This year’s event will focus on the importance of trees to both our environment and to combating climate change.
Event Coordinator Terri Gorman said the free event will run 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a great time to learn about the contribution of trees to the environment.
“Trees are an important part of combating climate change and flooding in our area,” Gorman said. “They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, and they can also absorb several hundred gallons of water from the ground each day.”
A number of partnering agencies will be offering seedlings: The Department of Forestry/Long Leaf Pine group will be giving away Longleaf and Loblolly pine containerized seedlings; the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners will hand out dogwood seedlings; and the Friends of Live Oaks will distribute live oak seedlings.
Children will have the opportunity to take part in a Tree Trail Hunt, play games, make buttons, clay leaves, plant stamps, bandannas, and ribbon trees.
Jim Schroering of the Department of Forestry said the Longleaf Pine was the species that built Tidewater — once covering more than 1 million acres in Southeast Virginia alone. But by the 1990s, he said fewer than 200 individual native Longleaf Pine existed statewide.
But today, thanks to cooperation by various state and federal agencies, Schroering said more than 8,000 acres of the tree are growing statewide.
Event attendees will also learn how to plant and to care for trees, as well as visiting booths with vendors that feature natural or sustainable products such as native plants and reusable bags, and also visit Tesla’s electric car display.
Starcoast Band and Axel Rasmussen will provide music, and Rita’s Ice and Jerrrk Time Caribbean Cuisine food trucks will be on hand.
“This is our ninth year reaching out to the community through a fall festival,” said Gorman. “The free, fun activities are a great way to educate the public about our unique environment.”