Visitor center hopes to begin Christmas tradition

BENEZETTE – People venturing to the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette are encouraged to contribute to an ongoing project that the center has undertaken for the holiday season. Since the visitor center is located on what used to be a Christmas tree farm, a blue spruce that is estimated to be about 16 feet tall was harvested on the property and now stands in the center's Great Room. In an effort to make visitors more involved with the center's Christmas celebration, Carla Wehler, center operations manager, explained that people are encouraged to bring or send an ornament to the center and it will be added to the tree. "We're hoping that over the years we will get a really unique tree that has some ornaments from all over because right now our guests [at the center] have been from 39 states and 15 countries," Wehler said. "We're hoping to play on that and make our tree express that. We wanted to do something that we could build on every year."According to Wehler, there is no particular size that an ornament should be, though she asked that it not be made of any edible material. There is also no deadline for submitting the ornaments and they will be accepted year-round. Anyone interested in sending an ornament to the center to be placed on the tree can mail it to the Elk Country Visitor Center, 134 Homestead Dr., Benezette, PA 15821. For more on this story, see the Dec. 15 version of The Daily Press.