The Rotary Club of Zachary and students from Zachary Career and Technical Center came together Feb. 11 for a project involving the Freedom Eagle sculpture near the intersection of Church Street and Rollins Road in the center of town.

Rotarians funded the cost of a small fence by donating $180 for material. Students taking construction and woodworking classes at the Career and Technical Center participated by building the fence around the monument.

The Freedom Eagle monument, sculpted by chainsaw artist Burt Fleming of Zachary, was carved from the trunk of a 100-year-old live oak after arborists determined the tree was decaying and had become a safety hazard, city officials said.

The tree’s low-hanging limbs were a potential threat to the safety of pedestrians, mainly students walking home from nearby Zachary High, and passing motorists, Mayor David Amrhein said in 2013.

Initially, the tree was dedicated to deceased soldiers from the area. A metal plaque at the site reads: In memory of the comrades of our community who fought during the World War for God and country.

On Arbor Day 2014, another live oak was planted and the Freedom Eagle was officially dedicated to veterans past and present, those serving and those inspired to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, Amrhein said.

City officials said the Freedom Eagle monument was chosen and named because the bald eagle symbolizes freedom.