Chilliwack invited to decorate Christmas trees on the Vedder trail

A sign along the newest section of the Vedder Trail reads: 'Take an ornament and help decorate a tree along the path.'

Chilliwack Harold Schmidt decorates a Christmas tree on the Vedder Trail near the Peach Road parking lot. Now he's inviting the whole community to join him.

There’s something decidedly cheery about a festive Christmas tree that tends to put people in a good mood.

That’s the thinking behind an effort by Chilliwack resident Harold Schmidt to encourage everyone to help him deck out a few of the evergreens along the Vedder River Trail.

First he checked with City of Chilliwack parks officials and got the thumbs-up to proceed.

Then he started collecting Christmas ornaments that people could choose from, and placed them in a box on a stump near the Peach Road parking lot.

The sign reads: “Take an ornament and help decorate a tree along the path.”

Even as The Progress was visiting the area where the trees are being decorated, passersby were quick to shout out encouragement, like “Great idea!” and “Decorations look so nice!”

Some local thrift stores were only too happy to donate some decorations to the cause, and Schmidt figures there are about half a dozen trees so far wearing their Christmas finest.

Schmidt was inspired to start decorating trees after a sight he saw many years ago. His kids used to mountain bike on Vedder Mountain, and all of a sudden one day, he came upon a decorated tree in the middle of nowhere.

“It looked so incredible,” he remembered. “That got me going.”

Last few years, he’s been putting up the ornaments on a few trees along the Vedder every season.

“I figured let’s give them even more of a reason to walk there.”

This year he decided to get the community involved in helping him decorate, hence the box of ornaments on the trail just a ways from the Peach Road parking lot.

He doesn’t want any credit. He just wants people to enjoy the view.

“We walk the trail every day, so it’s kind of fun to walk through and see decorations right out there in nature,” he said. “In some ways it’s an unexpected treat.”

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