by Doug Sitler

olmstead_carvingThere are a myriad of activities that can be found at the Erie Basin Marina on downtown Buffalo’s waterfront. It is a destination for recreational boating, waterfront dining, bike and walking paths, and beautiful gardens. This summer some familiar faces have returned and are overlooking this abundance of activity…lifesize wood carvings from the Carvings for a Cause art project.

Carvings for a Cause is a charitable effort to retree Western New York using trees and wood from the disastrous ice storm of October 2006. The wood leftover from the storm has been transformed by a chainsaw artist into 25 lifesize figures of historical personalities with ties to Buffalo. Sponsorships of individual carvings have help support planting efforts to replace the thousands of trees that were destroyed during the surprise storm.

Currently at the entrance to the marina, ten prominent figures reside welcoming visitors to the waterfront. Thomas Edison, DeWitt Clinton, Frederick Law Olmsted and Tim Russert are a few celebrated people who are immortalized in wood. The carvings make an excellent backdrop for photos or an impromptu history lesson.

The marina is not the only place where you can see these unique creations. Carvings currently reside in Buffalo, Clarence, Orchard Park, South Buffalo, Tonawanda and Williamsville.

To learn more about Carvings for a Cause and where you can view them, visit

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