A treasured tree of the nature center in Fairfax County which was struck by lightning is about to get a new life. The 130-year-old tulip poplar tree, which is 100-feet tall, was the main attraction at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. You could spot wildlife, such as flying squirrels and birds here.
Judy Pedersen of Fairfax County Park Authority said, “The tree had a long history of being part of children’s lives. It had all kind of [feeding] boxes on it, and people would look out the window and get a natural experience.”
According to wtop.com, “After the tree was hit by at least two bolts of lightning during a storm last year, it appeared as if its story was ending. But that was not to be. The tree’s 10-foot-tall stump was not damaged, so a fundraising drive was mounted to pay for a chain saw artist turn it into sculpture.”
Artist Andrew Mallon and parks authority collaborated on the design of the sculpture. The design features about a dozen different woodland creatures including a fox, a raccoon, owls, and a turtle.
As per wtop.com, “Visitors to the nature center on Monday saw Mallon in action, and there will be other chances to see him transform a stump into a work of art this week. He is scheduled to finish the work Thursday or Friday. Except on Tuesday, when the nature center is closed to walk-in visitors, you can watch Mallon in action during operating hours.”