Powerful tribute

Councillor Tim Hennan and MEEPPA''s Clare Worsnop with the sculpture.

A Yarra Ranges chainsaw artist sculpted a powerful owl from the trunk of a tree in the Mount Evelyn Recreation Reserve.

Rob Bast created the artwork earlier this year, thanks to funding from the Yarra Ranges Council’s Grants for Community.

Mount Evelyn Environmental Protection and Progress Association’s (MEEPPA) Clare Worsnop said the sculpture featured the animals that called the forest home, while the base featured animals and insects that lived in the nearby Olinda Creek, such as platypus.

“From a piece of wood into this, the transition is enormous – we’re thrilled with it and thrilled with the response we’re getting,” Ms Worsnop said.

“It’s all been very positive.”

Billanook Ward Councillor Tim Heenan congratulated MEEPPA on its successful project.

“Standing here with the powerful owl in the sculpture, many people will see something they’ll never see in person,” he said.

“I’ve lived in Mount Evelyn for 33 years and it took me maybe nine years to see my first powerful owl.

“They’re a very rare and endangered bird.

“That, in itself, is a good educational tool for people, to come and learn more and, for a moment, to connect with what exists here beside the beautiful sporting grounds.”

Mr Bast has competed in chainsaw carving competitions around the world, with a number of first-place prizes, and has created public artworks at Healesville Sanctuary.

Applications for Yarra Ranges Council’s Grants for Community 2020 funding open on 1 June, with information and preparation workshops to be held throughout May and June.

Visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/grants for more information.