St. Mary Parish libraries add new outdoor exercise attractions

St. Mary Parish

FRANKLIN, La (KLFY) — St. Mary Parish libraries have partnered with the LSU AgCenter to add new exercise elements to their summer programming.

There are now painted play stencils in front of the Franklin, Baldwin, Centerville, Patterson, and Amelia library branches.

Library employees paint an alligator hopscotch stencil in front of the St. Mary Parish Franklin Branch Library. Photo by Jessica Randazzo/LSU AgCenter

“We are super excited to have our colorful activities stenciled in front of the Iberia Street entrance,” said Connie Durocher, manager of the Franklin and Centerville library branches. “I anticipate many busy feet as families come this summer to pick up books to read for our virtual summer reading program, Tails and Tales.” 

The group chose nature-themed stencils for the outdoor play spaces to mirror the Tails and Tales summer reading program theme. 

Despite deciding not to resume in-person programming this summer, the library still wanted to engage the community. Staffers decided to use the painted stencils to provide a safe physical activity option for all members of the community.  

A library employee paints a tightrope stencil on the sidewalk leading to the St. Mary Parish Franklin Branch Library. Photo by Jessica Randazzo/LSU AgCenter

The LSU AgCenter also provided the Baldwin branch with Play Streets equipment to encourage kids to get outside and get active this summer. Visitors in the month of June are invited to play soccer and kickball, draw with chalk and enjoy a bubble machine. 

“Everyone who stops in tells us how great the stencils look. We really enjoyed creating them and would love to see lots of kids hopping into our libraries to check out some great books,” said Debbie Box, Baldwin branch manager. “We invite everyone to stop at our libraries and have some fun with the new stencils.” 

This project is part of the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities initiative, which aims to improve the physical and social environments that influence health using a community-driven approach. The Healthy Communities initiative in St. Mary Parish is facilitated by LSU AgCenter assistant extension agent Jessica Randazzo.  

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