The Official Opening by Lt. Col. David Burch of the StoryWalk Initiative at the Botanical Gardens

I am pleased to be here today alongside the talented author Karen E. Franks,
representatives of Deloitte’s and Bobby DeGraff of Crafty Carpentry and Maintenance to
officially unveil the StoryWalk initiative at the Botanical Gardens.

Firstly, I want to thank Ms. Franks for her contribution to this project. Her captivating
children’s story, ” Abigail’s Dream Adventures” provides the foundation for this educational

Thank you, Ms. Franks for allowing your work to be used in such an innovative and
inspiring way. The StoryWalk concept was first created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. The concept combines the joy of reading with the beauty of the outdoors, creating a delightful and educational activity for families. This initiative promotes early literacy, encourages physical activity, and provides quality family time outdoors.

The StoryWalk initiative is a wonderful educational opportunity for the Botanical Gardens and we are therefore thrilled to bring this concept to Bermuda.

Here in the gardens, our application of the concept will allow patrons, especially families
with children, to experience a Bermudian author’s story for children while walking a
specified route through some of the gardens’ most scenic locations.

This high-quality, passive engagement project exemplifies the type of activity that a
Botanical Garden should host.

The installation, features seven storyboards strategically placed along a route that perfectly
aligns with the adventures outlined in ” Abigail’s Dream Adventures”

The walking route begins under the Ficus trees near the old Parks Headquarters building,
meanders through the sensory garden, into the palm collection, and concludes at the
bottom of the celebration lawn.

Each of the seven stations contains a part of the story for visitors to read before moving on
to the next station. The storyboards, designed by the National Library – Youth Services, are
visually engaging and enhance the reading experience.

The installation was made possible through Deloitte’s generous sponsorship and the skilled
craftsmanship of Bobby DeGraff of Crafty Carpentry and Maintenance, who completed the
signage posts. Our Department of Parks maintenance team installed the posts along the

I am particularly pleased with the inclusion of QR codes on several of the storyboards.
These codes provide additional information and resources, with links to both the National
Library’s and the Department of Parks’ websites. Technology integration enriches the
educational experience and offers visitors more ways to engage with the content.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Department of Parks and the National Library
for their hard work and dedication in bringing this initiative to life. The collaboration with
the Bermuda National Library has resulted in a project that combines literacy, exercise, and
the beauty of our natural surroundings to create an enriching experience for all who visit.
I encourage everyone, especially families and children, to come and enjoy the StoryWalk. It
is a fantastic way to combine the joys of reading and outdoor activity, promoting both
health and literacy. Bring your walking shoes and your reading glasses, and immerse
yourself in the adventures of Abigail and her friends.

This StoryWalk will be available until the end of summer, at which point we hope to rotate
the story and continue this wonderful project with other local authors. We look forward to
seeing many more stories come to life in the beautiful setting of our Botanical Gardens.
Thank you all for being here today, and I hope you enjoy the StoryWalk as much as we have
enjoyed bringing it to you.

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