It is a big dream for a little town, but Historic Clyde Inc is hoping Project Karearea will further put Clyde on the map.

The project will see a 5.5m-high sculpture of a karearea, or New Zealand native falcon, installed alongside State Highway 8 near the hilltop entrance to Clyde.

The sculpture will depict the karearea in flight, soaring above the area.

Historic Clyde community group member Janeice Young said the group felt Clyde needed a marker, that was unique to the town.

Cromwell had the fruit, Alexandra had its signs at the entrance to the town be good for Clyde to have its own distinct marker too, she said.

“It’s all about increasing the profile of Clyde and just making people aware that the village is here,” she said.

The falcon was an obvious choice to represent the town, she said.

“The falcons we see in the area all the time here – they’re synonymous with the area,” she said.

Historic Clyde community group member Marnie Kelly agreed.

“We think we need a refreshing look and we thought this would be wonderful, and something that Clyde could be remembered for.”

Community response all supported the project, she said.

A artist rendering of the Karearea statue in the planned location.

The sculpture will sit on a large grassy mound on Contact Energy-owned land between the highway and side road leading to the Dairy Creek boat ramp.

Contact Energy has verbally granted a licence to occupy, providing the sculpture and surrounding area is upkept.

An adjacent car park allowed for people to stop, take photos and explore the area, Mrs Kelly said.

“The reason we’ve put it up so high is so you can see it from both sides of the highway, and also for safety – and it’s a good car park off the road.”

The area would be enhanced with picnic tables added to encourage people to stop, she said.

Glenorchy artist Dan Kelly has been commissioned to create the karearea.

Kelly’s career spans 30 years and he is known for creating New Zealand birds rendered in recycled metals.

The karearea will be constructed from recycled material fixed on to an 8m air-dried blue gum log, with a plinth set two metres into the ground with a concrete foundation.

Mrs Young said the group were thrilled to have an artist of Kelly’s calibre to create the sculpture.

“We’re talking a lot with Dan about creating the bird in flight and working in its natural environment.”

With project costs reaching $74,000, fundraising efforts have begun with a businesses being approached for sponsorship, and a social media awareness campaign launched.

Fundraising events are planned for early next year, with a Steptoe auction scheduled for Waitangi weekend and a dinner at the Packing Shed.

Mrs Young said the group were keen to hear from anyone who wanted to be part of the project.