More Than A Truck and A Tree

More Than A Truck and A Tree

On November 5, 2020 members of the United States Forest Service successfully harvested the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forests of Colorado. Despite the tumult of the global COVID-19 Pandemic and a contentious presidential election these dedicated men and women in partnership with corporate sponsors, small private businesses, local government agencies and nonprofit organizations coordinated the complicated task of extracting an 55-foot tall 82- year-old Engleman Spruce Tree for safe transport by truck to Washington D.C. Taken from the GMUG, the ancestral homeland of the Ute Indian Tribe, this towering evergreen will now be carefully wrapped as an enormous gift to the American people. Known across the nation as The People’s Tree it will stand through the holiday season on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building as a monument to our shared values of national unity and the conservation of our natural environment, these public lands of many uses.

Next week we’ll begin the long road trip around the state of Colorado and then we’ll head east hauling the tree behind a brand new Kenworth truck. But it’s important to understand that this event is about far more than a truck and a tree. For the past six years The Joy Trip Project has been proud to follow the journey of the People’s Tree from its home forest to our nation’s capital. I have had the great pleasure and privilege to tell its story in photographs through the bright and smiling faces of the many thousands of citizens who come out to see the tree as it passes through small rural towns and big cities from one end of our country to the other. In all time that I have worked on this particular project I am constantly amazed and pleased to see how easily people can set aside their partisan differences, no matter how profound, to join in common celebration of our shared heritage.

During this current period of political polarization I am grateful for the opportunity once again to bear witness to the joy of all those who see the People’s Tree and I am honored to share these images that I hope will inspire our nation to come together as truly United States of America.

See you soon!

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is organized by Choose Outdoors

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