A StoryWalk is installed on Robbie’s Way along Silver Lake Drive. Photo: P. Vankevich

As an extension of its programming, Ocracoke Library has opened a StoryWalk at Robbie’s Way along Silver Lake Drive.

The Robbie’s Way StoryWalk project combines early literacy learning and family engagement with a short walking trail to a special, tucked-away place on Ocracoke’s sound side.

Robbie’s Way is a 15-foot-wide access from Silver Lake Drive to the shores of Pamlico Sound. It was deeded to Ocracoke Preservation Society (OPS) in 2000 by the family of Robbie Runyon in memory of her frequent walks to watch the sunset in this particular spot across from her island home.

The short trail, which ends at a small, sandy beach, is meant to be open to residents and visitors, but few people know it exists as a waterfront public access area in the village.

The Robbie’s Way StoryWalk consists of 17 wooden display cases, handmade by island craftsman Clifton Garrish, which will hold the pages to a picture book that children and families can read as they walk the trail to the water and back. It will showcase stories selected by the library and also share information about Ocracoke history and culture.

The first book will be “The Sheltering Cedar” by author/illustrator Anne Marshall Runyon, daughter of Charles and Robbie Runyon, and one of the donors of Robbie’s Way.

It tells the story of Ocracoke wildlife on Christmas Eve, as different animals find shelter in the sturdy branches of a cedar tree in the sand dunes. When a nor’easter passes over and Christmas morning dawns bright and sunny, the red birds chirp their morning song. An island family spreads cheer by bringing seed for the birds’ holiday feast.

The StoryWalk along Robbie’s Way. Photo: P. Vankevich

“The timing is perfect to start off the Robbie’s Way StoryWalk with a book that celebrates the winter season on Ocracoke and is connected to Robbie Runyon’s family,” said OPS director Andrea Powers, who praised the Runyon family’s support over the years and said Anne donated copies of her book for sale in the museum gift shop.

“We’re really excited to offer Robbie’s Way StoryWalk as another outdoor, family-friendly activity,” said Sundae Horn, Ocracoke Library’s branch manager.

After the holidays, she will install a bilingual version of the classic “A House for Hermit Crab,” by Eric Carle, and change the book again in March.

You must bike or walk to Robbie’s Way; there is no parking.

The project is maintained by Ocracoke Library with permission from OPS and funded by Ocracoke Friends of the Library through a grant from Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board.

Helping clear and set up the StoryWalk were Dave Frum, Emmet Temple and Michael Shoemaker and the Ocracoke School Beta Club.

The Ocracoke Library is both a school and community library, temporarily housed in Deepwater Theater on School Road.

StoryWalk, a project created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, contains a book that has been dismantled, laminated, and presented page by page on a trail, bike path, walkway or park to promote reading and exercise.

Previous articleIsland daughter Pat Williams Stevens
Next articleBe on the lookout for cold-stunned turtles this winter