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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Sep. 30, 2021 9 months ago

Bloom and Grow Garden Society to host Winter Garden Heritage Tree Project Walking Tour

The inaugural walking tour will be held in Downtown Winter Garden on Friday, Oct. 22.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

The Bloom and Grow Garden Society will be hosting the Winter Garden Heritage Tree Project Walking Tour in October. 

The Winter Garden Heritage Tree Project Walking Tour is a self-guided two mile walk featuring 56 trees in Downtown Winter Garden. 

The society first began the project in 2021 with the help of the City of Winter Garden to showcase its great appreciation of trees. 

However, the society has been around much longer. The Bloom and Grow Garden Society is a 135 member group that has been a force for good in the West Orange County area since the club’s inception in 1997.

The club's mission statement is "to stimulate gardening through promotion and sponsorship of community projects and the protection and sustainability of native habitat; to promote and sponsor educational horticulture experiences and civic involvement.”

In the early stages of the project, members of the society nominated 100 Heritage Trees from locations throughout Winter Garden.

The trees nominated were either historic trees with trunks over 30 inches in diameter, many of them over 100 years old, or mature specimen trees that are uniquely characteristic of a particular species, according to a press release from the Bloom and Grow Garden Society. 

Vickie Parrish, Bloom and Grow Garden Society member, and her husband Wes Parrish, a professional horticulturist, visited each tree and its owner to document the name of the tree, its measurements, photos and any additional interesting information.

The data from the trees was then input into Plants Map, a national database, and from the list of trees, the “Winter Garden Heritage Tree Walking Tour” was born. 

Many of the trees on the tour feature labels with specific QR codes that allow visitors to access the information on Plants Map about the tree as well as historic information about Winter Garden and its community. 

Members from the society hope residents and tourists alike will become more knowledgeable and appreciative of the trees in the city in order to "know, love and protect the trees." 

The inaugural tour will begin on Friday, Oct. 22 at 8:30 a.m. at the Winter Garden City Hall. 

While the tree walk is open to all, those interested must call and register in order to participate with Ann at 407-539 4693 or  [email protected]

Those who are unable to attend the tour can also view the information for the project in an online database by clicking here. 


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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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