City of Sarasota to observe Arbor Day with April 28 event at historic Bidwell House

City also to give away a limited number of trees for new canopy program

The Historic Bidwell House stands on 12th Street in Sarasota. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota will continue its longstanding tradition of celebrating Arbor Day with a tree-planting ceremony, it has announced. This year, the event will be held on Friday, April 28, at 9 a.m. at the historic Bidwell House, which is located at 1260 12th Street.

During the ceremony, Mayor Willie Shaw and the area forester for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will discuss the significance of Arbor Day and the importance of maintaining a healthy tree canopy, a news release says. Additionally, a white Geiger tree will be planted at the Bidwell House, and a representative of the Historical Society of Sarasota County will discuss the importance of trees, history and the Bidwell House in the community, the release notes.

This will be the 31st year the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Sarasota as a Tree City USA, the release points out.

Additionally, the release continues, “During the Arbor Day celebration, an exciting new tree giveaway program will be unveiled.” Sponsored by the City of Sarasota, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, the Community Canopy program will offer a limited number of trees free to city residents starting Friday, April 28, the release emphasizes. Residents will be able to request one of four species. Further, using a web-based tool, “they will be able to strategically locate where to plant the tree on their property to gain optimal energy savings,” the release says. Each tree will be mailed to the property in a 1-gallon container, the release adds.

City staff estimates that 125 trees will be given away, the release notes. “Each tree will be native and locally sourced,” the release points out.

The program is being financed by the city’s recently adopted tree replacement fund, the release explains. That program collects a portion of the revenue resulting from tree-removal permits and utilizes it for urban canopy protection initiatives.