Fallen 100-year-old Kennesaw tree offers new learning opportunities

·3 min read

Jul. 14—KENNESAW — A tree that once stood watch over Legacy Park is providing new learning opportunities for area youth.

The heat from the July sun baked Tim Smith and the Tim's Tree Service team, as they worked to safely get the 100-year-old tree on the ground and off of its rotting base.

Smith and his team were brought on by the Legacy Park Homeowners Association to cut the tree down, working from the early hours of the morning to the later part of the afternoon Tuesday. Upon arrival, the job looked like any other that Smith and his team would handle. This time, though, a small cloud of emotion filled the clear July sky as the tree came down for excavation.

"The HOA was worried about people's safety," said Smith. "It was hanging over the baseball field and would take four people to reach all the way around it."

Shortly after the job began, Suzanne Brizzi, library assistant of the West Cobb Regional Library, approached the team taking down the old tree with a proposition: take the 100-year-old Kennesaw staple and preserve it, in parts, for future generations to learn from.

Because of this, Smith and his crew began sawing off 2-3 inch sections of the beast for display and educational use at the library. The sections are aptly named "wood cookies," because they look like giant cookies cut out of wood.

Brizzi was already on a mission Tuesday morning to look for more of the cookies when she came across the fallen giant. Her draw to nature and vision for artistic expression took over and sent her into action.

"I've been looking in the neighborhood for people who were cutting down trees when I found it; the office didn't even know it had fallen yet," said Brizzi, who thought "it'd be a shame just to take it away.'"

At the library, she uses the tree cookies, as well as other remnants of nature, to make different kinds of art. Brizzi's unique method is named "fearless art" which allows people to use the nature around you to create something you never thought possible. Examples of other types of her art can be found scattered about the library, either on the walls, on the shelves or out with nature, ready for the next person to express themself.

While the art brings a fun, interactive way to connect with nature, Brizzi mentioned it wouldn't be the only purpose for the harvested cookies.

"We're also going to be doing education," Brizzi said. "We're going to look to see if we can see climate change in the rings, and to kind of see what was going on 100 years ago."

Brizzi's passion for the outdoors as well as for today's youth are fueling the project.

"I feel honored. I do. I'm just so excited," Brizzi added. "I'm really grateful for everyone who backed me on this project."

While the exhibit itself has no official opening date, a few pieces of the old tree as well as some examples of fearless art can be found at the West Cobb Regional Library.