During Fantasy Fest 2016 (June 16-18) artists turned some of the trees at Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek into fantasy creatures straight out of storybooks. Watch this incredible art in the process of being made and see some of the fantasy carvings already on display at the arboretum.

How the Fantasy Forest Was Born Out of Tragedy

The grove that is today the fantasy forest was once a copse of ash. However the invasive and destructive emerald ash borer struck the ash grove at the arboretum which was planted over 100 years ago. All the trees had died by 2013. Beginning in 2015 13 of the ash trunks were transformed into the fantasy carvings on display today. During this 2016 Art Carve, 11 more trunks will be added to the display. The work on three of them is shown in the video below.

Leila Arboretum is located at 928 West Michigan Avenue (M-89) in Battle Creek, is open daily and does not charge a general admission or parking charge.