A hurricane’s legacy: Galveston’s tree sculptures

Galveston tree sculpture herons (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Two years ago this month, Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston, Texas and low-lying areas near Houston.

It was a cruel repeat of the famous hurricane of 1900, which also hit the island during September.

Along with all of the other destruction you’ve heard about, 30,000 trees were lost on the island from both the storm and the salt water from the storm’s tidal surge.

Galveston residents decided to make something beautiful out of their lost tree canopy (many oaks were hundred of years old.)

Artists created fanciful sculptures out of the tree stumps that remained; they’re sprinkled throughout the still-recovering Historic District.

I was privileged to see many of them this week during a tourism conference, and I took photos so that you could see them, too.

Galveston tree sculptures dolphins and mermaid (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Galveston tree sculptures dolphins and mermaid closeup (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

It was really sobering to drive around the older section of town, imagining what it used to be like and still seeing construction and repair in progress two years later.

Go visit Galveston, which is coming back after yet another storm and is full of beautiful homes and resilient people.

Learn more about the sculptures on the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website: Galveston tree sculpture tour.

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