Sulphur Parks first in SW La. to get interactive trail

Published 9:21 am Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sulphur’s McMurry Park is the first location in Southwest Louisiana for a Born Learning Trail.

Sulphur Kiwanis Club President Mitch Redd saw one in College Station, Texas, and shared the idea with club members who agreed the project was in line with the group’s goal of improving the world one child and community at a time.

“Born Learning Trails are all over the country,” Redd said. “Some are placed by businesses, some by civic groups. All are in partnership with the United Way.”

The United Way Born Learning Trail is a series of 10 interactive signs along a path or trail that offer fun, active learning activities for young children and their families for the purpose of turning everyday moments into learning moments. It helps parents, caregivers and communities create quality engagement opportunities when out on a stroll or visiting a local playground. For instance, a sign might suggest that children walk like a duck or jump like a frog, find certain shapes on the trail or in nature or play hopscotch. At McMurry Park, as part of the project, volunteer Rachelle Foster painted the hopscotch and other sidewalk art on the trail.

Redd points out that the trail was a collaborative effort. The Sulphur Kiwanis Club may have gotten the ball rolling, but there would be no trail without the United Way and SPAR.

“Not only is the trail on a SPAR property, but SPAR helped by digging and setting the post holes for the signage,” he said.

“We’ve really wanted to have a Born Learning Trail in Southwest Louisiana,” said Denise Durell, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “Our focus is on creating opportunities in the communities where we serve, education and health. This is a project that fulfills all three of those objectives.”