If you’ve been down to the rail trail near Cross Street recently, you might have noticed some new sign posts on both sides of the trail. These posts are part of an Eagle Scout project organized by Jamie Ogilvie of Troop 73 which displays picture books for passersby to enjoy.
Jamie, a senior at Holliston High School, said that when he approached the Rail Trail Committee about doing his Eagle Scout project to benefit the trail, committee member Robert Wideneck already had several project ideas, but the story walk was the most intriguing to him.
“I always liked reading a lot as a kid,” said Jamie. “I realized that it was more of an engineering problem, and, since I want to be an engineer, I leapt at it.”
The project was completed in multiple phases. The first phase, which involved the instillation of the sign posts, took about two weekends and was finished in mid-November. Jamie said that this part of the process was made much easier by Mr. Wideneck and the rest of the committee because they had already set down the foundation for the installation.
The second phase, which was the preparation and installation of the display cases and story book itself, took a little longer. This was because Jamie and those from the scout troop that helped him had to figure out a way to mount the book’s pages and keep them safe. Eventually, the entire project was completed on December 30th, just in time for the New Year’s Eve walk.
“We had a small army here, and a lot of very confused bikers who were trying to dodge all of our equipment,” said Jamie about the installation process.
The story walk’s location, at the intersection of the trail and Cross St., is nice because the trail is very well lit during the day, so it is very easy to see the stories, Jamie said. Although the trail was lit during the New Year’s Eve walk, Jamie said that they do not have any plans to install permanent lights on the displays.
Right now, the story walk features the children’s book The Mitten by Jan Brett. The story is an old Ukrainian folktale about a little boy who loses his new mitten in the snow, only for the woodland animals to find it. Jamie said that he picked The Mitten because he was looking for a book with a winter theme, and it was one of his favorite stories growing up.
Jamie also said that the stories on display will rotate, and they are planning on showing about four stories a year. The Friends of the Library group will provide and pay for the books themselves, while the Holliston Lions Club will most likely be the ones who maintain the trail and change the books in the displays.
The Friends of the Library will soon have a link on their website to donate to maintaining the story walk, according to Jamie. You can also join their mailing list for more information.