One individual really can make a difference. In 1986, Madison dentist and UW-Madison alum Jack Kammer planted 228 arborvitae trees next to the railroad right of way along the 2700 block of University Avenue. It took awhile for the trees to grow up, but in 1995 the fun began. His website states:
In addition to his professional accolades, Dr. Jack is no stranger to his community. His annual University Avenue Tree Lights display has become a local tradition since 1995. Every late November for a decade, Dr. Jack dons his 'Santa' cap for Madison by stringing over 120,000 holiday lights on a beautiful row of 228 arborvitae trees three and a third football fields long which run parallel to University Avenue. Dr. Jack planted the trees eighteen years ago, and continues to maintain them to an identical height of 6-7 feet for his impressive display each winter.The lights are a magical part of the holiday season in Madison, and I'm sure I'm not the only Madisonian who alters his driving route this time of year to pass them regularly. A few years ago he started phasing in energy efficient LED lights, and since last year, they've all been LED lights. Some of the expensive, hard-to-find colors regularly got swiped. That might have discouraged a lesser man, but not this dedicated fan of winter lights. Thank you, Dr. Jack!