PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Park District held a small ceremony Wednesday to thank all the donors that made a new stump carving project possible at the Newman Golf Course.

The sculpture symbolizes the efforts put forth to clear trees at the course, in what Emily Cahill, executive director of the park district, said is a defining moment in park district golf.

“Over the last four or five years, we’ve cut down a lot of trees. We’ve had the emerald ash borer issue,” Cahill said. “It is changing the landscape of our courses.”

The emerald ash borer is a beetle that feeds on ash trees, killing thousands of trees throughout the golf courses.

“All those trees that we’ve lost due to disease, and sometimes to severe weather, they’ve changed the way our courses play,” Cahill said.

Cahill said a golf advisory committee wanted to commemorate the experience of reshaping a course.

“A lot of golfers hit a lot of trees with a lot of golf balls, and so most people have a story,” she said. “That’s part of their experience and the memory-making with the park district.”

One tree near the entrance of Newman gold course was dead and reduced to a stump. Cahill said the committee saw it as an opportunity. They hired local artist and wood carver, Tim Gill, to turn the stump into a memorial sculpture.

Stump carving just so happens to be his specialty, according to Gill’s artist website. The entire carving was done with a chainsaw. Gill flattened the stump vertically, then carved the PPD logo and “Est. 1894” into the tree.

The project was not cheap, so plenty of donors supported the efforts. Wednesday’s ceremony gave park district leaders an opportunity to say thank you.