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Contact: Betsy Duncan-Clark, (775) 234-7331, extension 215
(Baker, NV) – Great Basin National Park’s 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.”
The Great Basin National Park ornament was created by Interpretive Park Ranger Roberta Moore. The original ornament was gold colored, but Roberta changed it to dark blue and replaced the gold ornament hanger cap with a silver cap (Nevada is the Silver State). On the upper half of the ornament, Roberta depicted the park with the South Snake Range, Bristlecone pines and the Great Basin night sky. The sky was depicted with 7 very small rhinestones, representing the Big Dipper. On the lower half of the ornament, under the scenic mountain view, Roberta depicted Lehman Caves, one of Great Basin National Park’s show pieces. Roberta attended the White House reception hosted by First Lady Laura Bush on November 28.
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. Holiday garlands intertwined with park objects including seashells, pine cones, and gold aspen leaves add to each room’s festive feel.
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.”
High resolution images of the NPS / White House Christmas ornaments can be found on the following web site:
http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/whho2007/WebPage-Thumb.00001.html. Great Basin National Park’s ornament is found on page four.