Special Event

The Troll That Hatched an Egg: An Exhibition by Thomas Dambo

Aullwood Audubon is proud to announce the arrival of Bo, Bodil and Bibbi, and their troll-sized bird nest. These giant trolls by internationally renowned artist Thomas Dambo have come to life at Aullwood Audubon and are ready for your visit. “The Troll That Hatched an Egg” is one of only nine Dambo-created exhibitions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Discover the tale of Aullwood's trolls in their story “The Troll That Hatched an Egg”.

TROLL ETIQUETTE
When visiting our new exhibition, please adhere to the following guidelines:
 * Please stay on the trails to protect our plants and wildlife.
 * Please do not climb on the trolls. They want everyone to be safe.
 * Please do hug the trolls. All trolls love to be hugged!
 * Please do not collect anything from the property. Leaves, moss, lichens, twigs, branches, and fungus provide habitat and food for hundreds of animals and insects that live in our sanctuary.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(Last updated 11/30/2021)

Who is Thomas Dambo?

Thomas Dambo is from Copenhagen, Denmark and is the world’s leading recycle artist. Thomas has been helping giant trolls come to life around the world for over 10 years. He worked with a team of local volunteers as well as members of his artistic team to prepare for the trolls’ arrival at Aullwood using locally sourced materials to create the sculptures.

“Everything I make I try to make out of things laying around. This way I can build really big things with a very small footprint or impact,” says Dambo.

Dambo hopes that his trolls bring people into nature to explore. He also wants people see how scraps and garbage can be recycled into something meaningful and beautiful. He designs the trolls and writes the stories that explain who they are and what they’re doing. You can learn more about Thomas Dambo and his work on his website, www.thomasdambo.com

How does the troll exhibition relate to Aullwood?

Birds, nature, ecosystems and conservation are all central to Aullwood Audubon’s mission, which is reflected in the trolls’ story. The exhibition also pays tribute to Dayton’s place in the history of aviation and the wonder of so many children who see birds (and airplanes) fly for the first time. In fact, the Wright Brothers studied the flight of birds as they worked to design the first airplane. It makes sense that a young troll would also choose birds as her teachers. The story of our trolls, “The Troll That Hatched an Egg”. is posted in the lobby of the nature center and farm discovery center and can also be read online. A special version of the story and a commemorative troll map is now available for purchase at either the center or the farm for $5.00.

Is there a charge to visit Aullwood Audubon?

Aullwood Audubon is a private 501c3 nonprofit organization. Aullwood Audubon is not a part of Five Rivers MetroParks and does not receive tax dollars. Admission or membership is required to visit our nature center, farm, sanctuary and trails. General admission is free for children 3 and under, $8.00 for children 4 to 12, $12.00 for adults 13 to 64, and $10.00 for seniors age 65 and over and active duty military members. Admission to Aullwood is free for Friends of Aullwood members, National Audubon Society members and members of organizations who belong to the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA). Find out more about getting unlimited visits with our trolls and other benefits of being a Friends of Aullwood member on our membership page.  We have recently improved our signage and closed informal entrances to our site from other properties to clarify the admission requirement.

Your admission fees and memberships cover a crucial part of our operational expenses. Please make sure to stop in at the nature center or farm discovery center building to pay admission or purchase a Friends of Aullwood membership before visiting. Your support allows us to stay open to the public. Thank you!

When is Aullwood Audubon open? Is Aullwood Audubon open during the holiday?

Aullwood Audubon is open 9 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM Sunday. Aullwood's Nature Center, Farm Discovery Center, trails and property are closed on Mondays. Aullwood's facilities, trails and property will be closed on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Aullwood also closes at 3 PM on December 24 for Christmas Eve and is closed from December 25  through  January 1 for the winter holdays.

Aullwood Audubon is open rain or shine. General admission tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. For this reason, we recommend you carefully plan your visit to allow for adequate time to explore our property and "The Troll that Hatched an Egg" exhibit by Thomas Dambo.

Do you have to pay extra to see the trolls?

No, “The Troll That Hatched an Egg” exhibition is included with paid daily admission or membership at Aullwood Audubon. General admission is free for children 3 and under, $8.00 for children 4 to 12, $12.00 for adults 13 to 64, and $10.00 for seniors age 65 and over and active duty military members. Admission to Aullwood is free for Friends of Aullwood members, National Audubon Society members and members of organizations who belong to the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA). Find out more about getting unlimited visits with our trolls and other benefits of being a Friends of Aullwood member on our membership page.

How long does it take to see the trolls?

To help you plan your search for the trolls (using either the farm or nature center entrance) allow for:
 * 30 minutes to view one troll
 * 60 minutes to view two trolls
 * 3 hours to view all 3 trolls and the nest (approximately 3 miles round trip on foot)

How do I find the trolls?

Aullwood's trolls and nest are located at multiple sites throughout Aullwood's nature sanctuary and farm. For more details, see Aullwood's trail map. There are many different routes that can be taken to access the exhibition sites, but the 1.3 mile Troll Trail is an optimal route for seeing them all. (If you are uncomfortable using the Wiles Creek crossing, simply turn left or right on the paved trail to take a short detour using one of our bridges. The trail will bring you around on the other side of the creek so you can continue your troll hunt.) We suggest that you wear sturdy shoes or boots and dress appropriately for the weather.

Are the trolls accessible?

The trolls and nest are accessed via hiking trials that run throughout Aullwood's nature sanctuary and farm. The hiking trails are primitive and unimproved; some are steep and can be muddy. Our trolls cannot be viewed from a vehicle, and cannot be viewed or accessed directly from Aullwood Garden MetroPark or Englewood MetroPark. See Aullwood's trail map for details on where the trolls are located and more about our trail system. 

Are dogs permitted at Aullwood Audubon?

Dogs on leash are permitted at Aullwood Audubon, including on the Troll Trail. We do not allow retractable leashes on our property. Aullwood Farm features a variety of animals, so please keep this in mind if your dog doesn't always 'play well with others'.

How long will the trolls be at Aullwood Audubon? 

"The Troll that Hatched an Egg" is a permanent exhibit created especially for Aullwood Audubon by Thomas Dambo. These wooden structures will not, of course, last forever but we do expect them to remain intact for at least 5 years. Thomas expects that the trolls will eventually return to the earth from whence they came!

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