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Peoria Golfers Raising Money To Turn 10-Foot Tree Stump Into Giant Carving

Jackie Petty at Newman Golf Course
Hannah Alani
Volunteers with the Peoria Park District Golf Advisory Committee hope to raise $2,000 to turn a tree stump at Newman Golf Course into an artistic carving.

Jackie Petty played her first round of golf as a high school junior more than 50 years ago.

Since then Petty, 79, has watched Newman Golf Course steadily lose trees, including a beloved tree near hole no. 10.

After a large tree near the course's practice putting green died, Petty came up with an idea.

"I said, 'It would be neat if we could have a carving, and leave at least the stump,'" she said.

The Peoria Park District Golf Advisory Committee — a group chaired by Petty — hopes to hire local tree carver T.C. Gill to turn the Newman stump into an 8-foot work of art.

The carving would feature the Peoria Park District's logo.

The $2,000 project relies on private donations, and Petty hopes to quickly raise the money. Those who donate $25 or more will receive their name on a plaque that will be displayed inside the Newman clubhouse, 2021 W. Nebraska Ave.

For Petty, preserving the stump is preserving history.

"There's a lot of memory in that tree for some people," she said. "Plus, it's a beautiful carving. ... It will be there forever."

Jackie Petty
Hannah Alani
Jackie Petty is the chairwoman of the Peoria Park District Golf Advisory Committee.

Peoria Park District Executive Director Emily Cahill hopes this stump carving is the first of many.

"We know that trees have a life span and we know that trees die," she said. "This is a great way to celebrate the art of trees in a different way."

Petty said she was impressed by Gill's past stump carvings that include bald eagles, morel mushrooms, dragons, corn stalks and more. Known as "The Stump Carver," Gill has been carving trees into works of art for years.

Learn more about this project on the Peoria Park District's website.

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