Submitted by Hilde DeBruyne


Client: City of Johnston, IA

Location: Johnston, IA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Project Team


Hilde DeBruyne Art and Design LLC

Hilde DeBruyne Art and Design LLC


Johnston Arts Council

Johnston Arts Council


Take a walk through “Trees are Poems”, at Terra Park in Johnston, IA : first public art installation, commissioned by the City of Johnston, IA in 2019. The interactive sculpture invites the viewer to walk , explore and experience the structure as if they are walking through a forest and look up at the sky. The artist hopes to create a tiny glimpse of the sacredness of trees and develop a sense of respect for nature.


The goal: to create an artwork that celebrates the Earth at Terra Park , that creates a sense of belonging and a gathering place for the community.


Created in collaboration with the City of Johnston, Johnston Arts Council, 50th Anniversary Committee, Park and Recreation Department and numerous Committees and volunteers.
The leaves of the Tree have laser cut words that were chosen in collaboration with the community. They hold special meaning and significance to the residents of Johnston: They are "Welcoming", "Thriving", "Community", "Diversity", "Education" , "Agriculture" and "Service". They create a playful shadow on the surrounding area.

Additional Information

An inspiring quote from the poet Kahlil Gibran is laser cut throughout the stem of the trees : " Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky" .