This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
Kristin established the “Story Trail” for children and adults.
Operated by the Boise City Parks and Recreation Department, the Foothills Learning Center (FLC) is dedicated to promote, through environmental education, the preservation & improvement of the natural ecosystem of the Boise Foothills by fostering appreciation, understanding and responsible use of the natural resources in our community. The staff makes this FLC mission come to life through hands on programs and camps for pre-schoolers through college students as well as special events for all ages. The FLC is at the base of the Boise Foothills two miles north of the State Capitol and downtown Boise. The Boise Foothills are laced with 135 miles of trails that are suited for those of varying abilities. The Story Trail is the newest trail enhancement.
We must disclose that we borrowed this idea from The StoryWalk™ Project of Montpelier, Vermont. Kristin Lundstrom, was inspired by their low budget efforts and took this wonderful concept to another level by establishing the “Story Trail” for children and adults with permanent reading platforms that feature seasonal nature oriented books that change on a monthly basis and are accessible year round. Our goal had multiple objectives: to attract and expose a broader audience to the Foothills Learning Center grounds and the trails in the Boise Foothills in hopes that they develop an appreciation for this special environment, to help address the inactivity epidemic, to encourage multi-generational interaction, and to provide positive and unique reading experiences. Because we have limited staff to offer programs on a daily basis and we aren’t a nature center, per say, this allows us to provide an interactive self-guided experience seven days a week, sunrise to sunset, throughout the seasons.
It was important to us that this be a collaborative project involving different members of the community. Kristin did a fabulous job bringing together many volunteers each with their own set of skills to make the Story Trail a reality. One of our 2009 Summer Interns, Ansley Rawlins, a Warren Wilson college student, worked with the Boise Public Library and Kristin to establish the initial book list. The stories were chosen based on their ability to reach different age readers, reflect the seasons, eye-catching graphics and furthering the knowledge of the diversity of animal and plant life found in the Boise Foothills. Our public library staff was exceptionally helpful and utilized their book source contacts to order and purchase many of the selected books.
Kristin contacted the local Ore-Ida Boy Scout Council and they helped promote the reading platforms construction as an Eagle Scout Award project. An interview selection process was held, several scouts applied and we selected C. J. Marler, of Troop 29. He worked with FLC staff and his fellow troop members to design, construct and mount the reading platforms. All of the materials and labor were donated by these generous young men and their families.