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Chapel Hill tree stump to become UNC tribute site

Posted May 20, 2009

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— Town officials want to turn a downtown tree stump into a tribute to the University of North Carolina's national championship basketball team.

A green ash tree at the intersection of Columbia and Franklin streets was damaged during last month's championship celebration. The canopy had to be cut off, leaving a 7-foot-tall stump.

Mayor Kevin Foy came up with the idea of transforming the stump into public art, and Chapel Hill Public Arts Administrator Jeffrey York approached Dwight Bassett, the town’s economic development director and a master wood carver, with a proposal to sculpt the stump into something symbolic.

Bassett said he envisions a vertical segment of a player with arm extended and holding a basketball.

“We are working on what’s left of a tree and creating something of symbolic importance for the town and university,” Bassett said in a statement. “It is a gift from the town to the university and the people of Chapel Hill.”

“We envision this as a temporary tribute, something that creates interest on the street – art as a conversation piece,” York said in a statement.

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  • chiropteraphile May 20, 2009

    Pathetic!!! So a bunch of frat brats kill a tree and the city turns the stump into a tribute to the school and sports team that spurred the kids to kill the tree. Why not plant some new trees? Oh wait... that would require common sense.

  • HappyGirl08 May 20, 2009

    Wonder why they didn't cut the whole tree down if they had to chop off the top. Makes no sense.

  • Chplhill May 20, 2009

    Once again, another reason to be embarrassed by living in Chapel Hill. I don't even what to think what this is going to cost. You know, living there, you really don't need "The Comedy Channel" if you can get the Town Council meetings on public access. You should read the Town Ordinances sometime...such great laws as it is illegal to possess a nuclear weapon within the city limits of Chapel Hill, and public executions will not be carried out in the city limits. A $50,000 tree stump is just what we need in Chapel Hill.