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You might discover an ornament on your next hike in the woods

ornament 2021
Willamette Valley Visitors Association
Ornaments like this one have been placed along more than a dozen trails in the Willamette National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest.

If you’re out for a hike in the woods this month, keep your eyes open for ornaments hanging from the trees.

It’s part of the fourth annual Willamette Valley Forest Ornament Contest. Two hundred ornaments have been placed on non-wilderness trails in the Willamette National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest.

“It’s just an exciting way to encourage locals and travelers to not only connect with public land, but also increase that outdoor recreation and get them outdoors,” said Jane Wiley, spokesperson for the Willamette Valley Visitors Association.

This year’s ornament features a sun rising behind a mountain with fields and flowers in the foreground.

If you find one, you can keep it, although there's a suggested limit of one per household.

And there's an added incentive to find an ornament: If you log it online, you’re entered to win a Willamette Valley vacation package.

Your odds of finding one will increase if you head out sooner. Wiley said nearly half of the ornaments have already been found since the contest started in mid-November.

Any ornaments that aren’t found by hikers will be gathered up by forest rangers in January.

"So there isn't any waste afterwards, we have them all tracked," said Wiley. "After the event closes, we're able to find any that weren't picked up."

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”