In 1995, catastrophic winds and storm surge from Hurricane Opal ravaged the Gulf Coast and destroyed much of Panama City’s historic St. Andrews Marina. On the north end of the marina boardwalk, a once healthy live oak tree was stripped bare and dying.
Instead of removing the damaged oak, the townspeople became inspired while cleaning up the rubble. They commissioned a chainsaw artist to repurpose the tree, carving a dolphin into its trunk and pelicans roosting in its branches.
Today, the Pelican Tree symbolizes the resilience of Panama City’s community to rebuild and stay strong in the face of adversity.
– Margaret Willard, The Panhandle 100