“Tales on the Trails” will return despite vandalism

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - An outdoor reading program launched this summer in Ashwaubenon has hit a snag. It appears vandals have damaged the “Tales on the Trails” signs.

The Village of Ashwaubenon launched “Tales on the Trails” back in May. Aquatic coordinator Melody Escoto came up with the idea that started in Sherwood Forest Park before moving to its current location in Hidden Valley Park.

“Just a way to get people out here and enjoy the trails that Ashwaubenon has, while also having the cool idea of reading a book while you’re doing it,” says Escoto about the program.

Each month, a new children’s story is laid out on yard signs planted throughout the park for families to read as they walk the trails. After three successful months of “Tales on the Trails,” the village learned its most recent story boards had disappeared.

“Unfortunately, we got a call earlier this week that all of a sudden our signs were gone,” said Escoto. “A resident who really enjoyed the program called and said, ‘Hey, what happened to program?’ I popped out here and they were all gone.”

The village learned -- after posting about the missing signs on Facebook -- that they were damaged and destroyed. “There is always the chance when you put anything out in a park there could be some vandalism or somebody messing it. So, I think that it was probably just some kids in the park and one of those unfortunate things that happens,” adds Escoto.

While the acts of vandalism are disappointing, the village knows “Tales on the Trails” was popular with people who use the park. So, with the help of people in the nearby neighborhood, who will keep a close eye on activity in the park, the village says it will bring the stories back to the trail next month.

Escoto adds, “I have a really great story picked out for September, so I’m excited to put that out. But, yes, it’s just going to take a little bit to just kind of get things back, put together like they need to be to get out here.”

And as long as September’s story stays safe, Ashwaubenon will continue “Tales on the Trails” year round.

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