Sky blue, bright orange. . . trees?

April 21, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Sky blue and bright orange… not what you'd find in nature. The trees are at the south end of Lincoln Park near the lagoon. And they've been painted by the Chicago Park District. Why? To grab your attention.

"We're painting them to draw attention to the landscape. To be eye-catching. Evidently it's working because we're having this interview right now," John Cusano, mgr. park district maintenance said. "So people will draw their attention over here and notice what the other amenities are in the park."

So now there are blue trees that are not blue spruce and orange trees that don't produce oranges. The whole situation paints a controversial picture for park lovers.

"I think it's absurd. It's an eyesore. It's a ridiculous waste of money," said one park goer.

"It's nice to see some color. We're still lacking leaves and foliage around. It's nice," said another.

When I see this I think it's just clownsville. God made the trees a certain way and they should be left that way," said a third.

"It's a little goofy, but... It's art, it's definitely art," said a fourth person.

Art? People will argue with that but just take a look at this old willow. It does look sort of like a giant blue sculpture.

All of the trees that have been painted are coming down, according to the park district.

"Because the majority of them are mulberries which is an evasive plant and they will be eradicated. And the willow behind me is structurally sound but it's had significant storm damage," said Cusano.

So stop by and decide for yourself before the painted forest falls. Is it art?

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