See what Ohio is providing Champaign County park with for children

Five state parks in Ohio have been awarded more than $28,000 in grants for new or improved outdoor children’s literacy trails, including one in Champaign County.

The grants, awarded as part of ODNR’s Recreational Trails Grant Program, will fund trail and trailhead construction, maintenance and storybook signage for each trail, Gov. Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine and ODNR Director Mary Mertz announced Tuesday.

“Developing an appreciation for reading at a young age is so important for children as they grow, and we are excited to award these grants to help more communities combine the love of reading with the love of nature,” DeWine said.

One of the grants totaling $5,160.80 will be to create a new Mechanicsburg story walk at Goshen Twp. Memorial Park in Champaign County. The local trails are to help promote the benefits of early literacy and a heathy lifestyle.

“These trails give families a new and exciting way to get out and spend time,” Mertz said. “I’m excited that even more communities will be able to build these trails and encourage children to learn in a really fun way, all while teaching them the importance of protecting our natural resources.”

The other trails awarded include:

Athens County: $5,233.19 to expand the story walk trail along the Bailey’s Trail System in the Village of Chauncey.

Ashland County: $5,173 for a new trail at Byers Woods in the Ashland County Park District.

Ottawa County: $5,060 for the creation of a permanent storybook trail at the Dr. Robert L. Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve at the Black Swamp Conservancy.

Preble County: $7,856 for a storybook walking path at Lewisburg Community Park in the Village of Lewisburg.

Recreational Trails Program is a reimbursement grant program that provides up to 80% of federal funding by the ODNR and Federal Highway Administration.

For an interactive map of ODNR literacy trails, visit

About the Author