Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Local News

From Trails to Tales: How the Novels in Nature Initiative Tackles Illiteracy in an Unprecedented Way

IDAHO – In the United States, roughly one in five adults read below a sixth-grade level – that’s more than 100 million people. It’s a scary fact and one that requires our immediate attention. That’s where the parks department comes in! America’s national and state parks receive millions of visitors per year. Visitors come to the parks to take in the beauty of the natural world. But perhaps these visits can also help to combat illiteracy.


 Jayden Cao, a high school student from Westchester, New York is passionate about improving literacy across the world. “I spent the first 12 years of my life in Beijing China, before coming to America in 2019,” Jayden shares. “My English learning experience and passion for writing/literature therefore inspire me to actively support the cause of literacy. To me, literacy is not a privilege but a right.”

 Guided by this belief, Jayden is excited to introduce Novels in Nature—an endeavor that places little free libraries in the campgrounds of state parks around the country, offering campers and visitors convenient book access. Partnering with local libraries ensures the continuous circulation of books, allowing for regular updates and maintenance of the libraries within the parks. In effect, Novels in Nature involves various facets of a community to collectively foster literacy and promote reading for pleasure.

 Novels in Nature can be found in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park, Arkansas’ Cane Creek State Park and Bull Shoals White River State Park, Maryland’s Cunningham Falls State Park, New Jersey’s Belleplain State Forest and Bass River State Park, and Idaho’s Hells Gate State Park and Ponderosa State Park.

 “I’m continuing to expand the Novels in Nature network to other state parks and reach a wider audience. But in the meantime, if you (or anyone you know) are going to be on the trail or go camping, please don’t hesitate to grab a book and get lost in a fiction story as part of your journey!”

 To learn more about Novels in Nature, please visit website:


Idaho State News

idfg-cliess Monday, December 18, 2023 – 11:30 AM MST Turn your backyard into a bird B&B with these helpful wintertime bird-feeding tips We all...