Expired trees in the area are carefully selected based on public visibility, species conducive to sculpture, and of course, property owner permissions. The trees below are our first three commissioned trees completed in June 2022 by Gary Keenan, a wood sculpting artist from Des Moines, Iowa.
Before & After
The first OkoboTree sculpture was in a tree located at Isthmus Park in Spirit Lake. The cottonwood tree is along the trail and typically is not a tree that works best for carving. To be successful though, the artist carved multiple owls inside the tree to look like the might in a natural habitat nesting inside a tree.
Lakeside Lab is internationally known for its work with research, especially diatoms, so it only appropriate that a sculpture of a diatom be made from this expired tree straight inside campus from the stone entrance along Hwy 86. This tree was the second sculpted tree following the Isthmus Park tree.
East of Big Spirit,
This tree, located along the Spine Trail bike path, is just south of the intersection of 253rd Avenue and 125th Street along the east side of Big Spirit Lake. This tree had a solid base with multiple trunks, making it ideal for multiple fish species to be carved into it, including a walleye and two other native fish.