together for a Community Christmas tree
By now, many of you have had the opportunity to view the Community Christmas tree, a sixteen foot white fir, located in front of the Nuxoll Shell Service Station.
It was easy for the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce to decide, nearly a year ago, to bring back the tradition of a Community Christmas tree. According to Debby Arnzen, “Cottonwood has been without a community tree for 15 years.”
Employees of the Bureau of Land Management, Cottonwood Field Office used their personal finances to purchase the federal permit required to cut a Christmas tree from public lands. “The hardest part was finding a tree we all could agree would represent our pride in our Community”, said BLM Forester Eric Geisler. According to Geisler, it took four employees to drag the tree over 200 feet in knee deep brush and snow to the flatbed trailer and load it. The tree was selected from the Fishcreek area of the Nez Perce National Forest.
Wimer Machine Shop designed, fabricated, and donated the heavy duty commercial grade tree stand. The City of Cottonwood painted the stand a holiday color of red and green then bolted it into the concrete sidewalk for stability. Handmade ornaments were provided by the Prairie High School Tech Club and Jerry Richardson.
The Northern Idaho Correctional Institution met the Bureau of Land Management with an offender work crew of six. The sixteen foot tree was raised and lowered three times before the tree trunk fit in the stand just right. “It is harder than it looks to get a tree that size to stand straight”, said Sergeant John Roberts. “But we got the job done”.
The City of Cottonwood also provided personnel, gravel for the stand base, and the front end loader to assist the decorators. The lights, extension cord, and timer are compliments of the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to providing the location for the Christmas tree, Don Nuxoll is also providing the electricity to power the holiday lights.
The Christmas tree itself is a symbol of community. “It took numerous businesses and organizations to pull together in order to make this happen” said Debby Arnzen. “The Christmas tree is the focus of downtown where many folks will come together for holiday events.”
The Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a day of holiday festivities on Sunday, December 21st. Among them, the 6th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade, a chance to visit Santa, and a community baked potato dinner.
For more information about community festivities on December 21st or how to join the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, please call Dar Forsmann at 962-3980 or 962-3204 or Tara Ross at 962-3451.