Hiking Trails

KCCI’s ‘Fully Booked’ project combines art, nature, literacy and community

In late 2021, the 13 new Catalysts selected by the Knight Creative Communities Institute (“KCCI”) were given a mission: to develop and implement a plan to combine art and trails in one or more public parks in the county of Leon. The result, “Fully Booked,” consists of three Wander & Wonder trails near branch libraries, iconic book-shaped benches, and Leon County’s first hammock garden.

Readers enjoy the reading bench at Pedrick Pond Park

The history trails at Pedrick Pond Park, Woodville Sports Complex, and Fort Braden Library and Community Center feature three different children’s books on art pedestals placed along the walking paths. Visitors can read the books as they walk around and then stop at one of the nearby branch libraries. At the Eastside Branch Library in Pedrick Pond, visitors can also check out a hammock for use in the hammock garden or set up on one of three wooden book benches designed and built by FSU’s Master Craftsman Studio.

The “Fully Booked” project combines art, nature and literacy. The Catalyst KCCI Class of 2022 is also sponsoring field trips for elementary students to visit the parks. To date, more than 400 students have taken part in educational outings to walk the storytelling trails and visit the libraries. The story walks, made possible with support from the Friends of Leon County Public Library, present different narratives through panels of interchangeable “book” pages. The books featured on the trails will rotate throughout the year.

A family at Pedrick Pond Park

The aim of the catalysts was to create places to develop literacy skills while encouraging visitors to get outside. Fully Booked is one of KCCI’s newest placemaking projects, which selects a group of volunteer catalysts each year to run community projects that enhance our region’s sense of place. Catalysts envision the project collaboratively, work with local leaders to gain their support, and then fundraise to make it happen. “Fully Booked” was approved by the Leon County Commission in March of this year and financially supported by over 50 individuals, businesses and organizations.

Created in 2007, KCCI has carried out more than 30 projects and selected more than 250 catalysts. KCCI is supported by community businesses, individuals, and Florida State and Florida A&M universities.

Applications are now being accepted for the Catalyst Class of 2023, which will be challenged to expand the “Crosswalks to Classrooms” pilot project near Kate Sullivan Elementary School and Cobb Middle School. Creative crosswalks, also known as asphalt art, transform ordinary crosswalks and intersections into functional works of art that improve safety. Besides decorating the city, asphalt art helps to make drivers aware of crosswalks where pedestrians may be present.

Applications will be accepted until October 26, 2022. To apply to become a 2023 KCCI Community Catalyst, visit kccitallahassee.com.

Donna Blanton

KCCI Catalyst Class 2022 member Donna Blanton is a Tallahassee attorney with the Radey Law Firm. She has lived in Tallahassee since 1983.


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