PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Tree of Lights at Point State Park isn’t going anywhere.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Duquesne Light released a joint statement on Monday, saying they heard the people of Pittsburgh and agreed to keep the Tree of Lights at Point State Park in 2021.
They previously announced that 2020 would be the final year for the tree. The decision was made as a way to preserve the historical grounds of Fort Duquesne, but it sparked an outcry and prompted Pete Linko of Crafton to start a petition to keep the tree.
“I said absolutely no way that is going to happen,” Linko said.
The Save The Point State Park Christmas Tree petition quickly collected nearly 10,000 signatures in about a week.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Linko said. “I knew there was an interest and a love for the tree, but to see that momentum going, it was absolutely breathtaking.”
The Tree of Lights has stood in Point State Park every holiday season since 1988. Those visiting the tree on Tuesday night said it’s a Pittsburgh tradition
“It was actually one of the first things that I saw when I came to Pittsburgh when my brother first moved here,” said Timothy Elsass.
Duquesne Light and the DCNR say while the same tree will return in 2021, they’ll also work to create a similar tree that will be more energy-efficient and have less of an impact on the park.
“Thank you to the many members of our community who spoke up and demonstrated the importance of the Tree of Lights at Point State Park to our region. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to ensure the tree remains for years to come,” said DLC President and CEO Steve Malnight in a statement.
“We are committed to sharing a future tree that reflects, enhances, and protects a National Historic Landmark that is the iconic focal point of the Pittsburgh area.”