Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

There are two big trolls in neighboring Austin parks — and they might be in love

A large wooden statue of a troll sits in the middle of the road with its arms raised wildly.
Julius Shieh
KUT News
The BEPI Park troll's creator thinks his troll and the Pease Park troll could "get together at Pease Park and hook up and have troll babies."

Pease Park will soon get an 18-foot-tall wooden troll sculpture. But ahead of its opening, Austinites can find a similar (if slightly more disheveled) troll at a miniature park just a few blocks away.

“When I heard that the Pease Park was going to be installing that incredible troll as part of a big, large art project, I thought, ‘Well, BEPI Park needs to have its own troll as well,’” Gary Schumann, the caretaker of BEPI Park, told KUT.

West Austin’s BEPI Park is a 50-square-foot traffic median at the intersections of Baylor, Enfield and Parkway roads. After the City of Austin installed the median in front of Schumann’s house seven years ago for pedestrian safety, he took over its landscaping — and gave it a bit of a cheeky personality.

A close up of the troll, showing its large wooden face, teeth made of wooden fencing, facial hair made of mops and brooms, and eyes made of circular wooden discs.
Julius Shieh
KUT News
"When I'm out there working on it, literally every car will stop and people roll down their windows and talk to me," Schumann said.

BEPI Park has been a mini-golf course, a Squid Game-inspired holiday display, a community vegetable garden and even an active volcano. Now, it’s a wild troll that Schumann imagines as a perfect companion for the bigger one down the street.

A giant wooden troll head is supported by a wooden structure in the forest.
Julius Shieh
KUT News
The Pease Park troll — BEPI Park troll's beau — is under construction until March 15.

The Pease Park troll is the latest project of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who has built more than 100 trolls across the world using local, recycled materials. Construction is currently underway on the trail just north of Kingsbury Commons and will finish on March 15.

Schumann took inspiration from Dambo’s designs to build the BEPI Park troll, also leaning on recycled materials. Scrap wood from an old chicken coop makes up much of the face and body, and a barrel from a Hill Country winery serves as the troll’s torso. The arms and legs are branches from a crepe myrtle tree. All in all, Schumann said the troll stands about 12 feet tall.

“I think my troll is very Austinite,” he said. “All the different parts of it are just very local, and things that speak to Austin.”

Schumann spent about three days building the BEPI Park troll and installed it with his friends overnight on Saturday, in the hopes of surprising parkgoers Sunday morning. The troll will stay at BEPI Park for around three months.

Even though the Pease Park and BEPI Park trolls have a lot in common, they diverge in personality, Schumann said.

“The Pease Park troll is up in the woods, and it's very peaceful and tranquil,” he said. “Whereas my troll is out in the middle of this busy street, and it's gesticulating wildly. And what I'm telling people it's saying is, ‘Slow down, slow down!’ It's like a cranky, crazy old man in the middle of the street, waving his arms at the traffic.”

After all, opposites attract. And yes, Schumann envisions the two trolls as more than friends.

“The Pease Park troll is a lady troll, and our troll is a man troll,” he said. “Maybe they'll get together at Pease Park and hook up and have troll babies. I told my husband that, and he said he thought that was weird.”

The seeds of a relationship have already been planted. The Pease Park Conservancy has already complimented the BEPI Park troll on Facebook.

In the age of social media, that’s basically a declaration of love.

If you found this reporting valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on Thanks for donating today.

Chelsey Zhu is the digital producer at KUT. Got a tip? You can email her at
Related Content