The Institute and Partners Mount a StoryWalk® Trail

The Institute and Partners Mount a StoryWalk® Trail

A new StoryWalk® children’s story trail is open at Pine Hill Recreation Area off Mentzer Gap Road in Waynesboro. The park is open during daylight hours, and visiting the StoryWalk® is free. It will remain in place through February. The StoryWalk® is presented by The Institute in partnership with Washington Township, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library and the Waynesboro Area School District (WASD).

With pages of a children’s book mounted on signs along a park trail, a StoryWalk® is a fun way for visitors to enjoy being outdoors in a family-friendly activity, reading an adventure as they walk along the trail. 

The StoryWalk® trail, at the top of the park (just past the Dunlap Family Skate Park) is about 500 ft. long, easily accessible and wheelchair friendly.

“StoryWalks® are very popular nation-wide and we are excited to bring this one to our local community,” said Melodie Anderson-Smith, an education director for The Institute. “Sincere thanks to the township and all the partners for helping us make this happen.”

The story featured is “In the Snow: Who’s Been Here?” by Lindsay Barrett George. Two children and their dog explore the winter woods, searching for signs of animal life and clues to their activities, answering the question, “Who’s been here?”

This fun, active and safe way of reading a storybook together inspired the project’s partners. 

“I am excited that we were able to join forces as community partners and give families an additional resource that supports adventures outdoors, family time, and encourages learning!” said Erica Nemzek, WASD early learning coordinator.

“It has been a tough year for the library so I was excited to be a part of this project,” said Bailey Roberts, children’s librarian for the Alexander Hamilton library. “I personally wanted to be involved because I am new to the library, and I want to get to know the community. I hope this is something the library can be a part of in the future.”

The 174-acre Pine Hill Recreation Area is owned and operated by Washington Township. Jeff Geesaman, township manager, was happy to support the StoryWalk® project. 

“Pine Hill seems to be one of the best-kept secret treasures of Washington Township,” Geesaman said. “We are excited about The Institute and their programs, such as the StoryWalk®, not only at Pine Hill but in some of our other township parks. These activities help educate folks on what has been provided for their outdoor recreational enjoyment.”

The trail is open year-round, and plans call for a new book to be installed every month or two.

Participants should practice social distancing, giving others six feet of space, and follow official Covid-19 safety guidelines while in the park.

The StoryWalk®  is sponsored by Kathy Helfrick and Jane Glenn, with additional support from The Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support courtesy of Washington Township.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.


Representatives of Washington Township, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library, the Waynesboro Area School District (WASD), and The Institute and their WaterStriders stream study group installed a series of signs to create a StoryWalk® at Pine Hill Recreation Area.

Front row: Pam Rowland, Melodie Anderson-Smith, Erica Nemzek, Bailey Roberts.

Back row: Sophia Schowalter, Jeff Schowalter, Isabella Schowalter, Vernon Ashway, Jack Hubbard, Jeff Geesaman, Ava Magras, Grayson Magras, Chad Reichard.

Waynesboro’s Got Talent

Waynesboro’s Got Talent

Fourteen talented area students will take the stage in the third annual Waynesboro’s Got Talent, a community-wide talent show for area students, on Saturday, Feb. 1. The show runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Waynesboro Area Senior High School (WASHS) auditorium.

Auditions in January were open to all students in the Waynesboro Area School District, including homeschool students, from ages 8 to 18.

Following the auditions, 12 performances (two are duos) were selected to be part of the community show. In addition to the talent performances, there will be exhibition pieces by A&B Dance Dimensions and a performance by the WASHS chorus. 

The winner of the 2020 competition will receive a $500 prize; the runner up receives a $100 prize.

“The Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro was created to support and encourage the arts in our community,” said board president, Jonathan Ingels. “This includes our youth. Last year’s Waynesboro’s Got Talent was a great success, and with the talent we have this year, we expect another great show. We hope everyone will come out to support our talented young people.”

Performers include (in no particular order): Isaac Hege, Noah Hege, April DiGiacomo, Madeline Peterson, Tony Hiatt, True Benshoff, Mattie Wagner, Ezra Lehman with Delton Lehman, accompanist, Sara Policicchio, Samantha Pittman, Sarah Sasscer, Chloe Shacreaw, Lexi Marks with Ruth Showalter, accompanist, and Yoneika McKenzie, plus special performances by A&B Dance Dimensions’ Senior, Junior, Intermediate, and Competition Teams, and by the high school chorus.

Lead sponsors for Waynesboro’s Got Talent are Paul Gunder of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and the Owls Club of Waynesboro Inc. Additional support was received from J&M Printing, 42 West ARTS Co-op, A&B Dance Dimensions, Café Del Sol, Ceramic Arts Center of Waynesboro, Craig, Friedly, Potter & Moore Insurance, Paul Gunder/Coldwell Banker, Cumberland Valley School of Music, Eichholtz Flowers, F&M Trust, Knights of Columbus, Mainstreet Waynesboro, Sanders Furniture and Artisan Gallery, Trinity Players, and The Wildflower Marketplace.

Tickets are available on the arts alliance’s website, and will also be sold at the door the night of the show. Tickets purchased at the door will be cash sales only. Tickets cost $5; children age 8 and under are free.

For more information about the arts alliance, call 717-655-2500 or visit