‘TreeQuest’ scavenger hunt focus of Sarasota County staff’s plans for public’s 2022 observance of Arbor Day

Clues at two parks to help educate people about specific tree species

Photo courtesy Sarasota County

In Celebration of Florida Arbor Day, which will be observed on Jan. 21, Sarasota County staff is inviting members of the community to once again journey on a “TreeQuest” at select county parks, the county has announced.

Now in its fifth year, the TreeQuest scavenger hunt will be launched on Jan. 21 and run for two weeks, “highlighting the importance of trees and their many benefits,” a news release says.

“TreeQuest gives residents an opportunity to reflect on the natural beauty of the trees that share our community,” said Marguerite Beckford, commercial horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Sarasota County, in the release. “Plus, we’ve added some information on each tree species so participants can learn about all the resources trees provide.”

“National Arbor Day is observed across the country on the last Friday in April to highlight the key roles that trees play in our lives, from improving air quality to reducing the impact of urban heat islands,” the release explains. Yet, many states celebrate Arbor Day on other dates “more suited to their climate, with Florida celebrating the third Friday of January, given its year-round growing climate,” the release notes.

“Part of that celebration, TreeQuest brings key information in the form of a family-friendly contest,” the release points out. “Participants vie for a chance to win prizes by using clue cards — available only online at Let’s Go on a TreeQuest (http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/?p=8415) to search for tagged trees at either of two county parks”: Red Bug Slough Preserve, located at 5200 Beneva Road in Sarasota, or Nokomis Community Park, which stands at 234 Nippino Trail in Nokomis, the release adds.

“The tree tags alert contestants that they have found the right tree species, and each tag carries a set of interesting facts specific to that type of tree that showcase for contestants and other park visitors the many ways trees improve our lives and communities,” the release explains.

“Participants who find all trees on a clue card then submit their answers online using the clue submission form found in the Let’s Go on a TreeQuest post (http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/?p=8415), for the chance to win prizes.

For more information about TreeQuest, visit http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/2022/01/11/lets-go-on-a-treequest/, email sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu, or call the county Contact Center at 941-861-5000.