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Since 1931, Rockefeller Center has been the focal point of Christmas celebrations in New York City, attracting visitors from all over the world to see the famous tree lit up. This tradition has continued over the years with few changes, except spruce size. However, for the past nine years, the iconic tree has been a part of a new tradition that keeps families warm for years to come.
After it's removed, each tree is milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity projects to build homes near where the tree originally grew. For instance, 2014's 85-feet-tall Norway Spruce from Danville, PA, is being used in five different homes in the Philadelphia area. This year, the tree from upstate New York will do the same for those without homes in the New York area; the recipients for 2015's lumber are still being determined.
The 1971 #RockCenterXMAS Tree was the first to be recycled after the holidays. Today we donate them to @Habitat_org! pic.twitter.com/td5B5e7Hsu— Rockefeller Center (@rockcenternyc) December 8, 2015
The 1971 #RockCenterXMAS Tree was the first to be recycled after the holidays. Today we donate them to @Habitat_org! pic.twitter.com/td5B5e7Hsu
According to ABCnews.com, a 2014 lumber recipient, Lisa Wilson, said, "It's an honor to have it placed in my home. We're a part of such meaningful history." Wilson is a mother of a 19-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
Pamela Banks, 2014 recipient and mother of seven, had no idea the lumber was from Rockefeller Center at first and was just happy to receive the donation--now she's excited to point out this fact to house guests! According to ABCnews.com, Banks said, "I'll say, 'This came from New York.' It's the whipped cream on top of the pie."
These trees are giving us even more to celebrate as their resources go to a greater cause when the holiday season comes to a close.