This week Alaskan youth traveled to DC to celebrate the lighting of the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree and share their experiences with the Chugach Children’s Forest. Each year since 1970 the Capitol Christmas tree has come from one of the country’s National Forests. This year the tree came from the Chugach National Forest and was the first tree to come from Alaska! Along with the tree, Alaskans sent over 4,000 handcrafted ornaments to decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree and many “companion trees” in DC offices. Making, collecting, and packing 4,000 ornaments is no small task and the six students who traveled to DC all helped to make it happen by leading ornament making events in their communities, packing all the ornaments to be shipped, and sharing theirs stories about experiences with the Chugach Children’s Forest.
While in DC the youth met with the Chief of the Forest Service, Tom Tidwell (pictured above), and other Forest Service staff and the Alaska congressional delegation. They shared their connection to the Chugach Children’s Forest, experiences they’ve had on Children’s Forest expeditions, their passion for stewardship, and their ideas on how to engage diverse Alaskan youth with the outdoors.
They attended the lighting of the tree on December 2 and we are eager to hear their stories when they return.
Follow their trip on Facebook and at #AKtoDC