Pay-What-You-Can Christmas Tree Lot
GVLT, HRDC, the Help Center, Montana Conservation Corps and the Visscher family of Bozeman are teaming up to bring a "Pay What You Can" Christmas Tree Lot to Bozeman's Feed Café. Volunteers will be at the Christmas Tree Lot in the Feed Café parking lot from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 3rd - Saturday, December 5th to take donations for the trees and help load them on to vehicles. The Visscher family wants to make sure that everyone who wants a tree this holiday season, can have one, regardless of their ability to pay.
With the help of Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), the Visscher family of Bozeman, Montana, is harvesting and donating 150 Douglas fir trees from their land to raise money for HRDC, MCC, GVLT and the Help Center. The trees will be available at a “pay-what-you-can” lot Thursday, December 3 through Saturday, December 5, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the front lawn of Feed Café, located at 1530 W Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715. All proceeds from the trees will be split and donated to HRDC, GVLT and the Warming Center.
The Visscher Family partnered with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust in 2008 to conserve their 320 acre property in Kelly Canyon, ensuring it remains undeveloped and open for wildlife and agriculture forever. Each year, GVLT visits the property to ensure compliance of the conservation agreement and this year’s visit sparked an idea to blend forest management practices and community benefit.
“We were standing on a ridge, looking down at a part of our property that we’ve always called ‘the Christmas Tree Forest,’ discussing that we needed to thin the trees for forest health,” said Landowner Anna Visscher. “Then someone came up with the idea for a donated Christmas tree lot. It was a perfect fit to manage our land in a responsible way and create some happiness and joy.”
Harvesting the 150 Douglas Fir trees from the conserved parcel will reduce the spread of insect pests and diseases, and suppress wildfire hazard. MCC AmeriCorps crew members and GVLT volunteers will help harvest the trees and bring them to Feed Café. The Visscher family wants to make sure that everyone who wants a tree this holiday season can have one, regardless of their ability to pay.
“Keep in mind, these weren’t grown to be Christmas trees, so they’re a little ‘Charlie Brown-ish,’” Anna said. “This has been a hard year. If we can make just one family happy this Christmas, we’ll consider it a success.”
COVID-19 precautions are in place, including a mask and social distancing requirement, as well as a limitation on the number of people in the space.
To make a donation to the tree lot, click here.
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Development & Events Coordinator