As we approach the end of the year, millions of Americans are counting their blessings and many are bringing Christmas trees into their homes to celebrate the season. At USDA, the Forest Service helps with the nation’s holiday traditions by providing a tree to be displayed as the Capitol Christmas Tree. This year’s tree, a 65-feet tall Blue spruce, will be will be officially lit today at 5:00 PM EST by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Kaitlyn Ferenick, a 7th grade student from Arizona.
The tree was harvested from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, the first time the state of Arizona has had the honor of providing what is often called ‘The People’s Tree.’ Arizona Governor, Janice K. Brewer, members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation, and the Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 Steering Committee will also be presiding over the ceremonial lighting.
The Blue spruce has been decorated by over 6,000 handcrafted ornaments by the school children of Arizona and will be decorated with more than 10,000 energy efficient LED lights. Before traveling across the county to Washington D.C, the tree made stops in 28 communities across Arizona. And this year, for the first time ever, The Capitol Christmas Tree’s traditional journey, which spanned nearly 4,000 miles across the Nation, was followed by thousands of Americans on the web using Twitter and Facebook.
To learn more about the Forest Services’ work to preserve and protect our nation’s forested landscapes, increase water quality, and create wealth in rural communities visit the Forest Service website.