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Local Legend: Elmer Gunderson

Local Legend Elmer Gunderson (centre). Darrin Rigo photo

“Faces always intrigued me. It gives away so much of a person. It’s a road map of their life.”

Chances are, if you’ve taken a stroll through Cottonwood Island Nature Park, you’ve come across one of these faces carved by Prince George resident, Elmer Gunderson – Tourism Prince George’s latest Local Legend.

A four-minute video, produced by 6ix Sigma, takes viewers on a journey of the person behind one of Prince George’s most iconic places.

“I was put in charge of developing the trail systems through Cottonwood Island Park when it was first built,” Gunderson explains in the video. “At the time I was working for the city. A number of years later I was asked by the mayor to produce some of my artwork within the park.”

In total there are 20 carvings amongst the trees. There is no harm done to the cottonwood trees, because the bark eventually grows over it.

“Cottonwood Island Nature Park is a staple attraction in Prince George,” said Tourism Prince George CEO Colin Carson. “It’s welcoming for all ages and abilities, and an opportunity to soak in nature, spot wildlife and treasure hunt for the carvings.”

Gunderson is the third Local Legend highlighted by Tourism Prince George. The video premiered at the Tourism Week Kick-Off event on Apr. 24 at the Visitor Information Centre.

Gunderson was present during the function, as well as Lheidli T’enneh Elder Clifford Quaw, the Khast’an drummers, local businesses Weir-Dough Cookies and Open Door Café, and featured artist Emily Wilson.

The Local Legend series was launched as a way to tell our community’s stories. The short videos pay tribute to the places and people that make Prince George a vibrant city to visit and live.

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