Former US Senator to Drive 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree

Former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell will, once again, take to the road to transport the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree from Colorado to Washington, D.C. according to Choose Outdoors 2102 US Capitol Christmas Tree National Director Bruce Ward.
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Former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell will, once again, take to the road to transport the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree from Colorado to Washington, D.C. according to Choose Outdoors 2102 US Capitol Christmas Tree National Director Bruce Ward.

For the past 42 years, the U.S. Forest Service has provided a tree for the west lawn of the Capitol building, which is decorated to celebrate the holiday season.

Campbell, of Colorado, said he has fond memories of driving the 2000 Capitol Christmas Tree and is looking forward to again driving the tree in a SmartWay-certified Mack Pinnacle Axle Back model, which will be custom-decorated for the journey.

"Mack Trucks also provided the Pinnacle models in 2000 to haul the tree to the nation's capital. The truck I drove had the tree, and another truck had seedlings from that tree. We left some of those seedlings in every location in which we stopped , and I like to think there are little trees all over the country from the 2000 Capitol Christmas Tree," Campbell said.

“What better way to deliver the Capitol Christmas Tree, a national treasure, than with a Mack, built, like all of our trucks, right here in the United States,” said John Walsh, Mack vice president of marketing. “We look forward to again participating in the Capitol Christmas Tree project with Senator Campbell and Choose Outdoors. We are pleased that the Senator is again driving a Mack Pinnacle, and we hope his experience is as memorable this time as it was in 2000.”

“In 2000, when we were on the road and we didn't take the interstate,” Campbell said. “We took two-lane roads to go through a lot of small towns where elementary schools knew we were coming. We stopped in school parking lots so kids could see the tree, which was covered by shrink-wrap. We had a trapdoor in the bottom of the truck so the kids could look up and see the tree.”

The third Mack Pinnacle in the convoy was filled with stuffed bulldog toys and we gave away hundreds along the way," Campbell said.

In the past, the Capitol Christmas Tree was shredded and converted to mulch after the holidays. Senator Campbell believed there had to be a better use.

"I thought that was a terrible waste," Campbell said. "So I asked Coors beer, who provided a truck free of charge (they have a plant in Virginia, not far from the Capital) to bring the tree back to Colorado. The groundskeepers of the Capitol cut the tree up into six-foot pieces, and Coors brought those back to Cripple Creek where the people of Cripple Creek made park benches.The smaller pieces were made into Christmas ornaments with a stamp saying they came from the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree burned onto the wood. I thought it was really innovative that we had a way to recycle that tree so it wouldn't go to waste, and that made kind of a nice impact on the community it came from, too."

“Choose Outdoors is honored to have him join the team to make this year a great success,” said Bruce Ward, Choose Outdoors founder.

About Choose Outdoors
Choose Outdoors is a national nonprofit organization promoting outdoor recreation and active lifestyles. Through support for public lands and waters, recreation infrastructure and programs connecting Americans to the outdoors, Choose Outdoors helps to give everyone a chance to get outside.

Find out more about Choose Outdoors and how to get involved at chooseoutdoors.org.

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