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Putney Public Library's 'Big Tree Quest' encourages Vermonters to get outside

An upward view of trees covered in yellow leaves.
Helen Lyons
Vermont Public
The Big Tree Quest encourages Vermonters to look up.

A new tree-centric series of events hosted by the Putney Public Library hopes to encourage residents to get outside and explore Vermont’s forests.

The library’s first ever "Big Tree Quest" kicked off in mid-September. Residents can participate in tree-themed activities and search for the largest trees.

People can submit measurements of tree trunks, photos of themselves posing like the tree, or send in pictures of any original tree-themed artwork. The library plans to have a wrap-up event Nov. 15. Prizes will be awarded.

Evie Lovett, an artist and publicity manager for the library’s event, said that the Big Tree Quest in Putney was inspired by a similar tradition in Tunbridge. Last year, Lovett chatted with the organizer of Tunbridge's Big Trees Contest and wondered if she could bring something similar to her community.

So far, Lovett said it’s been a hit.

“There have only been positive responses to this. It's hit a nerve,” she said. “I think it's something that people can get excited about.”

More from Vermont Public and the Community News Service: Meet the 'Leaf Squad': Volunteer Vermonters who help create fall foliage reports

Part of Lovett’s desire to host the Big Tree Quest was that she wanted to see some of Vermont’s biggest trees herself. She said she’s dedicated time to learning about the Abenaki people and the history of Vermont’s land.

“The core guidance on this project was learning about the Indigenous perspective on the natural world,” she said.

The organizers also brought new ideas during the planning process.

“People in the planning group had a lot of knowledge about tree species, so the conversations about what should and should not be included were so interesting,” Lovett said.

Event coordinators hope that these activities will inspire community members to get outside, have fun and be creative. Entries for the Big Tree Quest will be accepted until Nov. 1.

This story is a collaboration between Vermont Public and the Community News Service. The Community News Serviceis a student-powered partnership between the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program and community newspapers across Vermont.

Emma Otten is a sophomore at the University of Vermont studying political science. She enjoys nature, creative writing, and crocheting and loves spending time with her family and friends. She's interested in environmental policy and is excited to learn more about public communication and the interaction with the news.
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