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own Creek Public Library Storybook Trail

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has formed a strong partnership with the Town Creek Public Library in Lawrence County, providing youth and adult programming over the years. In the fall of 2021, the library received grant funding to install a storybook trail behind the facility. While funding was available, it was insufficient to hire a landscape architect to design a walkway and bring the storybook trail to life. Therefore, the Lawrence County Extension office was contacted for help.

Creating a Happy Trail

The storybook trail allows children, in particular, to improve their literacy skills and to engage with nature. To get the project underway, Allyson Shabel, an urban regional agent, worked with the library and project manager Sharron Green. Together, they came up with a design for the walkway, seating, and storybook signage stops. Shabel also helped to prepare the site and recommended plant and hardscape materials. Flowering shrubs and perennials were used to turn the storybook trail into a storybook garden. Low-maintenance plantings were also selected to support native wildlife and pollinators.

Additionally, sidewalks were installed in March and landscape installation began shortly thereafter. Mulch and edging were later added to the beds, while irrigation installation was completed in May.

Town Creek residents now use the trail to bring stories to life, and as a gathering space for community activities.

Community Partners

Other storybook trail partners included county Extension coordinators Lucy Edwards and Donna Shanklin as well as members of the newly established Lawrence County Master Gardeners. In addition, Lawrence County’s LouAllen Farms supplied 112 plants to make the project complete.

The Town Creek storybook trail is a great example of partners working together to improve the quality of life in local communities.

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