Community Forestry Brings Holiday Spirit to Downtown

Boise Parks and Recreation’s Community Forestry unit plays an integral role in making the Downtown Boise Holiday Tree Lighting a reality. The team is responsible for the coordination and decoration of tree that lights up the Grove Plaza throughout the Christmas season.

Tree being transported to the Grove

Each year, a tree is donated by a Boise family to grace the Grove Plaza from November through early January. This year’s white fir was donated by the Woodward family in Southwest Boise. It’s 45 feet tall and weighs about 9,000 pounds. The Woodwards donated the tree for the community to enjoy because it had grown too large for their yard.

Community Forestry has partnered with the Downtown Boise Association (DBA) for 29 years to locate, coordinate the move and decorate the tree for the annual Downtown Boise Holiday Tree Lighting. The setup includes stringing thousands of lights to cover each branch.

As you can imagine, it’s not an easy task to move a 9,000-pound tree from Southwest Boise to downtown. The Community Forestry team worked alongside Inland Crane to lift and place the tree on a flatbed and once it was ready to transport, Boise Police provided an escort to safely navigate city streets to the tree’s downtown destination. Other agencies and utilities involved in helping with the tree’s transport each year include the Ada County Highway District, Idaho Power, Sparklight, the Idaho Transportation Department and the City of Boise’s Public Works Department.

Some fun facts about the tree and lighting ceremony:

  • The tree has more than 5,200 lights on it
  • The DBA passes out approximately 4,000 candles to community members during the lighting ceremony
  • The DBA also partners with the Women’s and Children’s Alliance to place gift tags around the base of the tree so community members can fulfill wish list items for the local nonprofit

Everyone is welcome to attend the free tree lighting ceremony on the Grove Plaza. It will be held on November 29 starting at 5 p.m. There will be live music and Mayor Dave Bieter will officially turn on the tree’s lights at 6:30 p.m.

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