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Despite landslide tragedy, Utah family provides Christmas trees for community, bringing family and friends together

Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 01, 2019

RIVERDALE, Utah -- Picking out that perfect tree is an annual Christmas tradition for many Utahns, especially at Burch's Christmas tree lot in Riverdale, and this family was determined to deliver their Christmas tradition even after a landslide back in 2017 devastated the property they used to prepare them.

"All of a sudden we see this big wall of mud coming towards us, and we all just grab the kids and just took off running," said Becky Meehan, owner of Burch's Christmas Trees.

She grew up on that farm, her father making the space an "oasis" for friends and family.

"Everything that he had done down there, the love that he had put into the farm," Meehan said, "and now you go down there, and I don’t see that."

They now prepare the trees at her son's property nearby but are still disappointed about how the city reacted to the disaster. The cause is still not clear, according to Becky.

"We’ve been down there for so many years," said Meehan. "We know what to expect from this little spring that they’re saying brought this hill down, and it’s not."

Even though they are still recovering from the loss, Becky and her family have persevered, using a quality she says she’s gotten from her father, who started the business back in 1959.

"Don’t tell me that we can’t. Let’s figure out how we can," Meehan said.

But members of the community say they come here for more than just trees. They come here for family.

"It’s not trees. It’s tradition. It’s family, and no matter what you’re going through, you can come here and get a smile, and a hug, and love," said Brandi Warren, Christmas tree customer

Becky says she’s now suing the cities of Riverdale and Washington Terrace for monetary help to pay for the damages. Her first court appearance is on the 9th.