Pollinator Story Walks Installed in Local Parks

Now you can take a walk in a park and enjoy a book while strolling!

Earlier this year a group of residents and City Councilors formed The Newton Community Pollinator Group to recommend policies and programs to support pollinators. Work includes encouraging the planting of more native and pollinator friendly plants to developing policies that will help ensure a healthier pollinator population into the future to educating the public on the wonders of pollinators.

One goal was a project to engage children and parents in learning more about pollinators.  And Story Walks® are a way to mount storybooks so that children can read them as they are walking along a path or through a park.  They have been popular in parks all over the country.  In Newton the Pollinator Group has now initially installed five Story Walks® at four locations around the city.  Additional locations may be planned.  In addition, our Newton walks have been designed to be able to rotate around to different locations.

The books chosen are all appropriate for children. They have beautiful illustrations and either provide great detailed information in an age-appropriate way or tell a good story. The books can be seen on this public list at  https://a.co/4WaTajc 

The Bug Girlby Margaret McNamara and Sophia Spencer

Real-life 7 year old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her.  Now Sophia tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself.  Bug Girl is at City Hall starting at the Pollinator Garden

The Puddle Gardenby Jared and Laura Rosenbaum

In this children’s story full of native plants and wildlife, learn how lonely Bear Cub invited friends to his new home by creating a puddle garden. Bear Cub plants cardinal flower, swamp milkweed, blue flag iris, elderberry, and more.  His garden quickly fills with grateful wildlife. His home landscape is no longer lonely.  Puddle Garden is at Cold Spring Park starting from the kiosk at the south east end of the parking lot and fanning out towards Zervas.

Wangari Maathaiby Frank Prevot and Aurelia Fronty

Returning home, Wangari was determined to help her people and her country.  She recognized that deforestation and urbanization was at the root of her country’s troubles.  Her courage and confidence carried her through adversity to found a movement for peace, reconciliation, and healing.  Wangari Maathai  is at Cold Spring Park starting from the kiosk at the south east end of the parking lot and fanning out  towards the meadow.

Begin with a Beeby Lisa Ketchum, Jacqueline Brigg Martin, and Phyllis Root

By looking closely at the life cycle of one bee, Begin with a Bee helps readers of all ages understand and appreciate the contributions and significance of all bees.  The life cycle of the rusty patched bumblebee is a tale of wonder, the adventure of one queen bee who carries an entire colony of bees inside her tiny body.  Begins with a Bee is at the Waban Hill Reservoir/Heartbreak Hill Park.

What’s Inside a Flowerby Rachel Ignotofsky

Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show stoppers from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry.   What’s Inside a Flower is at Wellington Park, Kilburn Road, West Newton.


The Newton Pollinator Working Group consists of dedicated Newton residents and City Councilors working on policies and programs to support pollinators, including encouraging the plantings of more native and pollinator friendly plants, developing policies to help ensure a healthier pollinator population and educating the public on the wonders of pollinators.  The Pollinator Group’s Facebook page can be found at https://m.facebook.com/NewtonCommunityPollinatorProject/.   The first project was a new Pollinator Toolkit – a guide to native plants that are appropriate for various types of gardens and conditions.  In conjunction with that was a wonderful demonstration Pollinator Garden at City Hall (one of the locations for the Story Walks.)

Thanks to the sponsors of the Newton Pollinator Story Walks® :

  • Newton Conservators
  • Green Newton
  • Newton Parks, Recreation & Culture Department
  • Newton Mayor’s Office

The Story Walk®  project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montepelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  Story Walk®  is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.