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Meet Colorado's newest troll: 'Rita the Rock Planter'

Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-05 13:08:45-04

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado’s newest troll is complete. The wooden sculpture, “Rita the Rock Planter,” is made entirely of recycled wood and resides in Teller County.

The sculpture, created by artist Thomas Dambo, joins the popular Breckenridge troll as a hiking destination in Colorado’s mountains.

The Teller County troll was unveiled Friday near Victor. Rita kneels on a scenic trail outside of the mountain town, just a few miles from Cripple Creek.

Inspired by the gold mines of the town, Dambo designed the sculpture, and its backstory, to be "working."

“Trolls know stones have no legs, so it’s rude to remove one stone from a family of stones,” Dambo told Denver7 Thursday. “Rita likes to reconnect them and plant them with their family.”


Rita is part of a broader project called "Way of the Bird King," in which Dambo travels from Vermont across the country to Washington and builds 10 trolls and thousands of birdhouses along the way.

“It just means so much to people to be a part of something funny and something with a positive message,” he said.

Dambo said he has completed 119 sculptures and birdhouses so far and has six left to go in the project.

A celebration to welcome Rita to the community continues Saturday in Victor.

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