Boy Scout Christmas tree lot opens for holiday season

On Nov. 23, the Davis Boy Scout Christmas tree lot officially opened for this year’s Christmas season. The lot will remain open until Dec. 24.

The tree lot is located at 480 Mace Blvd., on the corner of Mace and Cowell boulevards across from Nugget Market. It is the lot’s 52nd year of operation and its third year at this location.

According to 2012 Davis Boy Scout Christmas Tree Lot foreman Jim Borchers, the lot is not only a Davis tradition and a convenient place to pick up a Christmas tree, but also a way to support the local Boy Scouts and the community as a whole.

“There are five troops in the city of Davis, and they all come together to help work on the lot,” Borchers said. “The scouts get to be helpful, and it’s a fun activity for all the boys.”

The five Boy Scout troops who work on the lot are Troops 66, 111, 139, 199 and 466. Venture Crews 66 and 111 are also involved.

The scouts do most of the work on the lot themselves, such as loading trees and trimming branches.

“We trim the branches,” said Andrew Borchers, son of foreman Jim Borchers and a scout in Troop 111. “We also cut off the bottoms of the trees if they need it.”

Parent volunteers and scout leaders help with the lot’s organization and operation. Each year a different parent volunteer serves as foreman of the lot.

“People come in and buy trees, and we help them carry them out to their cars,” said Chris Garrison, a scout in Troop 111. “Some people have trouble deciding [on a tree], so we can also help them pick one out. We’ve even helped carry people’s trees down the street to their houses.”

According to Jim Borchers, the Mace and Cowell location is a very desirable place to have the tree lot because they have access to power and don’t need to use a generator. The lot sells a wide variety of trees, ranging from small three-foot trees to seven-foot Douglas-firs.

“We also sell wreaths and mistletoe,” Garrison said.

Proceeds from the tree lot go toward scholarships for scouts to attend summer camps, adventure experiences such as hiking and funding various service projects the scouts are involved with throughout the year, according to Jim Borchers. One such service project is the scouts’ citywide April food drive for the Davis Short Term Emergency Action Committee (STEAC).

STEAC collects donated goods such as food and clothing and provides assistance to over 400 families and 800 children in need in the city of Davis each year. The tree lot is a STEAC collection point, so visitors can drop off canned goods to be donated to STEAC even if they are not purchasing a tree or other decorations.

Other service projects and community efforts the scouts work on throughout the year include placing flags on the graves of veterans in the Davis Cemetery on Veterans Day. In addition, they prepare and serve meals at the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter and clean up trash and recycling after the annual Davis World Cup American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) soccer tournament.

The scouts also collect household items discarded from apartment complexes after “move-out weekend” in August to be reused by anyone in need.

This year, the scouts can also provide trees to businesses and facilities requiring certified fire-resistant trees. The trees can either be treated to become fire-resistant or flocked with a fire-resistant white “snow,” and come with a tag certifying that they meet the requirements of the California Fire Marshal.

Interested businesses can inquire at davisbschristmastreelot@gmail.com.

The lot is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

MEREDITH STURMER can be reached at city@theaggie.org

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