Tree-cycling for the Olbrich Park labyrinth – Channel3000.com – WISC-TV3
January 2, 2022 4:52 PM
Posted: January 2, 2022 4:52 PM
MADISON, Wis. — After the gifts are unwrapped and the cookies have gone stale, many Christmas celebrants dread the walk down the driveway to put their trees on the curbs, not to mention the days of waiting until they’re picked up for disposal.
A local artist has come up with another option for your trees, though. One that benefits the community at large.
Lillian Sizemore knows that for many, gathering around the Christmas tree is a tradition. Now, though, she’s trying to gather those same trees around Olbrich Park.
Sizemore is currently working on a labyrinth, set to use around 250 Christmas trees for its 89-foot diameter. It’s a project over a year in the making.
“We had a whole year to prepare and get permits and permissions and put the word out,” she said.
Today was the first day of donations for the project, and Sizemore says she’s seeing some tree-mendous community support.
“We have had a very rough couple of years and this was an opportunity to look at how we use our environment and how we’re able to connect in times that are not maybe so easy or happy for everyone,” she said.
John Tretheway was one of today’s many donors. He says that beyond the convenience of getting rid of his tree so quickly, he’s glad it’s getting more use.
“After the holidays, you have it up in your house, and now there’s someplace that it can go to be used further,” he said.“I love it, because otherwise it sits along the street and it may be there for up to a week.”
For him, there’s no disappointment in saying goodbye to his tree.
“When the needles start to fall, I’m done,” he said.
The labyrinth, which will take the pattern of a classical labyrinth, is part of the Blink Program run by the city’s Arts Commission. Blink allows local artists to propose and execute temporary installations, helping them get the necessary permits and giving them a bit of funding.
According to City Arts Administrator Karin Wolf, though, it’s just as much of an opportunity for the community as it is for Sizemore.
“We’re thirsty as a community for projects that promote healing, that are COVID safe,” she said.
“We don’t know where things are going so when artists have a vision for something that will really promote positivity in the midst of some really difficult times we want to support that and bring it to the community.”
Among those donating their trees are the arts donors who are helping the project come to fruition. The Madison Community Foundation offered their support through a grant through Communication Madison.
The labyrinth will be accepting donations from 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily at Olbrich Park. It will open to the public on January 30 from 3 pm – 5:30 pm, with a food truck and a glowing hoop performance. Visitors are encouraged to bring LED lights or flashlights.
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