Samford teddy bear trail

Teddy bear trail

During the height of COVID lockdown, in March 2020, teddy bears of all shapes and sizes started popping up in windows right across Australia.

Forced to stay home except for short breaks for fresh air in their own neighbourhoods, children were encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for the bears, adding excitement to their daily walks.

Aussies got right behind the #putyourteddyout movement by popping teddies and all manner of other cuddly creatures in windows and outside their homes for families ‘going on a bear hunt,’ bringing some much-needed cheer during the toughest days of the pandemic.

Here in Moreton Bay though, one family decided to spread the happiness even further.

Samford’s original teddy trail

Inspired by the movement Samford’s Mitterman family, then eight-year-old Grace and parents Sean and Susie, created their own teddy trail through Arthur Williamson Park.

The trio placed a sign at either end of the footpath leading through the park, inviting people to spot the bears and laminated pictures they had hidden among the trees. They also invited others to add their own bears to the collection.

Dozens of other bears soon joined the party, some even with their own props. Teddy-themed books were also placed inside the ‘Beary Cute Library’ for little ones to read during their visit to the park. The trail was a source of joy for the young and old, bringing a ray of sunshine during the dark times.

Keeping the spirit alive

While over time the weather wasn’t kind to the teddy trail, Council listened as locals called for a permanent reminder of the spirit that brought trail to life and saw it grow, rallying and uniting the Samford community and beyond.

The result is the Teddy Bear Trail through Arthur Williamson Park, Samford. The installation features specially crafted stepping stones with carved paw prints, leading visitors to the story of how it came to be, along with the Beary Cute Library for everyone to share and enjoy.

Visitors will share in the wonderful legacy, ensuring the idea which started with Grace lives on and proving good things can come out of adversity.

Photographs courtesy of Dominika Lis and Moreton Daily