Library hopes 'Born Learning Trail' draws patrons

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A winding trail of fun and learning will soon welcome kids and adults outside the Vigo County Public Library.

Workers are busy building a new "Born Learning Trail" along the Seventh Street side of the library. It will run almost the entire block and include activity stops along the way.

"It's really going to be fun," library director Kristi Howe told the Tribune-Star ( ).

Born Learning Trails already exist at a couple of Terre Haute area parks. This one will be on the library's east lawn and will incorporate the Wiley High School cupola and run from the Walnut Street entrance nearly to an outdoor sculpture at Seventh and Poplar streets. Wiley High School once occupied the land where the main branch of the library has stood since being built in the 1970s.

The trail, Howe said, will be an excellent way to appeal to kids who may enjoy outdoor activities more than sitting inside and reading a book or working on a computer. It will also bring new visitors to the library, she hopes.

Howe estimates the trail will cost about $22,000. Most of the funding is coming from private donations, while the United Way's Success by Six early learning program is contributing $2,500, she said. The library will pay about $2,000, she said.

It is hoped the trail will be completed and ready for action by the library's Family Learning Day, which is from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 27. A grand opening and ribbon cutting are expected in October, Howe said.

The trail will include several activities, including hopscotch, listening to birds and more. It is designed to also engage parents and caregivers, Howe said. The meandering trail will also feature several different types of surfaces in a variety of colors, she said.

"I hope to see it used a lot," said Hank Metzger, president of the library board. The trail will fit nicely with the city's Arts Corridor, he added. "I think it will liven up Seventh Street all along there."


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