LANESBOROUGH >> Samantha Trybus, a Mount Greylock High School student and associate member of the Conservation Commission, had a vision: Lanesborough needed a symbol of unity and that a holiday tree would best represent it.
Trybus organized a fundraiser to buy the tree and with the help of Dean Maynard's (of Maynard's Landscaping, and also a Conservation Commission member) resources, equipment and time, the 10-foot Fraser fir evergreen was planted on Wednesday.
With little ceremony, Trybus and two high school friends Gianna Auriemma and Shaelyn Roberts got to work removing sod, digging out the planting site, guiding the tree into its place, refilling the site with soil and soil conditioners, and packing down the soil around the tree. The plant siting is located on the corner of Main and Church streets, highly visible from Main Street (Route 7).
Trybus, in discussions with her parents and friends, recognized that while many other area towns have holiday trees that promote resident participation and goodwill gathering, Lanesborough did not. So she set off to change this.
Trybus envisions the town tree as a gathering place during the holiday season for tree-lighting ceremonies, caroling, singalongs, and other activities, and that the tree could represent various holidays throughout the year, such as Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and others.
She envisions including students from Lanesborough Elementary School in creating holiday ornaments and symbols and taking part in decorating the tree for various holidays throughout the year.
Trybus will take on the responsibility of seeing that the tree is watered, fertilized and kept happy and healthy as it grows over the years. The Fraser fir was specifically picked out for its adaptability to the Lanesborough climate, its beauty in shape, and its potential to grow to heights of 40 feet or more.
Dean Maynard viewed the activity as having multiple benefits.
"I see this as another step in the beautification of Lanesborough, as an opportunity to teach our youth how trees are planted, seeing how it will look over the next 20 years, and I look forward to seeing it decorated and lit this Christmas time," he said.