KCCI, Leon County Government, and the Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, unveiled the first installment of the Fully Booked placemaking project at Pedrick Pond Park outside the Leon County Eastside Branch Library. Merging nature, art, and literacy, the Fully Booked project includes a Wander & Wonder Story Trail, three book benches, and a hammock garden. The project was envisioned by the 2022 KCCI Community Catalyst team.
“The County is proud of our continued partnership with KCCI to bring creative projects like the Wander & Wonder Story Trail into the community for all to enjoy,” said Leon County Chairman Bill Proctor. “Reading is the foundation for learning, and this story trail is an opportunity for families to build literacy skills together while exploring the great outdoors.”
Located at Pedrick Pond Park, the Wander & Wonder Story Trail is a place where families can read a book together while walking a scenic .4-mile trail. Along the path, citizens can also relax on book-themed benches or lounge in the hammock garden. Hammocks are now available for check out inside the Eastside Branch Library using your library card or you can bring your own.
“The Fully Booked project is a unique opportunity for residents to experience the County’s trails while exploring what’s available at the County’s beautiful Eastside Library,” said Leon County District 5 Commissioner Kristin Dozier. “From relaxing hammocks to artistic book benches, residents of all ages will find something to love along the trail at Pedrick Pond Park.”
The books along the trail will be updated periodically with new titles for families to enjoy. The first book to be featured at Pedrick Pond Park is Señorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer. With colorful, captivating illustrations and text in both English and Spanish, the book takes readers on an exciting journey with monarch butterflies during their annual migration from Canada to Mexico.
“The County’s ongoing partnership with KCCI continues to bring creative and engaging projects like the new Wander and Wonder Story Trail to life,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “By incorporating art, nature, and a good book, this project connects citizens to the community while promoting literacy and outdoor adventure.”
To help connect readers to each other and the world around them, the panels include questions that help bring the book to life. Additionally, each platform features a plant or animal that can be found in the area.
“The Fully Booked project will inspire residents to get outdoors, get reading and get moving,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI Executive Director. “The LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System will manage changing out the books on the Wander & Wonder trail so there will be ever changing reasons to read, walk and explore.”
Two additional Wander & Wonder trails will be opened in September:
• Thursday, September 8 at 10 a.m. outside the Leon County Fort Braden Branch Library.
• Thursday, September 22 at 10 a.m. outside the Leon County J. Lewis Hall Sr. Woodville Park and Recreation Complex.
“People think libraries are for rainy days, but now I think a beautiful sunny day is the perfect time to visit. Come in and check out a book, then stretch out in a hammock or take it with you on a hike. You’ll be glad you did,” said Dale Grigas, president of the Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library.
More information about the Wander & Wonder Trail can be found at LeonCountyLibrary.org/WanderAndWonder.
“Tallahassee is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the region,” said Ericka McKibbin, KCCI Catalyst. “We are excited to welcome the community to discover not only our parks but also our libraries in a new way.”
For more information about KCCI and past KCCI Community Catalyst projects, visit KCCITallahassee.com.