Friends, Facebook put sagebrush on map

Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldDecember 24, 2013 

Charlie Brown Christmas sagebrush

A cyclist ride past a sagebrush that Mike Robinson and his friends have dubbed the State Patrol Christmas Sagebrush. Robinson is encouraging people to find the shrub and add decoration to it, tae a picture and post photos on the State Patrol Christmas Sagebrush Facebook page. The GPS coordinates are N 46 degrees 09.630 minutes W 119 degrees 11.633 minutes.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

A sagebrush in a remote part of Kennewick has become the Tri-City version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, thanks to a group of friends and a Facebook post.

Mike Robinson and a few friends were hiking around the Washington State Patrol office south of town when the large sagebrush caught their eye.

"We came to an area in the middle of nowhere, and we see this beautiful, majestic old sagebrush sitting by itself," Robinson said. "We looked at that sucker and saw it had missed the fires and everything. Who knows how long it has been sitting there."

Over coffee at Starbucks, they decided it needed a red ornament like the one on Charlie Brown's tree.

The men told employees about the sagebrush, and Starbucks donated a red bauble.

The group went back out and hung the decoration.

"You get four guys over a cup of coffee and the caffeine hits. You're liable to do anything," he said.

Robinson had his friends pinpoint the plant's GPS coordinates with the idea of posting them to Facebook.

He posted a picture and asked hikers, bikers and geocachers to add their own adornments. Within days, ornaments, garland and an American flag were added.

"Other than that first ornament donated by Starbucks, I don't know who is putting stuff on it," Robinson said. "Every day, our guys go out there, and there are more decorations."

A little more than a week after the men found the plant, there was barely any room left to add decorations, Robinson said. Someone even put a solar light at the base of the plant so people could find it at night.

A local running group is scheduled to visit it today. Robinson can't believe so many people have taken the time to find the sagebrush site.

Robinson credits social media and people wanting to challenge themselves by locating the GPS coordinates. He plans to find another plant next year and do the same thing.

"It's one of those fun little things that took off," he said. "Everyone knows what the Charlie Brown Christmas tree is. This our Charlie Brown Christmas tree."

The coordinates to the sagebush plant are: North 46 degrees, 09.630 minutes and West 119 degrees, 11.633 minutes.

-- Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; Twitter; @Ty_richardson

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