Scarecrows in the Forest | Everything you need to know

What is Scarecrows in the Forest?

Scarecrows in the Forest is an opportunity for the community to participate in creating fun art from environment-friendly, natural material projects throughout the Garden.

The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden kicks off its annual Scarecrows in the Forest event with a call to school-age groups; not-for-profit groups; and businesses, amateur individuals or creative professionals to create their own scarecrows for display in the garden.

Registration fees:

  • School-age groups, $25;
  • Not-for-profit groups, $10;
  • Business, amateur individual or creative professional, $50

Cash prizes: A judges panel will select first, second and third place awards in each of the three categories. Prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded in each category. Best in Show will be chosen by garden visitors.

Scarecrow creators are encouraged to use natural and recycled materials. Deadline for submitting an application is Sept. 15. Displays will be installed in the garden by appointment only between Aug. 15-Sept. 10 and open to the public September-November.

Register by Sept. 10.


Returns in 2023: What is the Scarecrow ART in the GARDEN student project?

Twenty students are invited to join in a workshop with local artists of the Key West Art in the Garden Exhibit to design, create and exhibit their masterpiece in the Scarecrows in the Forest Exhibit and Contest that runs September through November.

Materials will be provided by the art project and the workshops will be held at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden. Sponsored in part by the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, workshops begin in mid-August.

Registration fee: The Scarecrow ART in the GARDEN student program costs $15 per student. That includes all art supplies and materials and three workshops with your artist mentor. You will design, create and exhibit your scarecrow in the Scarecrows in the Forest exhibit.

Workshops begin in mid-September at the Garden and continue for three consecutive weeks.

Proceeds from an auction of the student exhibit sculptures will benefit the students’ school(s) and there are cash prizes for competition winners.

What’s next?

Read the rules, then complete and submit your registration form and payment.


Read the rules

Start here to review the rules and guidelines for your scarecrow. Includes your frequently asked questions. Call Misha McRAE at (305) 296-1501 for more information.

Tips for great scarecrows

Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about scarecrows and how best to keep them strong, safe and looking good in our tropical climate — during hurricane season

Complete registration

Who should use the forms: School-age groups; not-for-profit groups; businesses, amateur individuals or creative professionals; and students wishing to participate in the student workshops

Thank you to our sponsors and partners

Cornelia T. Bailey Logo
Tavern and Town
Opal Key Resort Marina
First Horizon Logo