Cortez saw a massive crowd of supporters gather on Friday, Nov. 9, to witness the Capitol Christmas Trees journey to Washington, D.C. What was even more important than the turnout and the event was the significance of the trees birthplace.
The 73-foot tall spruce was cut down near Meeker in the White River National Forest. Residents of Cortez were happy to know that in the Capitol trees history, on only three occasions had a Capitol Christmas tree been chosen from Colorado.
And no one was prouder than the Girl Scouts of our area. Troop 2619 and Troop 1199 were present for the trees arrival. Dena Thomason is the Girl Scout leader for Troop 2619 of the Mesa Verde Service Unit for Southwestern Colorado.
There is so much fun to be had in Colorado, Thomason said. This is great advertisement for us. We are very proud of our state.
Thomasons troop of girls, are among the 5,000 Colorado children providing handcrafted ornaments for the Capitol tree. They made a total of six ornaments under the criteria specified by the Capitol tree campaign.
The theme was the great outdoors, Thomason said. They requested the materials we use to be inexpensive and we had to have them shipped to the Blanco Ranger District by Oct. 15.
Their ornaments were hand-painted on recycled wooden discs. The girls chose rainbows, horses and trees as their subjects. They were happy to take part and Thomason saw the opportunity as a chance for her troop to shine. She said all the girls enjoy outdoor activities as well as painting, so this was a great project for them to participate in.
Along with the Capitol spruce, many other companion trees were delivered to the Washington, D.C. dignitaries, the Interior Department and Congressional Delegates.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado were asked to help decorate and create tree skirts for the companion trees. Troop 2619 extended their creativity a little further to also make a skirt. They stuck with the same theme, the great outdoors, and painted a picture which Thomason then transferred to the fabric.
They worked so hard on their paintings and drawings, Thomason said. Seeing that tree come around the corner (on Friday) was wonderful. It was such a good feeling to know that we were part of a fun project that went all the way to Washington D.C.
The entire Southwest Colorado Girl Scout Program participated in the tree skirt project with a total of 14 skirts from Cortez, Mancos, Dolores and Durango being sent off to adorn the trees at the Capitol.
The Capitol Christmas Tree is still on the road and is expected to be in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 26. There will be a special lighting ceremony led by the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, in which all of the ornaments collected from Colorados children will be seen.