Island Lake Trail decorated for holidays

January 6, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 6.15.39 PMBy Tabitha Wells

Regular hikers of the Island Lake Loop Trail may have noticed some added Christmas cheer to the completed trail this holiday season. Thanks to the workings of two mysterious elves, one of the large trees where the trail corners off after the Hockley Road entrance was strewn with Christmas decorations for all to enjoy.

“Decorating this tree was inspired, in large part, by the Charlie Brown and Rudolph movies, where trees outside were decorated for no other reason than to make them beautiful,” wrote the anonymous leader behind the decor. “As a photographer, I enjoy shooting the night, and this idea seemed like a great opportunity to do something nice, as well as practice my skills.”

Together with his elf partner, the duo set out one night at 1:30 a.m. to use the cover of night in this secret endeavour. The plan, to complete the project using stealth to prevent being spotted, saw a number of ornaments, garland, and solar lights brought to the project site in preparation.

“We got to work over the course of two hours to decorate all but the top six feet or so of the tree, where we fell short,” he explained. “It was another week before we were able to return to finish the job.”

During their mission, they had tweeted with the hashtag #IslandlakeHoHo, and when the elves returned to finish their work, they were surprised with not only responses from the community, but additions to their work as well.

“We were thrilled to see several notes others had left expressing the joy the tree gave them, along with their own ornaments, a wrapped present, and perhaps sadly, a leash attached to the tree,” he said.

Some pictures of the tree made it to Facebook, where those who had seen it expressed their delight in the project, and their intrigue at who was behind the mystery.

“For us, the fun was in knowing that for anyone who hadn’t seen it yet, they would walk down the path, see something in the distance, and as they approached, realize that it was a decorated tree,” said the mystery elf. “A tree not decorated by the city or a corporation, but by regular people wanting to make [other] people smile.”

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