CHOCOLAY TOWNSHIP — It’s a land where all are welcome.
You can hike, catch some artwork unique to the U.P. and on weekends maybe catch a local musician jazzing things up.
Tom Lakenen is the creator of Lakenenland and he calls it his junkyard art. Tom has been crafting these ginormous pieces of art for about 20 years. Working in construction as a medal welder, he says he always had extra materials laying about. So this untrained but obviously gifted artist put those pieces of scrap metal to good use and created a few pieces of art, with the first creations being, dancing wolves sculptures.
“Sometimes I have an idea and start building something but usually it’s, well, here is what you have to work with, see what you can build out of it. It takes me anywhere from a day or two and some were a couple of weeks. the lumberjacks took me six months to do all three and make them look right. I just keep playing with them until it looks like something,” said Lakenenland creator, Tom Lakenenland.
Lakenenland now has more than 80 sculptures for visitors to tour. Everything from giant green dinosaurs, to unicycle riding pigs to, well, who wouldn’t want a pink polka dot elephant.
“I mortgaged my house for another hundred years, bought this property and called if Lakenenland. You can drive through, walk through, bring your kids, there is a few fishing ponds if they want to go fishing, bandshell if you are a musician, you can come out and use it.”
Lakenenland is connected to the North County trails if you are a hiker and sits on 37.5 acres of property. The art sculpture park is free and open to the public everyday.