"Holiday in the National Parks" Celebrated at the White House
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Point Reyes National Seashore Ornament Displayed on the Official White House Christmas Tree
(Point Reyes Station, California) – Point Reyes National Seashore ornament is prominently displayed on this year’s official White House Christmas Tree. The tree is the centerpiece of elaborate decorations celebrating the theme of "Holiday in the National Parks."
"It is an amazing honor for the National Park Service to be selected as the theme for the White House holiday decorations by the President and Mrs. Bush," said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. "Mrs. Bush is the best champion for our national parks, and the beautiful decorations in each state room showcase the natural and historical treasures found in parks throughout the country."
The tree, located in the Blue Room, is adorned with handmade ornaments representing the country’s 391 National Park Service sites. "Each ornament on the magnificent 18-foot Fraser fir was designed by an artist selected by the park," said Bomar. "The ornaments tell the stories of our parks, just as our parks tell the stories of our nation."
Located just an hour’s drive from the San Francisco Bay Area populated by eight million people, Point Reyes National Seashore comprises over 71,000 acres, including 32,000 acres of wilderness. Estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal grasslands, salt marshes, and coniferous forests create a haven of 80 miles of unspoiled and undeveloped coastline.
The large gold ornament was decorated with two scenes of the historic Point Reyes Light with one view depicting the lighthouse in the golden light of sunset, while two images of the cliffs of Drakes Beach appear as well. Artist Bobbie Belvel, a local west Marin resident and employee of Point Reyes National Seashore, was chosen to produce the ornament. "Bobbie is a wonderful, talented artist who captured the iconic symbols of the Seashore that many people familiar with the park will recognize," stated Superintendent Don Neubacher.
The holiday displays incorporate the wide variety of natural, cultural, and recreational features preserved by the National Park Service. Models of icons such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Statue of Liberty share space with paintings of scenic vistas from Grand Canyon, Zion, and Rocky Mountain National Parks.
A highlight of the decorations is a scaled-down, but architecturally accurate, gingerbread reproduction of the south view of the White House, a unit of the National Park Service. The edible masterpiece includes Bush family pets Barney, Miss Beazley, and Willie frolicking on the lawn with moose, elk, raccoons, and other animals found in national parks
"National Parks commemorate the people, places, and events that define the American experience," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. "I am so appreciative of President Bush’s efforts to recognize the important role of national parks in American society. Our country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and the President has been instrumental in establishing the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare the parks for the next century."
Electronic images are available upon request. Please email John Dell’Osso.