West Florida Public Libraries is hosting an art exhibit organized by the Florida Forest Service to celebrate the inherent value of trees and their many benefits to society and the natural world. “Trees” is an exhibit of paintings, sketches, and photography created by University of West Florida art students and the Florida Forest Service’s Escambia County Forester, Cathy Hardin. The exhibit is open through July at the West Florida Public Library at 239 North Spring Street in Pensacola.
Hardin and Dale Castelucci, an adjunct instructor in the art department at UWF hatched the idea of a trees show. Amy Horosky with West Florida Public Libraries is an avid tree lover and enthusiastically embraced the idea getting the needed approvals to host the show. Castelucci found student artists to participate.
“Trees have value over and above what meets the eye,” Hardin said. “Many people appreciate trees for their shade, beauty, or lumber; but may not realize many of the other benefits. These benefits include reducing stormwater runoff, habitat enhancement, products made from all parts of the tree, and so much more. Trees often impact people in deep ways and with their natural beauty, trees readily lend themselves to creative endeavors. This exhibit highlights how trees improve our lives and the impact they have on society and the natural world.”
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FDACS.gov/FLForestService.