DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Three giant trolls have nestled into the woods at Aullwood Audubon as part of a new permanent exhibit, and they’re attracting a lot of visitors.
“Aullwood Audubon is so proud to announce the arrival of Bo, Bodil, and Bibbi and their giant troll sized nest to Aullwood. They’ve made their home here,” said Laurie Cothran, development and marketing manager for Aullwood.
The three trolls and nest are the work of international recycling artist Thomas Dambo, based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Thomas wrote the story–‘The Troll that Hatched an Egg.’ He came up with the whole idea, and we worked with him because it’s all about birds. It’s about protecting birds and their habitats, but it’s also about the wonder of flight. And it’s kind of a nice nod to the Wright Brothers because they discovered the theory of flight by studying birds.” says Cothran.
This troll exhibit is one of only nine of Thomas’ troll exhibits in the U.S. “He’s all about turning trash into treasure,” said Cothran.
The exhibit is made from the environment and surrounding land and took about five weeks to construct.
“We had to collect all of these natural materials, locally sourced materials. This is actually pallet wood. We used downed trees that were already dead and then lots of branches,” said Cothran.
His artistic team and about 100 volunteers helped bring nature to life in the permanent exhibit.
“We basically took the pile apart, and we placed the sticks in three or four different piles–the thickness of the wood and the length,” said volunteer Christine Evans, who helped with the project. “I just think it’s very creative. It’s bigger than life.”
The giant spectacles have also brought in a lot of foot traffic for the center.
“It was a very very hard season for Aullwood during the height of the pandemic. We had to close the Nature Center for 16 months. We moved everything to the farm. And as it turns out, we did not receive any CARES Act money or PPP funds or anything like that. Somehow we fell through the cracks, let’s say. We did the best we could to survive and to serve, but what we really envisioned with the trolls coming to Aullwood is like a new birth,” said Cothran.
The magic of the exhibit encourages visitors to be inspired by all of the wonder nature has to offer. “It is a hidden gem,” said Evans.
Aullwood is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission or a membership is required for a visit. For children age 4-12, admission is $8. For those age 13-64, admission is $12. For those 65 or older, and active military, admission is $10. Children 3 and younger are free.
To schedule a visit to Aullwood, click here.