Donated blue spruce arrives in Jefferson Square ahead of Light Up Louisville

Donated blue spruce arrives in Jefferson Square ahead of Light Up Louisville
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A generous donation of Christmas spirit has arrived in downtown Louisville's Jefferson Square.

A donated blue spruce tree from the area of Cherokee and Seneca parks made its long journey to downtown Louisville on Friday morning.

"There goes a big tree out the neighborhood!" Teresa Lanz said. Lanz said that for eight years she spent her mornings looking at the spruce from her window.

"Looking out, I mean it's beautiful and obviously that being such a big tree, it was a strong focal point," Lanz said.

The tree carried with it a relationship with the neighborhood that's stretched far beyond just eight years.

"It took one swipe across," Suzanne Gordon described. Gordon is the mystery donor's sister-in-law. She said her sister-in-law was just ready to have the tree out of her yard.

"She saw something online that they're looking for a tree for Light Up Louisville and then she called Metro Parks and they said, 'Yeah, we'll come out and look at it,'" Gordon said.

Not only did folks with Metro Parks look at the tree; they loved it.

"This guy ranks up in the top five," Metro Parks Forestry Manager Mike Blankenship said about the tree.

Blankenship has a long resume of transporting trees. This is his 17th time transporting a tree from one property to Jefferson Square. His experience speaks volumes to the standards he has for trees. Blankenship said this specific tree from the 1200 block of Park Hills Court is a good one.

"It's a small, not spread-out tree," he said. "Normally when I go down the road, I'm taking up like five lanes because the trees are so wide. This one -- it makes it easier."

And with a quick, single swipe, the tree was down and loaded.

"All the obstacles on the way with the house lines and the wires and the garages and everything, they did a super job," Gordon said.

A massive crew of LMPD traffic control, LG&E and Metro Parks workers escorted the tree down I-64. It was then carefully nestled into a base that was set up at 6th and Jefferson streets.

Its piney, prickly presence came a promise of putting the city in the Christmas spirit.

"We're gonna be down there at Light Up Louisville, so it will be fun to go and see a part of our neighborhood," Lanz said.

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