Eleven Foot Osprey Finds a Home On Daniel Island

May 9, 2012

"Island Sonata" is a commissioned work by local artist David Springer.

After an extensive search, the Daniel Island Garden Club recently commissioned Mt. Pleasant artist David Springer to design and create a sculpture of an osprey in flight as a central focal point for the island’s Osprey Trail, a garden oasis located in front of the Daniel Island School on Daniel Island Drive. The piece is an 11-foot tall copper and stainless steel design titled “Island Sonata” that incorporates a huge nest and two magnificent birds. An unveiling and dedication ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m.

Springer’s sculpture is a copper and stainless steel interpretation of an osprey approaching the nest with a new branch clamped firmly in strong copper and steel talons. Its mate is watching from a perch on the other side of the nest. The contrast of shiny stainless steel and the colors of the copper patina repeat throughout the piece and reflect the common unity of bird, water and fish.

Planning for the Osprey Trail – which is named after the Daniel Island School mascot and the several osprey nests located in areas near the school property – began in 2008 when members of the Daniel Island Garden Club set out to improve an overgrown wooded area that served as a buffer between the Daniel Island School and Daniel Island Drive. With funding provided in part by the Daniel Island Community Fund, the two-acre site was transformed into a series of beautiful gardens connected by a meandering trail. The gardens showcase a variety of plants that thrive in the conditions of the Lowcountry: A Woodland Shade Garden, Southern Garden, Rose Garden, Bird and Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden and a Japanese Garden.

“Once the initial plantings and elements of the trail were in place, we set out to raise money for a sculpture that would serve as a primary focal point for the trail,” says Melody Bundschuh, project coordinator for the Daniel Island Garden Club. “We knew we wanted to use a local artist, and we knew that a priority was to raise enough money for a significant piece that would draw attention to the name of the garden oasis that has been created on this site.”

Funds for the continued expansion of the Osprey Trail – including the addition of the new sculpture – have come from proceeds of house and garden tours organized by the Garden Club, along with additional contributions from the Daniel Island Community Fund.

“We’d also like to offer a very special thank you to the artist, David Springer, for working with us to help make the dream of adding a ‘real’ osprey to the trail become a reality,” said Bundschuh.

Although the Garden Club has worked on several community beautification projects over the years, the group is particularly proud that this trail and series of gardens have become an educational resource and tranquil retreat for students at the Daniel Island School, as well as residents and visitors to the community. Most plants along the trail are identified with name plates, a detail that is intended to help educate visitors about the area’s native plants.  Over the years, additional plantings and special features have been added to enhance the site.