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Second Hancock County StoryWalk installed in Benton Ridge

The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library has now built two StoryWalks in two years, with plans for a third.

BENTON RIDGE, Ohio — Storybook trails have been popping up all over Ohio over the last few years, promoting the importance of literacy while also connecting with nature.

And a village in Hancock County is taking a page out of that book with one of their own.

Tucked away behind the main strip of the village of Benton Ridge, a new addition has been made to the community park.

This new 17 placard StoryWalk is the second walk installed by the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library in two years.

"While our main branch is in Findlay, and many of the patrons that we serve are there as well, it's really important to us that we're serving the entire Hancock County community. The small villages receive bookmobile service, and now the story walk here in Benton Ridge helps us go outside of our city limits," said Sarah Clevidence, FHCPL director.

As part of the library's three-year strategic plan, they intend to build a new StoryWalk in the county for every year of the plan.

"Through the course of our strategic planning process, we realized how important it is that we're serving the entire Hancock County community, not those in the city of Findlay. And so, we wanted to be sure that our next story walk installation was in one of the smaller communities in Hancock County," said Clevidence.

Funding for this StoryWalk came from the Hancock County Community Foundation's "Hancock Reads" Program.

Credit: Jon Monk
This new StoryWalk is the second built in Hancock County in the last 2 years.

The library will be holding a celebration event at the Story Walk, including family activities and a visit by the Bookmobile Saturday.

Along with a new story displayed every month, the placards also display an active reading recommendation to go along with the story.

The goal is to use these StoryWalks to get adults and children reading and playing together.

"It's a wonderful thing. We actually as adults, while we were installing it, kind of went through the whole thing ourselves and read it once. So, it's just a fun way to get kids out to the park and read, and then, like I said, try to get people on the Bookmobile itself." said Kayleen Veit, FHCPL Extension and Outreach Services manager.

This new storybook trail kickoff event will be held at the Benton Ridge community park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.