Edgar Evins State Park is celebrating National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2 with a new Hillside Story Book Trail, new aviary and a party and you are invited to join in the fun.
A ribbon cutting for a new kid friendly half mile story book trail will take place along with the unveiling of the newly built aviary next to the Interpretive Center at the park. Read, Exercise, and Explore. The new trail combines a children's nature story with the thrill of being in the great outdoors. Come see how one of nature's miracles grows from a tiny egg to a flying jewel as each sign posted at intervals along the trail reveals more of the story, based on the book, Where Butterflies Grow, by Joanne Ryder with pictures by Lynne Cherry.
Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen, Mary Humphrey of Jackson will help Ramble, the Tennessee State Park mascot, cut the ribbon on the new trail. Miss Humphrey, whose slogan is “Pages With a Purpose”, has been campaigning across the state promoting literacy.
Guided and unguided hikes will be held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the Story Book Trail.
Giant pages of the book will be posted on signs at intervals along the trail for youngsters to enjoy. Guides on the tour will help children with their level of reading. The purpose of the Story Book Trail is to stimulate young readers as well as to encourage them and caregivers to enjoy an outdoor experience together. The trail was built by volunteers and park staff as a project of the Friends of Edgar Evins State Park.
The project is endorsed by the Governor's Books From Birth Foundation, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Ready to Read, Tennessee State Parks, and Friends of Tennessee State Parks Conservancy. Representatives will be on hand to sign up children from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to receive free books monthly from the Imagination Library. Refreshments and party favors will be available along with crafts to make and other activities for the children in addition to the trail and aviary.
The aviary is the Girl Scout Gold Award project of Smithville’s Neely Evans, Troop 1146.
“We are proud of Neely and what she has achieved! Come admire this outstanding aviary and enjoy the birds,” said Fount Bertram, President of Friends of Edgar Evins State Park.
“Spearheaded by the Friends of Edgar Evins State Park with help from park staff, this trail has finally taken shape after over a year of planning and working together. We wish to thank the park staff and many others also for the opportunity to complete and present this trail to the children and families visiting the park. Among these are the Cookeville Children’s Museum, the Public Library Systems for DeKalb, Putnam and Smith counties for their help with games and activities for this event as well as the Friends of Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Trails Association for grants of money to help defray costs. Thanks also to the many volunteers of all ages who jumped in to help construct the trail from scratch on the hillside, including members of Tennessee Trails Association, Smithville Brownie Girl Scout Troop 3094 under the leadership of Tanya Hale, and the young men of the former Smithville Boy Scout Troop 875 under the leadership of Cameron Beal, and others,” added Bertram.
The Friends of Edgar Evins State Park is an all-volunteer organization with the sole purpose of helping the park. For more information about contributing money or time please visit our website at www.foeesp.com or Facebook at Friends of EESP.