Esplanade Association Transforms Dead Tree into Work of Art

The Stoneman Playground tree as it now appears.

Work was completed last week on the new sculpture and landscape project at the Esplanade’s Stoneman Playground, the site of the first project completed by The Esplanade Association (TEA) 11 years ago near the intersection of Hereford Street and Storrow Drive.

Mitch Ryerson was commissioned this past spring to transform a dead oak tree into a whimsical sculpture that is not only an attractive art piece, but also a practical resource for park users. Ryerson, who is also the creator of the custom bench and wooden climbing structure at the new Esplanade Playspace, created a playful structure that includes a window looking out towards the river, a canopy made of rustic branches for a source of shade for those sitting on the bench below, and is topped with sculpted figures of birds admiring the playground users below.

TEA would like to thank the Stoneman Family Foundation for its support during the planning and implementation of this project, as well as the many families and individuals who supported the creation of the Stoneman playground 11 years ago.

In addition, The Esplanade Association would like to thank the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for helping to transform the tree and refresh the landscape around the sculpture.

Though the sculpture and refurbished surrounding landscape are complete and open for use, TEA plans to hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony in the spring.

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