone: (413) 549-1097
Contact for Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee:
Liz Provo, Chair - WinterFest
Phone: (413) 539-7950
New Story Walk Installation for Children to Open at Nonotuck Park
Kestrel Land Trust and the Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee of Easthampton are pleased to announce the opening of the Story Walk installation at Nonotuck Park, providing a unique opportunity to engage children with nature through the medium of literature. On Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m., a free, public opening celebration will be held at the Park.
The Nonotuck Park Story Walk aims to encourage families with children to visit the park, explore the woods, and learn about the wildlife and habitats that they are likely to find in the Valley. A series of temporary signs will be installed along the Toteman Trail displaying the pages of Marianne Berkes’ award-winning children’s book “Over the Forest: Come and Take a Peek” with illustrations by Jill Dubin.
The project has been a community effort led by Kestrel Board Trustee Joan Robb, in partnership with the Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee, and the Parks & Recreation Department of Easthampton. This is the third location for Kestrel’s Story Walk installation. The original project in 2014 was made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Northampton Arts Council. The signs were originally constructed by a group of Northampton High School students in a woodworking class.
The Nonotuck Park trail is well suited for the project because it has features of interest for children, including a meandering path through the woods, providing a view of Nashawannuck Pond, and it’s easily accessible. Many animals that appear in “Over the Forest” make their homes in the park or in nearby conservation lands around Easthampton. Eileen Corbeil of White Square Books will have the book for sale in her Cottage Street shop and will donate 10% of the proceeds to Nashawannuck Pond.
Kari Blood, Communications & Outreach Manager for Kestrel said, “We hope that reading this book as they walk through the woods will give children a stronger connection to nature and a deeper understanding of its value to all of us.” Paul Nowak, Chair of the Nashawannuck Pond Committee said, "We are happy to be a part of this project. It's great to bring families out to enjoy our beautiful park and bring awareness to Nashawannuck Pond."
The Story Walk will open with a family celebration on Saturday, June 4, starting at 2 pm. Events include a guided walk and reading by Ms. Robb, who is also a local storyteller and librarian, face painting, and signed book raffles. Light refreshments will be available. The event is free and open to the public. There is no charge for vehicles after 1:00 PM if you mention the Story Walk as you enter the park. The rain date is Sunday, June 5. The Story Walk installation will remain in place through September 30.
Kestrel Land Trust is a non-profit organization that serves 19 towns in the Pioneer Valley, including the City of Easthampton. Kestrel’s mission is to conserve and care for forests, farms, and riverways in the Pioneer Valley, while nurturing an enduring love of the land. Kestrel works closely with municipalities and individuals to protect the special places that they care about, including the lands surrounding Mt. Tom. More information at www.kestreltrust.org.
The Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee is an advisory committee to the city of Easthampton. Its mission is to provide guidance on ways to preserve and protect the pond, maintain its health for future generations, and to promote its importance to the community through ongoing fundraising events including Easthampton WinterFest and public awareness campaigns. More information at www.nashawannuckpond.org