Looking for a new downtown Christmas tree
LOCK HAVEN — Residents of the city may have noticed something missing this week in Triangle Park.
The downtown Christmas tree was recently removed because it was “looking sickly,” Lock Haven City Manager Gregory Wilson said.
It is the second time a permanent Christmas tree has been removed from the park in the last year.
The first tree planted in the park was donated in November 2014 by Terry Banfill and Randy Gillen and their families.
They purchased the tree from Brian Poorman, owner of the former Poorman’s Island Farm Market.
In the fall of 2017, it was discovered that the tree was diseased, so Poorman replaced it with a new one.
It seems that luck hasn’t been on the side of the downtown Christmas tree, however.
Wilson said he was recently approached by Banfill and Gillen, who were concerned that the tree was beginning to look unhealthy.
So the city removed the tree, Wilson said.
Only a small circle of mulch and dirt remains in that spot.
The city plans to find another tree, whether through donation or another means, Wilson said.
In the past, the city, partnering with Downtown Lock Haven Inc., asked the public to donate a tree and it was cut down and delivered to Triangle Park where it was decorated for the holidays.
Maria Boileau, former manager of Downtown Lock Haven Inc., said the tradition of donating a tree for Triangle Park and decorating it as the city’s Christmas tree was decades old.
During her time as manager of Downtown Lock Haven Inc., she said multiple people sought to have trees on their properties cut and displayed in the park for Christmas.
City workers would drive all over the area to view the trees and pick one, she said.
Often times, those who would donate it would be asked to dedicate the tree in memory of a loved one, she said.
Then four years ago, it was decided to plant a tree in the park and allow it to grow as the city’s Christmas tree. Thus, the donation by the Banfills and Gillens.
Each year a tree lighting ceremony in the park is part of Haven Holidays and brings out hundreds of people. That tradition will likely continue.
The only question is where will the tree come from.