A new Storybook Trail featuring a children’s book about water was unveiled on Friday, October 20 along the Great Miami River Recreation Trail in downtown Dayton. The signs are being installed along the bike trail, overlooking the Great Miami River, just north of Carillon Boulevard (map below).

The storybook trail features 12 unique kiosks. Each kiosk displays two pages of a children’s book that was written and published by students from the University of Dayton’s Rivers Institute at the Fitz Center for Leadership and Community.

The public is invited to bring children and join the project partners on October 20 to unveil the new Storybook trail.

Managed by the Miami Conservancy District (MCD), the project is partially funded by an Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Storybook Trail grant of $6400 and partially by matching funds from the MCD. ODNR launched the Storybook Trail program in 2019 to promote the importance of literacy, a healthy lifestyle, and connection with nature.

The book, titled Into the River, was also written to increase awareness of the importance of water and takes readers on a colorful journey down the Great Miami River.

The book was created with input from local elementary students about their ideas and feelings towards rivers, as well as their original drawings and artwork. The project was also strategically created to make an impact on the City of Dayton’s literacy rates and was written for a third grade reading level. The reading proficiency in the Dayton Public School System is 32% while the statewide average is 64%.

According to Miami Conservancy District trail counters installed at that location and more than 30,000 people visit this section of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail each year.