SMCC Christmas ‘tree’ lit by solar power

On Tuesday night, as many as 100 people reportedly turned out for Southern Maine Community College’s Christmas tree lighting — now, Christmas tree lightings take place all the time, but this one was a bit different.

(Matt Wickenheiser / SMCC)

For starters, it wasn’t really a tree. It’s the Fort Preble observation tower, once used to help aim the history fort’s artillery, dressed up to look kind of like a tree. But again, stuff posing as Christmas trees still isn’t novel — a lot of those “trees” you see lit up on the tops of buildings are actually tall rods with lights hung to make them seem cone-shaped. I believe the tree on top of B&M Baked Beans you might see as you’re heading into and out of Portland on Interstate 295 is such a decoration — certainly, correct me if I’m wrong.

What makes the SMCC tree interesting is that it’s a solar-powered tree. How about that? Using the sun to keep the tree glowing at night.

Here’s a couple of sentences about the whole thing from a community college announcement:

Keeping with SMCC’s sustainability efforts, the lights are low-energy LEDs, powered by a battery, which is charged with solar power. SMCC’s Sustainability Center worked with Saco Solar to set up the system.

Welcoming folks to the Tuesday event was community college Vice President Janet Sortor, while SMCC student Pious Ali, founder of the Maine Interfaith Youth Alliance and a facilitator at the Seeds of Peace camp in Otisfield, offered a few words about peace during the holiday season. The SMCC chorus was lined up to perform a few songs about that theme as well.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.