ATHENS, Tenn. — It's something they hope to visit years from now with their own children.
Here's how middle school students came together to make a lasting contribution to their community.
"We worked so hard, eight months, I mean that's why I'm out here wiping down the signs," Lakelan Hammonds said as he cleaned up eighteen signs that make up the new Athens Storybook Trail at Athens Regional Park. Walk the quarter-mile route and read a book, one sign at a time.
Kayleigh Ridley said, "It was definitely a team effort and Ms. Robinson. I mean, she worked constantly on this."
Ginger Robinson's 8th Grade Enrichment Class at Athens City Middle School came up with the idea and design. They found sponsors. They fulfilled their goal.
"This whole project was just to encourage the mix of literacy and activity and family bonding," Lakelan said.
The class chose a book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library: Peace is an Offering.
"We looked at the books from the last five years on the list and this is the one we thought stood out because it was already printed in two languages, it was very colorful, and we felt it was just great for the young community," Allie Sewell said.
She pointed out that it is presented in English, Spanish, and Japanese.
"We got it printed in Japanese so it could represent the Denso community and be more appealing to them," she said.
They won't get bored with the stories because every couple of months they'll switch it out with another Dolly Parton's Imagination Library book.
The Storybook Trail features a gentle slope. The class made sure it was accessible for people with disabilities.
On opening day, they included one of the sixth-grade students at their school. He took the first official lap.
"He has Autism and he recently broke both of his legs. And so he was a big part in our opening and so he got to lead the way and just to show that a wheelchair can be used on this trail," Kayleigh said.
Anyone can use the trail. It promotes exercise, literacy, and family bonding.
"I'm so excited. It's amazing to give back and I can't believe it happened," Allie said.
Lakelan said, "There's been a lot of talk about town. Everybody knows about The Storybook Trail. It's a pretty cool achievement."