Tree fundraiser doubles as winter party

By Douglas McCulloch | Dec 03, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary Director Gina Purtell roasts marshmallows with Lucas Worley, 3.

With s'mores roasting on a campfire and holiday-clad humans and animals, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary’s tree sale resembled more of a Christmas party than a fundraising event.

Throughout the day on December 3, countless families made the trek to the Powel family farm on Jordan Road with saws in hand to cut and take home fresh Christmas trees for a cause: Allens Pond’s mission to protect local wildlife and the environment.

Allens Pond Property Manager Lauren Miller-Donnelly explained that the event is an annual tradition, the result of a partnership with Mass Audubon and the Powel family. The family raises trees on their farm, and sells its trees to the community with all proceeds going to Mass Audubon.

Rance Gluespie brought his family to pick out their tree. Although not new to buying living Christmas trees, it was the first time in close to 25 years that they have cut their own.

“It had to be living tree, and when I saw the bird’s nest on it I thought ‘that’s it,” said Rance’s wife Deidre, who picked out the tree after daughters Azalea and Chloe approved it. She hopes the bird’s nest will bring the family good luck heading into the holiday season.

Mike and Jennifer Coye picked out their tree, but will return later in the month to pick it up. Instead, the pair wrapped a blue ribbon around it to mark the tree as theirs until they return.

“We wanted one with the right height, and we didn’t mind if it had two trunks,” Jennifer said after selecting the tree.

Others, like Matt Puccini, picked out a tree that they can get more bang for their buck out of.

“We looked for a nice shape and something we could trim for leftovers,” Matt explained.

Tree sale proceeds will go to supporting Mass Audubon’s land management programs, which is especially important because it promotes Allens Pond’s unique habitats for birds.

Rance Gillespie ties his family's new tree to his minivan. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Matt Puccini drags a new tree to his car. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Sisters Caroline and Sophia Puccini with their dog Carly in front of their new tree. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Mike Coye tags his tree for future pick-up. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Rows of trees at the tree farm. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Ruby came decked out in holiday attire. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Gina Purtell cuts a tree with Kiana Purtell as Brian McNamara holds the tree up. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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