TROY — The McKaig-Race Park has transformed into an “Education Walkway” to be enjoyed by park patrons for years to come.
The Troy-Miami County Library, along with the city of Troy’s Park Department, installed 20 “storybook stations” around the park’s walking trail.
As a nod to the park’s Japanese tree plantings, the first book for the walk is titled “Take Me Out to the Yakyu” or “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Each year, members of the many Japanese delegations plant a Japanese cherry or lilac tree in the McKaig-Race Park.
“This park continues to be a natural setting and now has been turned into an international park,” said Mayor Michael Beamish.
Beamish commended the partnership between the library, the city park board and other community organization to enhance the park’s features.
Youth Services Manager Nancy Hargrove shared how the storybook walks at the library’s Brukner Park were very popular in the last several years and worked with the park department to make the activity a permanent part of a Troy park.
“Children, school groups, families, and members of the Lincoln Center can come here and utilize the park and now participate in the storybook walks,” Hargrove said.
Kevin West fabricated each of the 20 storybook stations, which feature a page from the book. The first station is located by the park’s shelter house and moves clockwise around the walking trail. The books will be changed every six months and will feature international children’s books.
Beamish noted that the city of Troy ranks fifth in Ohio in regard to Japanese residents.
“We have a lot of Japanese families that come into the library … so it’s only fitting that the first book they chose has that international flavor along with the American pastime of baseball,” Beamish said.
The permanent installation of the Storybook Walk was made possible by a $500 grant from the Troy Noon Optimists Club and a generous $6,000 donation to the library from the Sunday family.
“This (Storybook Walk) is dedicated to Marcella Miller (Sunday), who married Rex Sunday. They made a donation to the library upon their passing. When that happens, we try to come up with something that will permanently honor their memory,” said Rachelle Miller, executive director of the Troy-Miami County Library.
Miller shared a message from their son, Larry Sunday, a resident of Arizona, and said his parents “would fully endorse such an avenue to educate others along the fostering the power of reading books.”
The late Marcella Miller Sunday and the late Rex Sunday designated the funds for the library’s use upon their passing. They were married for 70 years and had two children. Marcella was employed at Hobart Brothers Inc. and was a homemaker. Rex Sunday was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran. He worked in the family business in Antwerp and also worked at Heffner Construction Co. in Antwerp. They are buried in Covington.
For more information, visit the Troy-Miami County Library website at www.tmcpl.org.
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