Over the last decade, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has become the most destructive forest pest seen in North America. Unfortunately, our community’s tree canopy has been severely impacted. The Centerville-Washington Park District (CWPD) has lost over 4,000 trees, with at least 3,000 more trees projected to succumb to EAB.
In an effort to bring something positive out of this devastating loss, CWPD is repurposing four dead ash trees and two dead locust tree into works of art within their parks. Professional woodcarver Loren Lorenzo has completed two carvings and is currently working on the third. The six wood sculptures will be of wildlife indigenous to the area. Completed sculptures include an owl and owlets in Village South Park and a squirrel in Grant Park (Grant’s Trail entrance). Lorenzo is currently working on a fox in Black Oak Park. Plans for the additional three carvings are underway. They will be located in Forest Walk Park and in a high traffic area of Grant Park.
“We are excited to bring beauty to an ugly situation and give new life to our stricken ash trees. We are thrilled with the quality of Loren’s work and are so happy to have found him to help us achieve our vision,” said Ginger Clark, Community Engagement Coordinator at CWPD. Clark has worked closely with Lorenzo to find appropriate locations for the sculptures and determine the sculpture designs.