Explore the Willamette National Forest, home of the 2018 People's Tree

Every year a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season. This year, the Willamette National Forest, in partnership with nonprofit agency Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon, will bring this special gift from Oregon to Washington, D.C. for the 2018 holiday. 

On Friday, Nov. 2, the tree will be cut and prepared for the more than 3,000-mile journey that commemorates the second inspiration for the theme – the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail – by following a reverse path of the trail. A series of festive events will be hosted by local communities at museums, main streets, city halls, state capitols, markets, retailers, high schools, and even a parade.

The journey will culminate with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in early December. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent from the forest to Washington, D.C. to decorate government buildings and public spaces this December. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments.

About the Willamette National Forest, Oregon
With more than 1.5 million acres, the beautiful Willamette National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas – including the popular Three Sisters and Mt. Jefferson Wildernesses—and has over 1,700 miles of trails for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The varied landscapes of the high mountains, coastal rainforests, narrow canyons, and cascading streams offer visitors excellent opportunities to play and explore. Get out there and explore and use the #FindYourTrail hashtag to document and showcase your journey.


3 Ways to Get Involved

1. Find your Trail #FindYourTrail 

The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. There is a rich history of Oregon’s forests providing for the needs of Oregonians. The Willamette National Forest provides recreational opportunities, fishing, hunting, foraging, firewood, minerals, wood products and, of course, Christmas trees. 

2. Create an Ornament bound for D.C.

We need your help to create a total of 10,000 handmade ornaments to send to our nation's capital to decorate these Christmas trees. There are several ways to get involved whether hosting your own ornament making event or attending one. Learn more and find out how you can make an ornament for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at www.capitolchristmastree.com 

3. Find the Tree in your Community

A series of festive events will be hosted by local communities at museums, main streets, city halls, state capitols, markets, retailers, high schools, and even a parade. Attendees will have the chance to sign banners on the sides of the truck to wish the tree well, learn more about the Willamette National Forest and the great state of Oregon, purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and more.

Leave only footprints, take only pictures and memories from your adventures on the Willamette National Forest.  

With so many ways to explore the Willamette National Forest this season we want to remind you to always be safe and responsible. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Know before you go by reading these guidelines to Fire Prevention and Leave No Trace.  Don't forget to share your adventures with us! Use hashtags #FindYourTrail#USCapitolChristmasTree and #ItsAllYours 

 If you would like more information about the Capitol Christmas Tree project please email: capitolchristmastree2018@gmail.com

PHONE: 866.548.5018
EMAIL: info@oregonwinecountry.org
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