You may have driven by or even recognize the iconic tree statue to the Park Hill neighborhood that until most recently stood at 23rd and Grape. Her name is Nino. She has been the home to many wild creatures and had her fair share of visitors over the years.
Peg and Keith Meagher learned in 1998 that their elm tree had been diagnosed with Dutch elm disease. The tree would have been the second elm tree they lost to the disease. They decided to have the tree transformed into a statue since they didn’t want to loose the tree completely. Nino was inspired by the legend of Santo Nino, the manifestation of Jesus as a child ministering to the sick, the poor and imprisoned. She was completed late in December 1998 by wood sculptor David Mitchell. Mitchell wasn’t originally able to agree to creating the sculpture yet with a short time frame before Dutch elm disease took the tree completely he finally agreed. The artist returns year to restore anything that may be wrong Nino.
Earlier this year it was discovered Nino has rotted to the point that it is at risk of falling over. Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care has scheduled a removal date of June 30, 2014. Nino will be removed in one piece and stored at the Swingle facility until it goes to its new home. Swingle has been involved with Nino since she was originally created in 1998. One of our team members originally helped prepare Nino for carving and still works here. We are happy to be a part of the removal and see Nino live on for her next chapter!