|This tree was cut down in March.|
Chainsaw artist Andrew Mallon, who has transformed tree trunks into dragons, wizards, and cats other in Annandale and nearby communities, will carve woodland creatures into the 10-foot remains of the tulip poplar.
The 100-foot tree had been struck by lightning twice and had to come down as it was in danger of falling onto the roof of the nature center building.
The real woodland creatures who made their home in the tree – including flying squirrels – relocated to other trees.
The Friends of Hidden Oaks Nature Center hopes to raise $5,000 for the project.
The group is planning a fundraiser for June 1, 1-3 p.m., with a puppet show, Ivory soap carving, nature walks, and a chance to meet the artist. There will also be some kind of craft activity with the thin circular slices, or “tree cookies,” from the tulip poplar.
The nature center itself is getting a makeover. About $1 million from a park bond approved by voters will be used to renovate and expand the building. The project will include a new classroom, additional office space, and other improvements. The work is expected to start in late summer or early fall.
Much of that work is expected to be completed in time for Hidden Oaks’ 50th anniversary celebration on Oct. 19.
Bond money will also be used for two new playgrounds and an expanded picnic shelter at Annandale Park, which is adjacent to Hidden Oaks. In a separate project, the stream on the nature center grounds will be restored.