U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Twin Cities During 2014 Tour


Dovetail Partners Proudly Supports the "People's Tree"


(Minneapolis, MN) - For the past 50 years a beautiful tree has appeared on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. during the holiday season. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with Choose Outdoors, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, along with help from supporters including Dovetail Partners will bring this special gift from the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota to Washington, D.C. for the 2014 season. The tree will make more than 30 stops on its way across the country, including three events in the Twin Cities on November 6th and 8th.

"Dovetail is honored to support this year's People's Tree provided by the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota, and the companion trees provided by the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association," states Kathryn Fernholz, Dovetail Partners' Executive Director. "The tour will provide an opportunity to celebrate the season while highlighting the environmental, social and economic benefits that sustainably managed forestlands offer." 


The People's Tree - an 80-foot white spruce - began its journey with a public ceremony on October 29th. With great fanfare, the tree left the Chippewa National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol, where the official tree lighting will take place in early December. Seventy companion trees will be provided by the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association to decorate the inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C.. There will also be 10,000 ornaments created by children and others from Minnesota communities as a gift from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."


Festivities in the Twin Cities begin with a stop at Garlough Elementary School in West Saint Paul November 6th from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Students and teachers have been busy preparing for the visit, with special curriculum and activities, along with decorating ornaments to send along with the tree to the U.S. Capitol. 


The second stop on November 6th will be at Lifetouch Photography in Eden Prairie. Employees and their families, along with local, state and federal officials, Eden Prairie business community leaders, and administrators and educators from Eden Prairie Schools will attend. Lifetouch Photography is a major supporter of the 2014 tour.


The third event is open to the public and will take place at Northern Star Council's Base Camp at Fort Snelling on November 8th from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Joining the U.S. Forest Service and Choose Outdoors are representatives from the DNR, Minnesota Christmas Tree Association, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, City of Lakes Rotary Club, Salvation Army and special appearances by Smokey Bear and Santa Claus. In addition to the tree being on display outdoors, indoor festivities will include ornament decorating, wreath making demonstrations, cookie decorating, archery and rock climbing (for a small fee), tour merchandise, tree cutting permits, bow permits and more. Food donations will be collected to benefit the Neighborhood Food Shelf. A short program will take place at 4:30 p.m. The event is free to attend. There is  a small charge only for adventure activities hosted by the Northern Star Council.


Costs associated with the tree's transportation and special events are made possible by contributions from individuals, corporations and local communities, including major supporters Lifetouch Photography and Kenworth Truck Company.


"This year's tour is only possible with the help of strong community partnerships throughout Minnesota and beyond state lines," states Bruce Ward, founder of Choose Outdoors, the nonprofit partner of the Forest Service.


For news, updates, and tour information, including a real-time cross-country tree tracker, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram




About Chippewa National Forest
The Chippewa National Forest is the first national forest established west of the Mississippi River, with nearly 1.6 million acres at the River's headwaters in north-central Minnesota. The Forest shares boundaries with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and contains outstanding cultural resources; premier habitat for aquatic, riparian and terrestrial wildlife and plants, including nesting habitat for the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states; and vast wetland resources.


About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land; provides assistance to state and private landowners; and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.


About Choose Outdoors

Choose Outdoors is a coalition for outdoor recreation comprised of people and organizations who are passionate about outdoor recreation, support public lands, waters, and the agencies charged with their care.