National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Coronado National Memorial
4101 E. Montezuma Canyon Rd.
Hereford, AZ 85615
National Park Service News Release
For Immediate Release – December 6, 2007
KYM HALL, SUPERINTENDENT
“Holiday in the National Parks” Celebrated at the White House
Coronado National Memorial Ornament Displayed on the Official White House Christmas Tree
(Hereford, AZ) – The Coronado National Memorial ornament is prominently displayed on this year’s official White House Christmas Tree. The tree is the centerpiece of elaborate decorations celebrating the theme of “Holiday in the National Parks.”
“It is an amazing honor for the National Park Service to be selected as the theme for the White House holiday decorations by the President and Mrs. Bush,” said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. “Mrs. Bush is the best champion for our national parks, and the beautiful decorations in each state room showcase the natural and historical treasures found in parks throughout the country.”
The tree, located in the Blue Room, is adorned with handmade ornaments representing the country’s 391 National Park Service sites. “Each ornament on the magnificent 18-foot Fraser fir was designed by an artist selected by the park,” said Bomar. “The ornaments tell the stories of our parks, just as our parks tell the stories of our nation.”
Each of the southeastern Arizona national parks submitted unique and beautiful creations. Ornaments were created for Chiricahua National Monument by Diane Dougall and for Fort Bowie National Historic Site by Kathy Morin. Katherine Salwei was chosen to design and decorate Coronado’s submission to the White House Christmas Tree. The ornament includes an outline of the Huachuca Mountains, detailed images of Coronado’s expedition, the San Pedro River, and the flags of Spain. The golden ball is topped by a replica of a Spanish helmet, including a red feather. Ms. Salwei and her husband attended the White House reception hosted by First Lady Laura Bush on November 28, 2007 and will be sharing her experience during our Holiday Open House on December 15, between 11:00 and 1:00. Hand-made ornaments of the helmet will be available to decorate at the visitor center between 9:00 and 3:00. The artist will be accepting donations for the ornaments to benefit Coronado National Memorial. Many thanks go to Cochise Community College for providing the materials and to art instructor Tate Rich, who assisted in the production of the ornaments.
The holiday displays incorporate the wide variety of natural, cultural, and recreational features preserved by the National Park Service. Models of icons such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Statue of Liberty share space with paintings of scenic vistas from Grand Canyon, Zion, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Holiday garlands intertwined with park objects including seashells, pine cones, and gold aspen leaves add to each room’s festive feel.
A highlight of the decorations is a scaled-down, but architecturally accurate, gingerbread reproduction of the south view of the White House, a unit of the National Park Service. The edible masterpiece includes Bush family pets Barney, Miss Beazley, and Willie frolicking on the lawn with moose, elk, raccoons, and other animals found in national parks.
“National Parks commemorate the people, places, and events that define the American experience,” said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. “I am so appreciative of President Bush’s efforts to recognize the important role of national parks in American society. Our country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and the President has been instrumental in establishing the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare the parks for the next century.”
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