Books and Exercise Cross Paths at Butler-Rodman Park Story Walk

Cyndi Shutt, left, children’s program manager at RPL, and Stacy Digianantonio, head of children’s services, stand with RPL Director Eric Taggart at the first station of the story walk at Butler-Rodman Park. 



What could be better than a story and a walk?

Thanks to a collaboration between the Alliance Parks Department, the Stark County Health Department and Rodman Public Library, visitors to Butler-Rodman Park can now do both at the same time.

On Friday, October 13, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially open the 20-station trail called Butler-Rodman Story Walk, which circles the playground area at the West State Street Park.

     Taking part in the ceremony were Rodman Public Library Director Eric Taggart, Parks Director Kim Cox, Park Board President Harry Paidas, Alliance Mayor Andy Grove, Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce President Rick Baxter, and Abigail Jenkins, Creating Healthy Communities health educator for Stark County Health Department, who cut the ribbon. 

The project was a total team effort.

Jenkins secured the state grant that funded the entire $14,000 joint project at Butler-Rodman. Meanwhile, the Alliance Parks provided the area and the labor to install the walk with several seasonal employees as well as Chris Zufall, Scott Davis, Mitch Kirby and Kyle Grove. Meanwhile, children’s department staff at RPL picked the books and prepared each station.

The first book is Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde.

The 20-station Butler-Rodman Story Walk winds around the playground  at the West State Street Park. 

Books will change each month and are funded by the Friends of Rodman Public Library.

The Friends of Alliance Parks was also involved in the project.

There are at least 50 similar trails in Ohio and Jenkins is working to get the Butler-Rodman Story Walk added to the Ohio Department of Natural Resource list of storybook trails.

Taggart noted, “Any way we can share stories is really positive. The library was happy to be a partner in this collaboration and to have a positive impact within Alliance and with the parks.”