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‘Hand & Owl Tree Carving’

The city of College Park in Maryland is filled with intertwining running and biking trails—former railroad tracks, the Paint Branch trails, the Anacostia Tributary trails. The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation works hard to maintain them all, and even decorates them with natural artworks through a program called “Art on the Trails.” This initiative takes found objects in nature and recycles or repurposes them for our aesthetic pleasure. 

One such artwork can be found just off the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia Tributary Trail. It’s the unusual, surrealist Hand & Owl Tree Carving, by Joe Stebbing, a locally based artist who carves large pieces of wood into intricate sculptures with a chainsaw. While artwork’s formal name and meaning aren’t clear, it was made from an old ash tree, felled by emerald ash borer disease, around 2018. 



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