Decatur Trees being carved into animal sculptures

Northeast Indiana artist Scott Lepley is helping Decatur repurpose dead trees by carving them into animals

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – There are wild animals popping up all across Decatur, but neither city officials or the DNR is worried. That’s because the furry creatures are wood carvings in old tree stumps. It’s an effort to repurpose dead trees into art.

“The city is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for its citizens,” said city Operations Manager Jeremy Gilbert. “Normally, they would just be ground out. This way we repurpose them. Give the citizens a reason to come out and to look at what we’re doing to improve their quality of life.”

The city cuts down about 30 dead trees a year, but this go around they hired regional artist Scott Lepley to sculpt some of them.


“It’s different,” Gilbert said. “It’s not something you see every day. It’s very creative. It’s very artsy. It’s really something that a lot of people are starting to get into.”

The city has now finished the six sculptures the board approved back in December. Gilbert said he’s sure there’ll be more to come.

Gilbert added that people have been calling the city asking that their dead trees get turned into sculptures.