SWEET HOME, OREGON – The Willamette Valley Visitors Association has launched a Christmas tree ornament hunt in the Willamette National
Forest to inspire and increase outdoor recreation activities, connect locals and travelers to public lands, and to win prizes. Two hundred glass ornaments
will be hidden along non-wilderness trails on the Willamette National Forest beginning May 24, 2018 for lucky adventurers to find. In addition to a
keepsake ornament, over 120 lucky winners will be awarded prizes and all entrants will be automatically entered to win the grand prize: a trip for
two to Washington D.C. to attend the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting and festivities.
The ornament hunt will highlight 1,700 miles of trails on the Willamette National Forest. The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. There is a rich history of Oregon’s forests providing for the needs of Oregonians. The Willamette National Forest provides recreational opportunities, fishing, hunting, foraging, firewood, minerals, wood products and, of course, Christmas trees. We hope this exciting ornament hunt will inspire people to explore the Willamette National Forest and all it has to offer.
The Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest is responsible for providing the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. The Willamette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon will bring this special gift from Oregon to Washington D.C. for the 2018 holiday season with support from sponsors, including the Willamette Valley Visitors Association. The tree will be cut on the Sweet Home Ranger District in early November and prepared for the 3,000-mile expedition to Washington D.C. The coast-to-coast journey will trace the Oregon Trail in reverse and include a series of community celebrations throughout Oregon and across the United States. The journey will culminate with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in early December. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent to Washington, D.C. to decorate government buildings and public spaces this December. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments, to be created throughout 2018. (Learn more through the "Participate" pages on the website.)
The Willamette Valley Visitors Association website will serve as the hub for contest winners to claim their prizes throughout the contest which will run from Memorial Day weekend to October 2, 2018, the anniversary of the National Trails System Act.
We encourage sharing adventures using the hashtags: #FindYourTrail, #FindYourOrnament, #USCapitolChristmasTree and #ItsAllYours
For more information on Willamette National Forest trails where ornaments have been hidden, https://go.usa.gov/xQyCN
For more information: Capitol Christmas Tree website, capitolchristmastree.com
To get involved: email the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree email
Ornament Hunt Media Contact: Becca Barnhart, Willamette Valley Visitors Association