Niskayuna mother creates story walk at town park

ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE Becky Neyhard of Niskayuna, with her two children, Rylan, 2, and Cami, 6, are pictured on the Storywalk trail at River Road Park in Niskayuna on Thursday. Neyhard will be installing a Storywalk with the book, "If I Was The Sunshine,"€ by Julie Fogliano and Loren Long, this weekend along a half-mile trail.
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ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
Becky Neyhard of Niskayuna, with her two children, Rylan, 2, and Cami, 6, are pictured on the Storywalk trail at River Road Park in Niskayuna on Thursday. Neyhard will be installing a Storywalk with the book, "If I Was The Sunshine,"€ by Julie Fogliano and Loren Long, this weekend along a half-mile trail.

NISKAYUNA — A Niskayuna mom of two is installing a story walk this weekend at River Road Park in order to give families a fun activity to do during the winter and COVID pandemic.

“I’ve just been looking for COVID safe stuff to do,” said Becky Neyhard.

She said she and her 6-year-old Cami and 2-year-old Rylan have gone on walks where they read a story along the way before, but they’ve had to travel to get to them. Now, she’s working on one closer to home.

Neyhard said she worked with the town of Niskayuna and the Schenectady County Public Library to create laminated story pages to affix to stakes placed in the ground along a trail toward the back of River Road Park.

“It’s a great way to get outside, promote literacy,” she said.

The library provided Neyhard with book options to choose from for the project. She said she and her kids read through all the books and each kid picked one book to use for the trail.

The book for all of March will be If I was Sunshine by Julie Fogliano and Loren Long. For April it will be The Earth Gives More by Sue Fliess.

The project has really been a community effort too, Neyhard said, with dozens of other mothers volunteering for trail upkeep.

Stefanie Maynard, a mother of two, has volunteered to help with the trail and used her news media background to promote the project.

“I’m super excited about it because it gives us another outlet for our kids this winter,” she said.

Maynard said her kids don’t like to sit for story time.

“They’re wiggly kids” so the story walk, she said, is a great solution to get them reading and keeping them active.

The project cost around $400, with a donation from the Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library and a contribution from the Neyhard family.

Neyhard said she hopes to expand the story walk longer into the year and into other community parks.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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