A Stone Sat Still – Oct 3 & 5

A Stone Sat Still — the book by Brendan Wenzel becomes a story walk at Bothin Marsh  |  photos by Jen Gennari  |  post by Jen Gennari and Jenny Stein, FHA Environmental Committee
"and the stone was quiet"  [notation on the side panel:   Listen  |  to the sounds around you.  |  What do you hear?]
"And the stone was an island  |  and the stone was a wave"   [Change  |  Where did the stone go?  |  Where do you think the plants and animals that called the stone home have gone?  |  Swim like a seal to the next page.]
"and the stone was bright"  Did you know  |  similar to owls, the Black-crowned night-heron comes to Bothin Marsh at night to hunt?  |  Spread your wings and fly like an owl to the next page.]
"and it sat where it was  |  with the water, grass, and dirt  |  and it was as it was  |  where it was in the world."   [Take a moment  |  to sit. Like a stone.  |  Think about your home and where it is in the world.]

In our hurry hurry world, Brendan Wenzel gives us a beautiful opportunity to slow down. A Stone Sat Still is the story of an ordinary rock, one that we might not give a second glance. But to the animals that use it, it’s a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven, an entire world.

You can hear this award-winning children’s author and illustrator read from his latest picture book—at a library, or experience the story while walking along the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multiuse Path. One TamMarin County Parks, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy collaborated with local libraries and Chronicle Books to create a StoryWalk less than five minutes from our floating community.

The meditative story unfolds on panels along the trail, inviting you to pause and reflect. The interplay between the words and art and Bothin marsh deepen the experience. The StoryWalk is a reminder that this gorgeous habitat is home to so much wildlife.

A Stone Sat Still, above all, invites you to wonder.

The StoryWalk at Bothin Marsh is about 1/2-mile long and takes about ten minutes to walk without stopping. It starts on the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multiuse Path near Almonte Blvd. and ends at the bridge across Coyote Creek. The StoryWalk is installed through December 2019.

Unique Opportunities

In conjunction with the temporary installation, there are three opportunities to attend a reading by, and meet, the author:

  • Thursday, October 3 from 3:30-4:30pm at the Mill Valley Library – RSVP encouraged
  • Saturday, October 5 from 10:00-11:00am at the Marin City Library – RSVP encouraged
  • Saturday, October 5 from 1:00-2:00pm at the pathway installation – RSVP required

Additionally, on Saturday, October 19 from 10:00-11:00am Greg Reza, Parks Volunteer Coordinator, will lead an interactive StoryWalk reading of the book at the pathway installation. RSVPs are required for this event.

The Bigger Picture

The enlarged book pages—positioned just a few feet off the pathway—encourage readers to look, listen, and interact with the Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve. This 106-acre marsh, in upper Richardson Bay, is a reminder of the vast salt marshes that once surrounded San Francisco Bay. It currently serves more than 400 species of migratory birds—traveling on the Pacific Flyway and/or resting after their long flights.

We’re excited to collaborate with community members to identify solutions to address sea level rise at Bothin Marsh. Our installation of the StoryWalk is a fun way to explore adaptation in a changing environment while also providing a family-friendly reading adventure.

Rob LaPorte, Project Manager with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

The StoryWalk at Bothin Marsh is part of the Evolving Shorelines initiative, a series of events hosted by Marin County Parks and the Parks Conservancy to encourage discussion about ways to preserve and protect people, place, and the natural landscape while implementing a shared vision for Bothin Marsh.

There is also an Evolving Shorelines Happy Hour gathering at which visitors can enjoy conversation and refreshments while learning more about adapting to sea level rise from 5:00-8:00pm on Thursday, October 17 at Proof Lab (244 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley).