The Storybook Comes to Life in This Fairy Tale-like Park
Make plans to visit the free outdoor Wizard of Oz garden the next time you’re in Holland, Michigan.
L. Frank Baum is thought to have written the classic tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, while staying at his nearby family cottage in Macatawa.
The book was published in 1900.
About the Wizard of Oz Garden
250 Central Ave, Holland, MI 49423
Centennial Park once served as the marketplace for the town long ago.
Now, its lush landscape is home to a moss-covered rock fountain, gazebo, brick pathways, flowers, and most recently – the Holland Oz Project.
The Oz Project consists of:
- a huge living book cover
- a yellow brick road
- seven life-sized bronze sculptures.
When you visit, you’ll notice right away that there really is a yellow-brick road.
The giant natural book cover, not far down the golden pathway, was created using a 10’x12′ steel base.
Annuals were planted on this foundation to grow the living mosaic that is now in place in the park during summer months.
The life-like bronze sculptures are across the street from Centennial Park at Herrick District Library.
The yellow-brick road continues there, where you’ll find a cast of seven bronze characters ready to interact with you.
The Cowardly Lion doesn’t look scary at all.
The Wicked Witch has just the expression you’d expect.
Dorothy and Toto just look like they want to go home.
Kids will want to stand next to their favorite sculptures for photos.
The 12.5-foot tall fighting tree (with the flying monkey perched on a branch) has dramatic facial expressions.
The Scarecrow and a Munchkin sculpture are also on display.
This would be the perfect place to visit if you dress up as Dorothy or one of the other characters for Halloween.
Altogether, the display conjures images of the beloved book and movie.
The rest of the park is a respite in itself.
Flowers, fountains, mature shade trees, and the walking paths make an inviting place to stop and soak up the beauty.
Get Your Own Oz Minis
You Can Get Miniature Bronze Sculptures for Yourself
Nick Christensen, the artist responsible for making the life-sized bronze sculptures on display will make you a miniature version of your favorite if you’d like.
Email him if interested. (Prices range from $260-$350)
Watch the Story Come Alive
Putting the giant book cover together was no easy thing.
Watch this video to see how it was done.