Book it

Lily Parker, 14, loads books into the little library she helped build and install at Whistlestop Playground in Spring Lake. Helping is her sister, Cora, 10.

SPRING LAKE — Whistlestop Playground along the Lakeside Trail non-motorized path has not only gained public art this summer, it’s gained reading material.

A local family installed a “little library” there last week, and stuffed it full of children’s books. The books are available for anyone to read while on the playground, or to take home. Donations of books are always welcome.

Hugh Parker and his daughter, Lily, 14, a member of Girl Scout Troop 4019, built the miniature library over the winter, with the intent of installing it in front of their Spring Lake Village house.

But Lily’s brother came up with the idea to install it at Whistlestop Playground, where children naturally congregate.

“We contacted the people of the Village,” Parker said. “The parks board approved it. It’s a good addition to the park. A lot of people come through here and a lot of kids can have new books.”

Late last week, Lily took measurements before mounting the library on a 4-by-4 post along the bike path. Her father instructed her how to hold a drill, and she inserted the mounting screws.

“She’s doing great,” Parker said.

Following installation, Lily and her sister, Cora, 10, filled the little library with children’s books.

“I’ll be that it’s going to be very popular,” Lily said.

Spring Lake Village Manager Chris Burns said it’s a great addition to the park, along with the public art that local artists have been painting on the backs of buildings facing Lakeside Trail.

“I just think it’s fun,” Burns said of the little library. “That little park is really turning into quite the showpiece between the art, library, playground and memorial tree (for former resident Kevin Baldus). There’s a great bench there where people can sit and read to their kids. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

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