Enchanted Highway seeks help from lawmakers to help maintain sculptures

The Enchanted Highway is a 30 mile stretch of road off of I-94 that goes from Gladstone, ND to Regent, ND..    

However, the scrap metal sculptures that draw tourists down the highway are in a state of disrepair, and the project’s creator is hoping the state can help him out.

The Enchanted Highway features seven scrap metal sculptures, including the world’s largest Geese in Flight.

Sculptor Gary Greff started creating them almost 30 years ago, so they would be a gateway to his small town of Regent, whose economy was crumbling.

However, several years of North Dakota weather has taken a toll on the sculptures, and the one that is getting hit the hardest is Fisherman’s Dream.

Greff said seeing the sculptures in a state of disrepair is a painful sight for him.

“It takes a little bit out of me. I want them to look right,” said Greff. 

On some of the statues, the paint is starting to erode, and the scales on some of the fish at Fisherman’s Dream are starting to fall off, causing a pile of scrap metal to accumulate at the site. 

“The wind starts moving it like this and after a million movements It breaks off,” said Greff. 

He said each sculpture would cost him at least $40,000 to repair, which is a little more than he has in his wallet.

“We run a small gift shop(in Regent) where I raise my funds. It makes around $20,000, so basically, I am behind the Eight Ball before I start,” said Greff.

The sculptor is hoping lawmakers approve a Commerce Department funding bill (HB 1018), which contains a section for $250,000 in Sculpture Maintenance Grants, but the grant money would have to be matched dollar for dollar by Greff.

“I would probably go through Gofundme unless someone out there would like to match it for me,” said Greff.

He also said that if the money isn’t approved by the legislature, he may have to dismantle some of the sculptures. 

However, he hopes it doesn’t come to that and he can start repairing them this Summer, and within two years have them looking better than ever.

The Senate passed the funding bill on Monday, 42-4.

It now has to be voted on in the House.


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