Storybook Trail installs new book for 2024 Birding Trail

Julie Freeman, president of the Friends of the Public Libraries of Cullman County, and her children James Parker Freeman and Natalie Freeman look over the new book at the Storybook Trail. (Ben Johnson)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Sportsman Lake Park’s Storybook Trail is home to a new book installation.  The Friends of the Public Libraries of Cullman County are leaning into the recent naming of the trail on Alabama’s Birding Trail with the latest book “All the Birds in the World” by David Opie.

The new book is an informative tale and documents the many different varieties and species of water and woodland birds. To date, Sportsman Lake has documented 84 different avian species within the park’s perimeter. 

“The Storybook Garden Trail is literally a moving story for children of all ages – a children’s story with fewer words and more illustrations is installed throughout a shaded part of Sportsman Lake Park, protected from the weather under acrylic panels,” said Ben Johnson, Alabama Audubon member and Sportsman Lake Park Arboretum chair. “There are 18 reading stations at a height good for kids.”

The reading stations follow the book as the trail goes deeper into the Wildflower Garden, with children hopping from stop to stop in order to continue the story. The stories and books housed in the acrylic displays change every few months, changing with seasons and events to keep the magic alive for the trail’s tiny visitors. 

The trail is a partnership between The Friends of the Public Libraries of Cullman County, the Cullman County Extension and Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Sportsman Lake Park Arboretum and Alabama SNAP Education. The grounds of the Wildflower Garden are maintained by the Cullman County Master Gardeners.

Johnson said he is aware that not many residents know about the existence of the Wildflower Garden and Storybook Trail. 

“To find the Storybook Garden Trail at Sportsman Lake Park, go toward the picnic pavilion area, see the bandstand and look across the street to the arbor entrance of the Nona Moon Wildflower Garden,” he smiled.

The Storybook Trail is located at Sportsman Lake Park at 1544 Sportsman Lake Park Road NW and is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.

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