Wellen Park continues sustainability efforts with free tree saplings this Earth Day

VENICE, Fla. (April 4, 2024) – In honor of Earth Day, Wellen Park is giving away free tree saplings and hosting a family-friendly movie night on the lawn.

The saplings, donated by SunnyGrove Landscaping, will be available from 7 to 8 p.m. near Downtown Wellen’s Grand Lawn. The saplings are particularly symbolic for Wellen Park, which spent nearly $1 million relocating over two dozen heritage oaks to Downtown Wellen. Oak trees absorb thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide each year and help minimize the effects of rainwater runoff. In fact, much of the Grand Lawn sits under the shade of Downtown Wellen’s landmark Heritage Tree.

“We are extremely proud of our Heritage Tree Program,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “The century-old live oak tree in the heart of Downtown Wellen is more than a focal point or a gathering place. It’s a statement about our commitment to a legacy of sustainability. Saving 26 live oaks helps us preserve the environment for years to come. This Earth Day, we’re encouraging residents and visitors to contribute to our efforts by starting their own legacies.”

The Earth Day celebration will continue with the showing of “The Biggest Little Farm” on the jumbo screen in front of Solis Hall following sunset over the Grand Lake. The 2018 documentary recounts a couple’s attempts to turn 200 acres outside of Los Angeles into a sustainable farm working in harmony with the land. Moviegoers are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers are not permitted, but to-go beverages are available throughout Downtown Wellen’s many restaurants. For classic moviegoing fare from gourmet popcorn to hot dogs, attendees can stop by the Atlanta Braves-endorsed PopDawgs in The Yard.

Additional saplings will be available at the Wellen Park Welcome Center Monday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while supplies last.

Championing sustainability through every step of development, land conservation efforts have been incorporated throughout the entire Wellen Park master-planned community. Boulders, rocks and shells removed from construction areas are repurposed for landscaping, roadways, and parts of Wellen Park’s 30-mile multimodal trail system. The future Oakheart Nature Trail in the Playmore District will wrap around a 50-acre lake and meander through wetlands and preserves, linking Downtown Wellen, CoolToday Park and the site of Sarasota County Schools’ new K-8 and high school campuses.

To learn more about upcoming events, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla., open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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