Storybook Walks currently available in Work Point

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

With every step they take, military families with young children can turn the page on summertime boredom.

Perched at the edge of a front lawn in the middle of a quiet suburban street in Esquimalt, a colourful four-foot yard sign tells a story about compassion, empathy, and friendship. Further down, another illustrated sign signals the start of a French language picture book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in society and themselves.

These signs on lawns, public spaces and parks guide the CFB Esquimalt community in reading the reprinted pages of popular children’s books in French and English.

The initiative, titled Storybook Walks, is a program by the Active Living Working Group (ALWG) of the MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy. The program offers an enjoyable self-guided walk through a quiet neighbourhood at Work Point.

Lisa Jeffery, a Health Promotion Assistant with Personnel Support Programs, says Storybook Walks are fun and educational, completely free, require no registration and can be done at any time of the day at a whim.

“Families love the idea of having a fun, free activity available at any time,” Jeffery said. “It opens up conversations, sparks imagination and offers a great time together for families in the outdoors walking through a quiet and safe residential neighborhood.”

Each Storybook Walk begins at the intersection of Bewdley Ave. and Anson St. It takes participants on an approximately 1.5-kilometre journey through the quiet neighbourhood, a children’s playground, and a section of a walking trail. A map at the beginning of the course and three other locations helps guide participants through the system.

The authors and stories vary from month to month, celebrating different subjects such as healthy diets, mental health, healthy relationships, active living, connection and community, and even how to deal with racism, Jeffery says.

Two storybooks are currently on display.

As of June 5, Jeffery and the ALWG Team switched up the content for June/July with two new book offerings: The Cool Bean by Jory John, which will tell the story of a young bean who yearns to be like the ‘cool beans’, and Antiracist Baby Picture Book by Ibram X. Kendi, which will encourage children and parents to uproot racism in society and within themselves. New stories will be installed approximately every six weeks throughout the spring and summer.

Jeffery encourages participant feedback and to contact her if they see any signs in need of maintenance at

StorybookWalkMap (1)

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