Bernheim Forest Giants from Trash to Giant Trolls…
Bring your family to meet our Giants in a Giant Forest — Mama Loumari (who is expecting a baby giant) and her kids Little Elina and Little Nis. They’ve found a rather comfortable home and have settled well into our beautiful natural forest and habitat in Bernheim Arboretum. And they love to play!
The Bernheim forest giants were created by Copenhagen, Denmark artist Thomas “Dambo” Winther.
About the Artist
Dambo began building objects like birdhouses and box cars from discarded wood at an early age. When he noticed the amount of wood and other building materials that were left as trash at city construction sites, he was inspired to repurpose this landfill-bound resource to create a major street art project – “Happy City Birds” – taking the cue from urban birds who naturally upcycle trash and other scraps to build their nests.
Since then, Dambo has built more than 3500 birdhouses, interactive walls and giant sculptures, ranging from small, charming birdhouses to large urban murals, totems and giant forest trolls, completely constructed of recycled wood and other materials, and spread them in cities and forests all over the world.
Thomas Dambo studied to become a carpenter, and then, to focus on the creative aspect of building attended the Kolding School of Design. After graduation, he opened and operated a workshop in Copenhagen while also creating unique projects as a street artist.
He is well known around the world for his Happy City Birds projects and for interactive Happy Wall pixel installations and large recycle sculptures and installations,
Not to mention…Giant Trolls.
Originating with six giant troll creatures scattered in various wooded areas around Copenhagen, Dambo created the friendly giants from recycled products mainly found in the area. A treasure hunt of sorts, the trolls are an exciting addition to the forest areas and an educational example of recycling and upcycling to bring art out of the museums and into nature.
Since the original six trolls around Copenhagen, Dambo has initiated a friendly migration of these giants to forests and arboretums all over the world, including areas around Chicago, Los Angeles and now in the historic and beautifully preserved Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
“I think there it is a beautiful aesthetic to the story, that someone cut down a tree to make something in wood that was then discarded, and now I put that wood back in a forest and made a big and beautiful sculpture. For me the sculptures represent this, that we should think twice before we discard our things, because they could become something magnificent,” Dambo told Lonely Planet Travel News.
The forest giants in Bernheim Arboretum are constructed completely of wood recycled from local resources – from the forest itself, to wooden pallets, to discards from the Louisville Slugger plant nearby. Charming and whimsical, the trolls make a giant statement about the importance of using our resources and preserving our natural areas.
Bullitt County Getaway
While your family will be enchanted by the forest giant troll family, Bernheim Arboretum and the surrounding area of Shepherdsville and Bullitt County offers a wealth of activities to entertain and educate all ages.
Don’t miss the Bernheim Canopy Tree Walk, a boardwalk suspended 75 ft. high from the forest floor, or the historic fire tower, one of the best views in the state. Be sure to explore the Arts in Nature program and journey through the Bernheim forest to view a variety of sculptures, paintings and other works of art.
Outside the arboretum, there’s plenty of fun and activities to explore…
From Go-Karts to Miniature Golf to Bumper Boats, Batting Cages and a huge arcade…there is something for everyone in Kart Kountry Family Entertainment Center. www.gokartkountry.com
Grab your swimsuit and get set for a relaxing float down the Salt River with Awesome Lazy River. Tube rentals available onsite www.awesomefleamarket.com/lazy-river
If tubing is not your thing…look for awesome deals and fun shopping at Awesome Flea Market. You’ll find T-shirts, sunglasses, home décor, fishing gear, a farmer’s market and so much more.
For a fun weekend or a romantic getaway, be sure to visit our famous Jim Beam American Outpost and other bourbon distilleries and wineries along the Wine and Whiskey Trail.
Whether you are just passing through or planning to stay for a few days there are plenty of Bullitt County hotels and places to stay with reasonably low rates (travelbullitt.org/lodging)…easy to bring your whole family and enjoy a relaxing getaway.
Shepherdsville and Bullitt County are an easy drive away: 2 hours from Nashville, 1-2 hours from Indianapolis and Cincinnati and a very close 20 minute drive down I65 from Louisville.