One-ton acorn finds its digs

A long-awaited giant acorn sculpture by Patrick McVay is finally getting a home in Oak Harbor.

A long-awaited giant acorn sculpture is finally getting a home in Oak Harbor.

City council members unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to erect the sculpture on Southeast Pioneer Way on a city-owned piece of land between Wells Fargo and People’s Bank. The artwork was created by South End sculptor Patrick McVay.

The wood from which the acorn was carved came from a 330-year-old Garry oak tree that the city felled in 2014, generating outrage among some city residents who felt the public was not properly notified. Wood from the tree was preserved at that time for a future piece of art.

“The people want art to mean something,” said councilmember Shane Hoffmire. “This is really something that means something to Oak Harbor.”

The acorn sculpture’s original location was meant to be near where the tree once stood by the Oak Harbor Post Office, but the post office is not able to accept gifts per the USPS legal code.

While some council members were disappointed that the original location did not work out, Councilmember Jim Woessner said he feels the Pioneer Way location is better.

“We spent a lot of money to create this promenade to enter our park through, and this is going to be the trailhead to that promenade,” he said. “I think it makes it more available for most people to see and touch and feel versus being in a parking lot.”

The location was approved by the Arts Commission and the Oak Harbor Park Board in December. The sculpture is approximately 5 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 2,300 pounds.