A fully packed Lakeland charter bus left the Morris Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore parking lot at dusk on Monday night, leaving Randolph for Rockefeller Center. The excursion brought folks of all ages into Manhattan to take one last look at the 80 foot Norway spruce, scheduled to be removed during the wee hours of January 8. But while the iconic holiday fixture may now be a distant twinkling memory, this is one tall tree which will not likely be forgotten.
The tree from Flanders which wowed millions during the Christmas season will be coming home to the very county from which it originated -- in the form of approximately 600-900 two-by-fours.
According to Blair Schleicher Bravo, executive director for Morris Habitat, a portion of the lumber milled from the tree will support the building of four homes in Morris County which are currently under, or slated for construction in 2013.
Volunteers, board members, staff and homeowners, as well as Tom Hayes of New Jersey Natural Gas Company attended the event.
The fieldtrippers also enjoyed a private dinner at Cucina & Co on the concourse level at the New York City landmark, courtesy of New Jersey Natural Gas.
Mrs. Bravo noted that Morris Habitat is ranked in the top ten percent of Habitat for Humanity affiliates in its home building productions, and this year, nine units will be under construction in Morristown, Dover, Mount Olive, and Madison.
Since 2007 Tishman Speyer, co-owners of Rockefeller Center, have donated the tree to a Habitat affiliate. Some of the lumber will also be given to a New York City Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Morris Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing agency dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing for low-income families in Morris County and the surrounding New Jersey area. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Morris Habitat builds and rehabilitates houses in partnership with families in need. Since 1985 Morris Habitat has served 249 households though home ownership opportunities, home preservation, and international home building programs. In addition, proceeds from the ReStore, located at 274 S. Salem St in Randoph, MHfH has built six homes and diverted over 2,000 tons of use-able material out of landfills. For more information about Morris Habitat call 973-891-1934 or visit www.morrishabitat.org.