Seminole County has figured out what to do with what isleft of the 3,500 year old Pond Cypress tree named the "Senator" afterfire killed the tree. The county plans to turn the old wood and even ashes intoart work
Sara Barnes was charged with setting the tree on fire.Investigators believe she was doing drugs at the time and climb over severalfences to get close to the tree. Seminole County Natural Lands Manager Jim Dubysays the Senator is a legend, so they had to do something.
"We didn't want to let the wood just lay there androt."
Duby says the remnants of the tree will be removed andwood will be used to make art and sculptures.
"It could be anything from pens, memorial pens toconference tables, or any kind of a wood sculpture in between."
The ashes will be used as well in clay works. An artistfrom California plans to take some of the tree's ashes and spin them into clayreplicas of the tree. Duby says she put a heart warming note in her applicationabout how much the Senator meant to her.
"Like many people, they had experiences growing upas a child going to see the Senator. Fora lot of families that was a weekend destination, so it was very near and dearto her heart."
Duby says the art work will not cost taxpayers a dime.The artists will cover expenses.
"They're going to be responsible for removing thewood, cutting up and removing in the right way, and then they'll create equalpieces of art. So, if somebody's going to create a sculpture, they'll createtwo of those sculptures, one will go to the County, one will go to them. Theycan sell that to recoup their cost in the project."
Pieces of the Senator have already been sent to theFlorida Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian in Washington DC.