Updated: November 23, 2020 06:21 PM
Created: November 23, 2020 04:39 PM
Many holiday traditions will look different in 2020, the year of COVID-19.
For example, people won't be able to go cut down a tree at the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center. There also won't be wreath making workshops at the Glensheen Mansion.
But that doesn't mean you can't get a whiff of fresh, local Balsam in your home. Director Ryan Hueffmeier said his staff just had to get creative.
"Hey, we can still make wreaths. But let's bring it to people's homes," he said. "Let's let them as a family in their pod be able to still get the beautiful smell of Balsam. And it's something that in my belief, you can't screw up a wreath."
Boulder Lake is selling DIY wreath kits. They come with a 10" or 12" frame, wire, accents, and Balsam boughs. Those boughs are sustainably gathered.
"Balsams are what are considered a ladder fuel. They burn hot, they burn fast, and they can bring fire up into the crowns of the big red and white pines and larger trees," Hueffmeier said. "So one of the things that we're doing by going out and thinning these Balsams is we're removing fuel."
It's sustainable because volunteers only remove 40-50% of the tree, so they can repeat the process on the same tree in 3-5 years.
Picking up the DIY kits will be a contactless process. They can be ordered at boulderlake.org and picked up from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Environmental Learning Center. Or for an extra $10, a kit can be delivered within a 25-mile radius. A video will walk through how to assemble the wreath.
10" wreath kits are $20. 12" kits are $25.
"The money that these kits raise goes to remove barriers to people participating in our program. So for example, it will cover program and busing fees," Hueffmeier explained. "It also goes toward some internship stipends to allow students that are learning this to actually get out and practice it hands-on."
And it ensures that Boulder Lake has enough equipment like snowshoes and canoes to make their activities a good experience.
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