In an effort to raise awareness about a local endangered species and get residents to explore their community, the Trumbull Nature and Arts Center is sponsoring the Catch-a-Cottontail Scavenger Hunt.

Families are encouraged to hunt for the painted cottontail statues, hidden around town at businesses and municipal buildings, and answer questions about the New England cottontail, for a chance to win a prize. The prize drawing will be held at Trumbull Day, June 29.

“There are a couple of reasons we are doing this,” Pam Georgas, Nature Commission chairman, said. “One is to get more information out on this endangered species and the other is to give our local businesses support and a chance to engage with the community.”

In 2006, the New England cottontail was listed as a candidate species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The New England cottontail has lost 86% of its historical range, largely due to fragmentation of suitable habitat, according to TNAC. The scavenger hunt is part of TNAC’s 2013 Local Endangered Species Campaign.

The bunny statues were hand-painted by The Trumbull Young Women’s Club. While the statues have brown heads, the teens took some creative license with painting the bodies.

“They are all inspired by famous artists,” Georgas said of the designs. “They are really funky.”

How to play

The hunt is on now. Participants can get a scavenger hunt flyer at patronsoftnac.com, which will give full instructions and a list of addresses where the bunnies are hidden.

The participating businesses include Allstate on White Plains Road, Earth First Nursery, Hanko Ryu Karate, Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA, Luigi’s, LUSH Handmade Cosmetics, Plasko Farms, The Sun Products Corp., Town Hall Annex, Trumbull Library, Webster Bank and Wireless Zone.

To find the hidden bunnies, bring the flyer to the locations listed below. When you spot the bunny, read its “did you know” fact to find the answers to the questions on the back of the flyer, according to Georgas. Write the answers to each question in the spaces provided, along with the name of the location where you found the fact that answers the question.

To have a chance at winning a prize, find as many bunnies as you can and answer at least eight questions.

To enter, bring the flyer to the TNAC table at Trumbull Day, June 29, or send in the flyer, along with contact information to: Patrons of TNAC, Inc. P.O. Box 110438, Trumbull, CT 06611. All mail-in entries must be received by June 25.

Georgas said many of the local businesses are excited to welcome visitors; some are even offering gifts to those who stop by to look for the bunny. Some bunnies will be easy to spot, while other might be hidden a little more.

Georgas said they hope to expand next year and invite more businesses to get involved.

“We’ve been talking about ways to get art in public places and this is sort of combining that with our nature mission,” Georgas said. “Next year maybe we’ll make it bigger — more businesses, bigger statues.”