Gazette News Report
XENIA — The city is hoping to turn the destruction of ash trees into meaningful art.
City Manager Brent Merriman recently announced the creation of a “Rising from the Ashes” Adopt-A-Tree program, designed to enlist woodcarvers to create iconic and historic Xenia images out of dead or near-dead ash trees in Shawnee Park. Instead of simply cutting down the affected trees, the city wants to work with sponsors to have local artisans carve the images on each negatively impacted tree to serve as an ongoing history and recognition of the city’s heritage.
“Many trees in this region have died due to the ash borer,” Merriman said. “Instead of just simply cutting all the trees down, we decided to leave a legacy of not only positively dealing with the situation, but memorializing the history of Xenia in iconic fashion with the remains of the trees in Shawnee Park. We can’t save every tree, but we can carve out our future from our inspiring history and memorialize Xenia in a creative fashion through this program.”
The city has begun to promote the program and is looking for sponsors to underwrite the tree carvings. A typical carving from start to finish takes about 60 hours. A demonstration Ash tree was designed, carved and donated by Xenia artist Loren Lorenzo and is currently on view in the park.
Currently there are 12 trees that have been identified that will serve as candidates for carving, and the city will work with sponsors to select a Xenia historic icon and will add point of placement signage at each tree with identification of sponsors. The city will also entertain partnership offers from organizations interested in joining the “Rising from the Ashes” Adopt-A-Tree program.
For more information call (937) 376-8904. For more about the City of Xenia, visit XploreXenia.com or City of Xenia Government on Facebook.