Treasure Quest interactive game unveiled for Sarasota County youth

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County staff cites goal of teaching young people about area’s nature, history and ‘treasures’

Photo courtesy UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

Sarasota County has unveiled a new, interactive game “to teach youth about our area’s nature, history, and other ‘treasures,’ ” the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension staff has announced.

Treasure Quest, developed by the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County staff, “is a self-paced, educational opportunity for youth and their families,” a news release explains. “Fashioned after a treasure hunt, it combines exploring and education, covering a range of topics, including plants, trees, animals, insects, local history, wellness, and environmental protection” the release adds.

“We wanted to give children and teens more opportunities for outdoor education, on their own schedule, that focuses on interesting things they can find at Sarasota County libraries and parks,” said Jackie Lebouitz, the Sarasota County Extension agent who deals with chemicals in the environment.

“Outdoor exploration provides an array of mental, physical and social benefits, studies show, but many children and teens can find it difficult to find the time or place to get outside,” the release points out. “Treasure Quest provides the perfect opportunity, connecting youth to natural and historical features of our area at their convenience.”

Available at six Sarasota County sites — parks and libraries — Treasure Quest provides each participant a booklet featuring treasure-hunting activities, “tailored to each specific library or park,” the release notes. If a quester completes at least six pages in a booklet and then fills out a short survey on the booklet’s back, the quester earns a prize, the release adds.

Treasure Quest can be found at the following locations, the release says:

  • UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, whose offices are located at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota (6700 Clark Road).
  • The Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Library — 2801 Newtown Blvd. in Sarasota.
  • Urfer Family Park — 4021 Honore Ave. in Sarasota.
  • The Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library — 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd. in Venice.
  • The William H. Jervey Jr. Library — 300 Nokomis Ave. S. in Venice.
  • The Elsie Quirk Library — 100 W. Dearborn St. in Englewood.

Each prize is a unique, collectible pin reflective of the host site, the release points out. “Questers are encouraged to collect them all,” the release adds, noting that more questing locations are being planned.

The release also says, “As a bonus, while supplies last,” questers who complete at least five booklets “can earn an exclusive Treasure Tote, packed with the prizes,” such as a wooden sea creature puzzle, an LED flashlight, a compass, a notebook, a pen, and an otter plush.

Questers who tested the booklets during the development phase described the process “as a fun and valuable learning experience,” the release notes.

Learn more about Treasure Quest and how to play it at Follow and for updates and announcements.