Eagle Scout project results in StoryWalk for Bird Island Park visitors

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There’s something new at Bird Island Park.

Visitors strolling along its picturesque boardwalk will notice that 30 colorful – and informative – plates have been attached to the railings. Each aluminum plate depicts an individual page from one of two children’s books published by National Geographic.

The exhibit is the result of an Eagle Scout project by GianCarlo Rappa, a Life Scout with Troop 277 in Ponte Vedra Beach.

With the help of fellow Scouts, family and friends, GianCarlo mounted the laminated pages at children’s eye level and evenly spaced them along the railing. Their arrangement allows visitors to read the books aloud as they walk, with no need to turn pages.

The StoryWalk was completed on Nov. 8.

A fun and educational activity, the first StoryWalk was the idea of Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont. It combines the pleasure of reading with that of walking outdoors. Parents, teachers and other adults can take young children to the park, and they can enjoy reading the books together.

The books GianCarlo selected are: “Bugs!” by Shira Evans and “Seed to Plant” by Kristin Baird Rattini. They are colorful, informative and lots of fun.

Statistics show that only about 4% of all boys who join the Scouts achieve the status of Eagle Scout. GianCarlo started at age 6 as a Tiger Scout – a Cub Scout in the first grade. He obtained his Arrow of Light, the highest achievement for a Cub Scout, before moving into the Boy Scouts. He has earned more than 45 merit badges and this year, at age 16, completed his Eagle Scout project.

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