Bear Creek Educational Forest celebrates Arbor Day with 5K run, tree giveaway

Bear Creek Educational Forest hosted its 2023 Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, January 21 with a 5k trail run and tree giveaway.

Registration for the run began at 7:30 a.m. and the race itself began at 9 a.m., with over 30 registered participants.

Runners covered 3.12 miles of trails located in Bear Creek, which is part of Lake Talquin State Forest.

The first two runners to cross the finish line completed the run in just under 24 minutes, and the last finished up in a little under an hour.

The top three male and top three female runners were allowed to choose a one-gallon potted tree to take home.

Following the run, a tree giveaway was held for anyone who wanted to take their own potted young tree home to plant, choosing from a variety of different species, including Blackgum, American Elm, Red Maple, White Oak, and Green Ash; 20 specimens of each species were made available for the giveaway.

The event was organized by Gadsden/Liberty County Forester Genevieve Printiss of the Florida Forest Service.

“This is a way to promote both our forest here, and also for people to learn about trees and get a chance to bring a tree home and plant it in their yard,” said Printiss.

So what is Arbor Day?

“Arbor Day is a celebration of trees and everything that they do for us,” Printiss explained. “It’s a really great way to look into the different products they give us, and what trees do for the environment.” 

There is a National Arbor Day, which is celebrated on the last Friday in April, and each state has its own Arbor Day as well.

In Florida, Arbor Day falls on the third Friday in January.

Bear Creek Educational Forest is located at 8125 Pat Thomas Parkway, south of Quincy, and offers a variety of services to the public, including five nature trails, free educational programs for youth organizations, an air conditioned classroom, restrooms, and water fountains.

“I would like people to know that if they have any questions about trees, or their property, or anything forest related, just give me a call,” said Printiss.

Printiss can be reached at (850) 681-5896.

Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service

One attendee holds up one of the young trees that were given away at the Bear Creek Arbor Day festivities.
Participants listen to instructions prior to the 5K footrace, part of Bear Creek’s 2023 Arbor Day celebration.
Runners line up for the 5K race at Bear Creek.
The first and second place runners cross the finish line, having run just over three miles on forest trails at Bear Creek to win the race.
Trees were awarded to the top three male and female runners.


Copyright 2021 Priority News Inc.