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Destin residents aren't ready to let go of legendary Magnolia tree

DESTIN  --  People in Destin aren't letting go of a popular magnolia tree at the Destin Harborwalk.
Destin's legendary magnolia tree, which died earlier this year, is estimated to have lived around 170 years, far older than most magnolia trees do.

And perhaps that's because of efforts of Destin residents to preserve this tree because of its place in Destin history.

The Kelly Trust has commissioned sculptor Marlin Miller to turn the tree into a sculpture representing the wildlife and legends of Destin.

In the tree, you can see a sea turtle, frequently seen swimming around the east pass and Gulf of Mexico. You can also see a mermaid, a pod of dolphins, and later, when Marlin returns to complete the sculpture in late April, he'll add blue herons, pelicans, redfish, and other wildlife and birds found in and around Destin.

Now rumor has it that Leonard Destin, the founder of the city, would tie his boat to the tree during storms to keep it safe.

Harborwalk Village has also taken seeds and clippings from the tree and will plant them to grow offspring from the tree and will plant them to grow offspring in the future to preserve the tree as long as possible.