JACKSONVILLE — The 10th annual Scarecrow Trail is underway, hosted by the Cherokee County Master Gardeners.

The two-week event features creatively dressed and decorated scarecrows along a designated trail at the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum.

The trail, which started in 2010, opened on Saturday and will continue through Oct. 17. Visitors can walk the trail from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

A nonperishable food item or $1 per person is asked as an entry fee to help support the HOPE Center, a local nonprofit agency that provides emergency assistance.

Businesses, schools, churches, families and individuals decorate the scarecrows for display. Jacksonville schools take students on a field trip to the arboretum to check out scarecrows.

Cherokee County horticulturist Kim Benton attributes the event’s popularity to its focus on community.

“I think the reason the Scarecrow Trail is so popular is because it connects families to the community and gives people an opportunity to help support other people in need through HOPE Center in Jacksonville.”

Opening day activities included face painting, food, pumpkins and refreshments. A one-day plant sale was held with proceeds benefiting the Master Gardeners.

For more information on the event or the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum, call 903-586-7545.

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