Peregian Beach tree continues to tell story

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Artist Kay Christochowitz, architect Sharyn Kerrigan and PBCA bushcare co-ordinator Rochelle Gooch at the site of the old Norfolk Pine, which will be transformed into an artwork for the entire community to appreciate. Photo: Contributed

The giant Norfolk Pine that died suddenly at Peregian Beach earlier this year will continue to tell its story for the entire community thanks to an inspired idea for a new coastal sculpture.

The pine, or what’s left of it, will be reborn as an environmental artwork in a collaboration between local architect Sharyn Kerrigan (who came up with the idea), artist Kay Christochowitz, Peregian Beach Community Association (PBCA), Noosa Council, and the Federal Government through its National Bushfire Recovery fund.

The tree at the Southern beach access of the Peregian Beach foreshore park is thought to have suffered heat stress after the 2019 bushfire that threatened the village.

Thanks to the local community, council and government getting their heads together, the four-metre stump that remains will be carved into a story focussing on the magnificent marine creatures along this part of the coast.

Artist Kay Christochowitz wields a chainsaw with precision and flare and said he is looking forward to embarking on the work soon and to having locals and visitors gain a better appreciation of the magnificent marine environment that surrounds them.

PBCA’s bushcare co-ordinator Rochelle Gooch will oversee native tree planting in the eroded and fire-scorched dunes around the sculpture, while Noosa Council has just erected new railings to protect the dunes from destructive foot traffic.

In a few weeks time the community can watch as the sculpture begins to take shape.  Later there will be ceremonies connecting the new beach landmark with the history of the Peregian Beach area.

Ms Gooch said the Norfolk Pine sculpture will gradually weather and erode, but continue telling an important story as the new native trees around it grow in an effort to help protect the fragile dune system.

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