County Arbor Day celebration planned for April 29 at Lemon Bay Park in Englewood

Worldwide expert on mangrove ecosystems to be featured speaker

Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County’s 2017 Arbor Day celebration will feature the opportunity to learn “all about our community’s coastal trees,” the county has announced.

During an event from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at Lemon Bay Park, the public may “talk trees with local and international experts,” a news release says. The celebration will include an optional kayak tour (bring your own boat), hikes, a panel discussion and educational discussions, the release adds. “Dr. Ilka Feller, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, will give a special presentation,” it says. Feller is a worldwide expert on mangrove ecosystems, the release notes.

“Many people don’t know that mangroves are actually trees, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Alyssa Vinson points out in the release, “a fact that will be highlighted at the event,” along with the many other benefits trees provide. “They allow us to have the oxygen we need to breathe. They also reduce stress levels, provide erosion control and stormwater management,” Vinson notes in the release. “They lower heating and cooling costs because they moderate temperature, and they’ve also been proven to deter crime and improve property values.”

The event is free, but registration is required online via Eventbrite (visit and search “Arbor Day — Celebrate the Coast”).

Lemon Bay Park is located at 570 Bay Park Blvd. in Englewood.