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These were so beautiful

When me & Jason were in Gulfport last month, we noticed that they had carved statues along the beach-front highway (highway 90) from the trees that were killed during Hurricane Katrina. I thought they were the coolest thing, and instead of waiting for new trees to grow, they made use of the old ones. It's hard to believe that Katrina was two years ago yesterday. It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago. The local news ran a segment about it yesterday, and they showed these carvings and made me remember them. :)

Mississippi Department of Transportation crews are scheduled to begin removing standing dead trees from the medians of U.S. 90 in Biloxi in the next couple of weeks, and Mayor A.J. Holloway has coordinated a plan in which the remaining trunks will be transformed into sculpted works of art.

Dozens of live oaks have died in the center medians of the scenic highway in the 16 months since Hurricane Katrina, and, under Holloway’s plan, MDOT crews will leave as much as 20 feet of the tree trunks in place, where international award-winning “chainsaw artist” Dayton Scoggins of Mississippi will sculpt a variety of marine-related objects.

“We’ve had more than 300 trees of different varieties planted in Biloxi on public property alone since Hurricane Katrina,” Holloway said, “and in this particular project, we’re giving a second life to something Mother Nature attempted to destroy. We were dealt lemons and now we’re going to make lemonade.”

Holloway approached Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown and Harrison County Parkway Commission Director Bobby Weaver about the project on Dec. 7. Gulfport Public Works Director Kris Riemann, who had artist Scoggins sculpt a tree in Gulfport, originally suggested the idea to Biloxi.

The mayor envisions a tree-sculpture garden where a collection of dead oak trees now stands a couple blocks west of the Biloxi Lighthouse, with several other sculptures created in the median further west toward Rodenberg Avenue.

Biloxi will pay $4,000 for the initial sculpting, while MDOT will fund the preliminary "topping" of the trees.

“We’re happy to be a part of this cooperative project,” Commissioner Brown said. “This is, after all, a scenic highway, and I certainly hope that people realize that it involves only those trees that have been deemed as dead, by both MDOT and the city’s arborist. The last thing we want to do – and we will not do – is to take down a live oak.”

Scoggins, who was born in Greene County and lives in Sandersville, Miss., has successfully represented the United States in international woodcarving competitions and has also won numerous awards in competitions throughout the country. To see samples of his stump carvings, click here.

Harrison County crews will continue to be responsible for the maintaining the medians around the sculptures, which Scoggins will treat with an environmentally friendly preservative.

Should the artwork ever be deemed a distraction to passing motorists, Holloway and Brown said, the trunks could be relocated to nearby city parks

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Jinx Jinx 9 years
What an awesome idea for regeneration and hope for such a devastated area. Thanks for posting.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
Now that's what I call making lemonade out of lemons! These sculptures are beautiful.
TNgirl TNgirl 9 years
Wow those are beautiful and what a great idea. ~*~*~*~TNgirl~*~*~*~
Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt Shiloh-Jolie-Pitt 9 years
oh wowza what a telented artist! _________________________ A balanced meal is a cookie in each hand
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Wow! These are really beautiful! And I just love love love the concept of making beauty out of despair.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Those are great!!! What a clever way to turn something so horrible and heartbreaking into something so positive.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
These are really cool. Thanks for posting!
wynter wynter 9 years
yeah, Jason was there for 6 months after Katrina helping out. The pictures he brought back were unreal. There are still parts that need rebuilt, but the main areas are looking great. I was happy to see that. :)
MotoLinz MotoLinz 9 years
Wow - these are exceptional! The last time I was in the southern MS area was right after Katrina, bringing tons of supplies to some friends. It was an unbelievable scene then. I am so glad to see something relatively positive coming out of it. :)
suebree96 suebree96 9 years
How beautiful!!! "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of a dream." Willy Wonka
sashak sashak 9 years
those are awesome!! I love public art & to create it out of the devestation of Katrina is just brilliant! The images are beautiful! I really love the swordfish & the 1st picture too! :D
JennaV JennaV 9 years
That's so cool!
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