Art project adds colorful ‘whimsy’ to League City library oak trees

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The people of League City have always been proud of the city’s holm oaks, but some of the trees in Helen Hall Library are more eye-catching than passers-by.

These oaks are part of a city public art initiative in which they are decorated with dozens of colorful scarves, cuffs or “granny squares” made of yarn.

With the help of the Every Stitch Way Club, the project is one way to highlight the importance of trees in the town’s history by adding a whimsical touch. The city is asking knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to contribute to the project by donating their own “granny squares”.

The project is part of an overall beautification initiative, and the idea was born during a meeting of the Keep League City Beautiful Citizens committee, made up of local artists.

“We have all these big oak trees, and we thought it would be cool to come up with some kind of tree cuff,” city spokeswoman Sarah Osborne said.

The works, sometimes called yard bombing or tree cuffs, are a way to bring art to something that many people consider common. The original idea was to cuff a tree in League Park, but these oaks are at least 100 years old and have massive trunks.

Those interested in contributing to the project or dropping off existing granny squares for wristbands can email Rosa.Salcido@leaguecitytx.gov

Learn more about League City’s Public Arts Initiative: https://bit.ly/3uHH2n1

Learn more about League City’s Tree Armband Project: https://bit.ly/3yZSuwI


Someone suggested the young live oaks in front of the Helen Hall Library.

City council member Larry Millican offered to buy all the yarn; so the project is not an expense to the city, Osborne said.

The idea was that when people looked for City Hall or the Library, the trees would stand out.

The committee approached the members of Every Stitch Way, who meet regularly at the library, to create art for the trees. Members crochet, knit, embroider, embroider, bead and quilting, according to member Judy Rosen.

The group was enthusiastic and immediately began knitting and crocheting “granny squares” for the first installation in June.

The multi-coloured pieces in the shape of a square patch are wrapped around tree trunks, put in place and then sewn. According to Every Stitch Way member Carol Pavini, the project involved a lot of detail and thought.

“For me, the process of creating a tree canopy started with sharing thoughts and ideas within our group and then designing a design that I liked,” he said. she stated. “I compared that with the tree measurements, made minor adjustments, and got to work crocheting a blanket.”

The plan is to eventually include all trees in the location.

“We have a tree line across the street on Walker, so there’s no shortage of trees,” Osborne said.

City Arborist Heather Knight oversees tree safety during the project.

According to Osborne, a specific type of acrylic yarn that can withstand the weather is used for the project. The wire can help protect trees from the elements, she said.

The trees in the library are about 20 to 30 years old, unlike the century-old oaks that line Main Street and are found in other areas of the historic district. Some of the city’s oldest trees are adorned with lights, but the city has no plans to incorporate them into the project, Osborne said.

“For some of the newer trees – whether they’re in front of the library or other city facilities – it becomes a way to add a bit of quirkiness and whimsy and it also gives the city a sense of belonging, an identifier,” she said. “It’s really easy to tell people how to get to City Hall now.”

yorozco@hcnonline.com


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