A holiday tradition in South Delta for decades will be back in operation this week.
With its recognizable scout hut in the west end of the South Delta Recreation Centre parking lot, the 3rd Boundary Bay Scouts Christmas Tree lot has been welcoming customers for the last 50 years. It is a key fundraiser for the program, supporting about 130 Tsawwassen youth with special events like white water rafting, tree line adventure climbs, as well as offsetting camp costs and supplies through the year.
Tree loss due to flood and heat waves have closed many fresh tree lots this season while others have had to rely on shipments of smaller trees from Quebec that were cut a month earlier before being transported to B.C.
Organizers of this year’s Boundary Bay Scouts sale are fortunate to secure B.C. grown and freshly cut trees.
“We now have two B.C. suppliers who make a specific point to complete our order to keep us open. Our trees are fresh cut the morning we open,” explained Natalie Shantz. “We keep adding more of the popular Sub Alpine Fir as the “Charlie Brown” style of tree is not available elsewhere in South Delta.
“We have five varieties of trees and “The Beast”, a few 15-to-18 footers that sells quickly.”
For those not looking for a Christmas tree there are other options at the lot too. Handmade wreaths by the Scouts were added last year and 100 were sold. Fresh table centerpieces with candles are also available for purchase.
“The wreaths and centerpieces give them that fresh Christmas smell,” continued Shantz. “Last year we started Pet/Ugly Sweater photos with Santa on Sundays which was really fun.
“We had cats in sweaters, dogs in antlers, guinea pig elves, and the Delta Police K9 Unit! People want to support our group and have come to rely on the lot for festive opportunities. We’ve developed a great relationship with the community.”
Shantz added three years ago a customer “paid it forward” and purchased a tree to donate to a family that visited the lot. It has created a domino effect of kindness that has rippled through the community. Last year, the scouts also donated five trees to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tsawwassen and Ladner to help make Christmas special.
Completely operated by volunteers, the lot is open weekdays 5 p.m.to 7:30 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Photos with Santa are on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cash or credit are accepted.