ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — The next U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be coming from the Monongahela National Forest, and the West Virginia public has the opportunity to make their own contribution.

Monongahela National Forest is asking people to help make tree skirts for the 70 to 80-foot tree, which will be displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol during the upcoming holiday season, according to a Forest Service release.

Guidelines for tree skirts:

  • Make skirts out of any durable material.
  • Aim for a 5-foot diameter skirt.
  • Include an opening in center for the trunk.
  • Include a slit to allow skirt to circle the trunk. Design the skirt to overlap in the back or include ribbon ties, snaps, buttons, or Velcro as closures.
  • Stitch, write or attach your name, name of group and home county to the back of the tree skirt.
  • Include a note with the names and mailing addresses of those who contributed.
  • Tree skirts cannot include commercial logos or be divisive or offensive.
  • Tree skirts cannot be returned.

With a theme of “Endlessly Wild and Wonderful,” people are asked to incorporate:

  • Appalachian Culture – West Virginia Style
  • Famous West Virginians
  • Iconic Spots in West Virginia and Monongahela National Forest
  • Multiple uses of National Forests
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Plants, animals, and habitats of West Virginia
  • Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl
  • State Symbols
  • Unique West Virginia foods
  • West Virginia History

Drop off completed tree skirts at your local Monongahela National Forest office or mail them to: Gauley Ranger Station, 932 North Fork Cherry Road, Richwood, W.Va. 26261. For more information, contact Rosanna Springston at 304-846-2695 or rosanna.springston@usda.gov.

The tree is also in need of ornaments. According to a Monongahela National Forest Facebook post, the staff will be hosting an ornament-making event on May 27 at the Davisyard Art Market in Davis from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery will also be making ornaments at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fishing derby from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the same day. The deadline for ornament donations is Sept. 1.