• Family donates giant tree to City of Everett in honor of late officer


    TEWKSBURY, Mass. - What do you do when a massive tree takes up your front yard? 

    For a Tewksbury family, the answer was to donate it to the City of Everett.

    The Flynn family had a huge evergreen tree they wanted to get rid of, so they took to Facebook to ask if anyone wanted it. In the post, they offered the tree to anyone who could cut it and take it free of charge.

    The post quickly racked up 40,000 shares, but soon enough they found the perfect place for it to go.

    What started as just a little tree that was a couple of feet tall when they first moved in, 14 years later became a behemoth that towered over the house.

    "It was much easier when it was smaller," said Katie Flynn. "The roots were getting above ground, so we couldn't grow grass there and then it was actually going under our walkway. So we thought we needed to get it removed."

    After cutting it down, the tree was hoisted up and loaded onto a truck. Complete with a police escort, it made its way to Everett.

    Now, the 30-foot giant, which had to be lowered by a crane, is sitting in Everett Square.

    The tree will be lit up and decorated for the holidays in honor of Everett Police Officer Glen Briley, who died nearly four years ago of natural causes at the age of 44.

    "Oh my god, it tugs on the heart strings, I have to say," said Michelle Strong, Officer Briley's sister. "Knowing that there are people that still remember him other than family its just very emotional to us."

    The trip the tree took is also symbolic - Briley raised his family in Tewksbury but is originally from Everett.

    "When I heard about this I was ecstatic because it's a great way to keep his memory alive," said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie.

    The dedication and lighting of the tree will happen on Dec. 6, and Officer Briley's family will be attending.

    >> Methuen Police go door-to-door spreading safety tips for delivery drivers

    Next Up: