Local Growers Send Christmas Trees to Cheer US Troops
Christmas trees from twenty-five growers across New Hampshire and Vermont were collected at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests Rocks Estate Christmas Tree Farm in Bethlehem, NH as part of a nationwide effort called “Trees for Troops.” This program provides Christmas trees to US military families at home and abroad.
Nigel Manley, Manager of the Rocks Christmas Tree Farm, and who has also been the Chairman of the national Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, the organizer of the Trees for Troops program, coordinates the collection of the trees from the New Hampshire and Vermont region. Trees were donated by growers from both states and by regional businesses, schools and individuals. Each year fifth grade students from the Bethlehem Elementary School help tag and load the trees for shipping.
Over 450 trees were loaded by the volunteers into a FedEx trailer for ultimate delivery to military bases in Georgia. NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Shawn Jasper, greeted the children and volunteers assembled and thanked them for their good work. Then the students and volunteers from the Bank of NH, local program supporter, formed an assembly line to load the trees onto the truck while they sang Christmas carols.
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, the charitable branch of the National Christmas Tree Association, and FedEx have partnered on this effort to boost the Christmas spirit for U.S. military men and women. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the program where Christmas tree growers and retailers have donated real Christmas trees to be distributed at military bases in the U.S. and overseas. Since the program began over 260,000 trees have been donated. The trees reach those serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard.
For more information about “Trees for Troops”, visit Christmas Spirit Foundation – Trees for Troops. For more information about where to find Christmas Trees for your own holiday celebration, visit New Hampshire Vermont Christmas Tree Association: Farm Fresh Christmas Trees and Wreaths (nh-vtchristmastree.org) or New Hampshire Christmas Trees (nhchristmastrees.com).
About the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food
The mission of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food is to support and promote agriculture and serve consumers and business for the benefit of the public health, environment and economy. For more information, visit agriculture.nh.gov.