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Posted on: September 16, 2019

Sterling Heights to host ribbon cutting for newest community engagement installation

The City of Sterling Heights is committed to community engagement and creating
focal points for community members to gather.

Who: Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor and members of Sterling Heights City Council, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool, Sterling Heights Library

Director Tammy Turgeon, Sterling Heights Parks & Recreation Director Kyle Langlois, Sterling Heights Public Library Board, Friends of the Sterling Heights Public Library

Board, and members of the Sterling Heights staff.

What: A ribbon cutting to celebrate the unveiling of Sterling Heights Public Library’s StoryWalk®. The City of Sterling Heights is committed to community engagement and creating focal points for community members to gather. The Beaver Creek StoryWalk® was initiated, as a part of the City’s 2030 visioning plan, to serve as a place that combines reading, nature and exercise in an effort to achieve that goal.

“Installations like this StoryWalk® are an important part of our work to keep Sterling Heights an active and inclusive community,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael

Taylor. “As you walk down the path, you are directed to the next page in the story, promoting reading as well as getting active in the City’s parks. Better yet, this first

installation is a Braille Enhanced StoryWalk® that will allow even visually-impaired residents to enjoy the story.”

The first book to be featured in the 20-post, angled, aluminum frame display is The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers. The book was provided to the library by the State

of Michigan as part of its literacy enrichment program, the Braille Enhanced StoryWalk®. The books used in the permanent StoryWalk® display will be changed several times a year and feature a variety of classic and new picture books as well as both fiction and non-fiction works. The library’s website and Facebook page will be

updated whenever the StoryWalk® is updated and a new title is added.

“This project was truly a team effort involving not only the Library, but also our fantastic Parks & Recreation Department,” said Library Director Tammy Turgeon. “Our

departments came together to create an opportunity for our young residents to not only practice reading skills – a known way to improve focus, concentration and vocabulary - but also to get outside while doing so. Outdoor environments naturally inspire children to be more physically active, and outdoor learning provides children

with hands-on experiences in nature – the perfect place for children to learn by using their senses.”

Why: StoryWalk® installations like the one at Beaver Creek provide a unique experience that combines reading, nature and exercise. Barbara Petrowski, a Librarian at the Sterling Heights Public Library, came across an article about the StoryWalk® Project that was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. (Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.) Barbara was encouraged to move forward with the project by putting up a well-received series of temporary StoryWalks® between the library and police station in May 2017. While popular among residents, they were not sturdy enough to withstand the elements. The City has since invested in two new StoryWalk® display units, the first of which is this installation near Harwood Elementary in Beaver Creek Park.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 17 @ 5:15 pm

Where: Beaver Creek Park (34100 King Richard Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48310)

Media with questions or those looking to schedule an interview can contact Community Relations Director Melanie Davis at (586) 446-2471 (o) or (586) 303-0923 (m) or email mdavis@sterling-heights.net.

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