Members of Leadership Beatrice install a StoryWalk at Riverside Park. Mounted displays will show pages of a book that can be read while walking to promote literacy and being outdoors.

Beatrice groups have collaborated to allow families to read while walking at Riverside Park

On Wednesday, Leadership Beatrice installed 20 mounted displays in the park that will show pages of a book.

The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Since then, they have been installed in all 50 states and 12 countries.

The books will be rotated out on a regular basis by Joanne Neemann, the youth services librarian at Beatrice Public Library.

The cost for the project was roughly $8,000, which was raised with grants and donations from the Beatrice Community Hospital, BCH Health Center and Foundation, Garnett Investment Strategies, Neapco Inc., the City of Beatrice Plus grant, Norris Public Power, the Beatrice Education Foundation, the Gage County Foundation, Security First Bank, First State Bank, Andy and Lynn Carothers, and Paul Hay.

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Traci Garnett-Froscheiser, a team member for Leadership Beatrice, said any additional donations will go to the library to purchase books for the StoryWalk.

“One of the main goals for the leadership project is it has to be sustainable, and it has to be a positive for the community,” Garnett-Froscheiser said. “We went through and probably had 50 or 60 different projects that we tossed around, and after about 24 hours of debate and discussing logistics, we came down to this. We really just thought this promoted not only literacy, but it promoted family interaction, being outdoors.”

Garnett-Froscheiser said she also hoped the walk promotes attendance to the nearby Gage County Museum and is a “positive attraction for economic development.”

An unveiling for the walk is being organized for some time after next week's Homestead Days.

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