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Snohomish gets “Story Trail” to boost reading

Michael Whitney photo

Terry Lippincott stands next to one of 22 new stations for the Snohomish Story Trail.

SNOHOMISH — Twenty-two new signs opposite the Snohomish Library invite you to walk and trace the steps of a book.
This week the finishing touches should be done. An opening celebration of the Snohomish Story Trail will be Thursday, Aug. 19 at 2 p.m.
Each station contains two pages of a book aged for preschoolers. Terry Lippincott, the president of the Friends of the Snohomish Library booster group, sees it as an opportunity to enhance literacy and bring together families.
“We’re hoping kids will run station to station,” Lippincott said.
The trail makes a loop from the library parking lot around to the Centennial Trail and back to the lot.
Library manager Jude Anderson thinks it could bring people into the library. They’ll be sure to mention the trail during children’s storytime events.
Anderson points to Lippincott as the driver. Lippincott deflects to the many supporters who made it happen: $4,000 from the Snohomish Lions Club, $2,500 from the AARP, $1,200 from a women’s giving circle, a $2,000 gift from the Friends themselves, and City Hall, who sent a crew to install it all. The Friends also is taking donations to add commemorative plaques, and a few donors have already purchased one.
“It’s cool because it’s on a trail, so you meander,” city parks lead Joe Hopper commented to Lippincott as construction went on.
Meander, or stroll, or however you wish. The library hopes it will delight trail walkers, and especially let parents make it a learning experience for little ones.
The first book will be the funny picture book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen.
Anderson said the books will be changed out seasonally to fit the time of year. Any open stands might have flyers for in-library events.
They’ll disassemble real books to put pages in the stands. It tore the board members to do this, but how else could people get the real deal? 
Lippincott saw how Oak Harbor’s story trail works with boxes that have waterproof Plexiglas. The stations are cemented into the ground.
Mukilteo’s library recently installed a story trail this April as a Boy Scout project.
The Snohomish trail “really is the fruit of lots of people having great ideas and the women stepping up,” Anderson said.
The Friends cooked up the idea three years ago, Lippincott said.
“We’re fortunate to have such a literate population” with a love of books in Snohomish, she said.




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