Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 28, 2018
Students create hero’s journey at Greenbie
by Anne Berleant
Step into the shaded forest of the Greenbie Natural Area trail on The Shore Road and find a hero’s journey created by Adams School fifth through eighth graders.
“It’s a story written for this place,” said Chrissy Allen, who, as Education Outreach and Development Director for Blue Hill Heritage Trust, partnered with teacher Jen Jackson for the project.
After “an intense conservation walk” last fall, where students took notes, photos and videos, they wrote a story about a hero’s journey, which dovetailed with their current classroom focus.
Who’s going to be the hero? Who’s going to be the villain? What is the premise? These were the questions Jackson posed to the students, Allen said.
Laminated pages of the story now grace the one mile there-and-back walk, creating a Story Trail. Each page illustrates points from the story, like the “tree cage,” and “the big rock.” Environmental facts are also woven into the storyline.
“They explain some little ‘science-y’ facts, which was their idea,” Allen said.
The entire school walked the trail June 14 after a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, with Selectman Colin Powell doing the honors to loud applause.
“There’s the big rock,” one student murmured. Others noted the expanse of green ferns and lush moss, features of the 43-acre parcel that BHHT adopted when it merged with The Conservation Trust several years ago.
“This is like a fairyland,” one young student exclaimed in wonder.
The Story Trail will be up until fall, and hopes are that it will draw families to Greenbie Natural Area and Castine, Allen said. This is not the first Story Trail that Allen helped create. Last year, a Story Trail at Peter’s Brook in Blue Hill drew a steady stream of visitors, Allen said. “It was very popular, and made kids and adults want to go hiking.”