Greenwich Girl Scout opens her StoryWalk® to public

Senior Girl Scout and Greenwich resident Sophia Ferraro

Senior Girl Scout and Greenwich resident Sophia Ferraro

Senior Girl Scout and Greenwich resident Sophia Ferraro has recently completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project by creating a StoryWalk® that teaches young children how to behave in the outdoors. A StoryWalk® is a nature trail that has posts with the pages of a book spread across it; as children and their families walk the trail, they read and experience nature at the same time.

Sophia wrote the story for this project, in which the main character, Charlie, learns how dangerous litter can be to animals and what she can do to help protect the inhabitants of the forest. The StoryWalk® occupies a half mile trail in Babcock Preserve, a 300-acre forested preserve owned by the town of Greenwich. It is located on North Street, about a 1/3 mile north of Exit 31 off the Merritt parkway or two miles north of North Street School.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout may earn, and less than 6% of all Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. The Gold Award process builds girls’ personal leadership skills, and the projects inspire others to take action within their communities. Each project addresses a community issue and improves lives.

Sophia, a rising junior at Greenwich Academy, was supported by her troop, friends, family, teachers, The Deloitte Gold Award Mini Grant and the Parks and Recreation Department of Greenwich on this project and is thrilled to bring a StoryWalk® to Greenwich. She was inspired to create this project after hearing about a similar StoryWalk® in Vermont, and since it combines reading and a love of the outdoors, two of her great interests, it was a natural fit. This project provides an opportunity for children and their families to unplug from technology and spend time together, enjoying one of Greenwich’s beautiful parks.

Many recent articles and studies have been published about the benefits of being outdoors, and, regarding children in particular, about creating learning experiences that take place out of the classroom and out in nature.

*The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Helpful links:

About Babcock Preserve: http://www.greenwichct.org/upload/medialibrary/a60/prFA_BabcockPreserve.pdf

About the Girl Scout Gold Award: http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php

Sophia’s Gold Award website: http://www.greenwichstorywalk.com

No Child Left Inside, CT: http://www.ct.gov/ncli/cwp/view.asp?a=4005&q=471154&ncliNav_GID=2004

Part of the StoryWalk® trail at Babcock Preserve.

Part of the StoryWalk® trail at Babcock Preserve.

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