Snohomish Library gets rave reviews for new Story Trail

Two days before the official dedication of the Snohomish Library’s new Story Trail on Aug. 19, it was getting strong interest and rave reviews from passersby on the Centennial Trail.

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Snohomish Library Assistant Manager Nate Cushman, Friends of the Snohomish Library President Terry Lippincott, and Snohomish Library Manager Jude Anderson (from left) install pages into the Story Trail panels outside the Snohomish Library.

As Library Manager Jude Anderson, Assistant Library Manager Nate Cushman, and Friends of the Snohomish Library President Terry Lippincott installed pages of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” into the two dozen panels, curious onlookers wondered what they were doing with the mysterious black posts and panels.

Welcome to the Snohomish Library Story Trail. It’s designed to engage the public and especially families with young readers in an outdoor activity. Everyone who has seen the newly installed story trail has loved it.

The Friends of the Snohomish Library got the Story Trail project started with $2,000 in seed money, Lippincott said. The Snohomish Lions Club donated $4,000 and Lippincott’s “Women Taking Over the World” Giving Circle donated $1,200.

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The City of Snohomish made an in-kind donation of labor and materials to install the Snohomish Library Story Trail posts.

AARP liked the Story Trail’s potential as a multi-generational activity because of its proximity to the Snohomish Senior Center and made a $2,500 donation from its Community Living Grant. Several anonymous donors contributed, too, Lippincott said. The City of Snohomish provided an in-kind contribution of labor and materials to install the posts and panels.

“I fully support this use of my tax dollars!” one woman declared as she walked the trail.

Lippincott quickly replied. “These aren’t tax dollars, this is all by donation,” she said.

“Even better!” the woman said.

The Friends of the Snohomish Library is selling bronze memorial plaques to attach to the stands.

The Story Trail runs along the popular Centennial Trail that passes along the east side of the Snohomish Library, set in front of trees and lawn. It creates an opportunity for the city and the library to share outdoor displays, Lippincott said. Anyone can walk the trail, read a book, and take a break on the lawn.

Lippincott said the Friends of the Snohomish Library saw tremendous potential for a Story Trail because of the 9,714 people who previously came to the library for a Story Time program before the pandemic paused in-building events. Putting the Story Trail along the Centennial Trail was a “natural spot,” she said.

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Jude Anderson, Terry Lippincott and Nate Cushman show one of the Snohomish Library Story Trail panels.

“It’s one of the more heartwarming projects the Friends have done this year,” Lippincott said.

The Oak Harbor Library maintains a Story Trail at the city’s Windjammer Park. The Mukilteo Library has a Story Trail that starts on a popular footpath that leads to Big Gulch.

Book titles will be changed four times a year, Anderson said.

Anderson gave Lippincott full credit for getting the Snohomish Library Story Trail off the ground.

“This would not have happened without Terry,” he said.

To learn more about the Friends of Snohomish Library or to buy a memorial plaque, email snofosl@hotmail.com.

See more photos of the Snohomish Library Story Trail installation and dedication at the Sno-Isle Libraries Flickr page.

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