OGDEN -- It's no easy task cleaning a 30-foot-tall tree with 70,000 leaves, but it has to be done, so the Elizabeth Stewart Treehouse Children's Museum has closed its doors for a few days so it can take on the deep-cleaning task.
The artificial tree, which sits smack dab in the middle of the museum, has been tented off with plastic so a customized sprayer can wash off the dust and dirt that accumulates throughout the year, said Executive Director Lynne Goodwin.
"David Hobbs is my exhibit-building coordinator, and he has come up with a genius idea on how to clean the tree," Goodwin said.
"It's not an easy task. He sprays each and every branch and leaf, and the water runs down into big barrels at the bottom of the tree and is emptied into a drain."
It takes at least two days to clean the 65-foot-wide tree, Goodwin said.
The rest of the museum is also being deep cleaned inside and out. Windows are being washed as exhibits are scrubbed down, carpets are steamed and paint is touched up. Even the trees outside get pruned.
The museum has been closed since Sept. 12 for this project but will open again Sept. 26.
"We have a lot of construction going on around us, and I think a lot of people assume we have closed down the museum while that construction is going on, but we haven't," Goodwin said.
"We're just doing our annual deep cleaning. It's taking a little longer this year, because we're getting ready for a new exhibit."
A Marc Chagall interactive exhibit will be at the museum from October through December. Children will be able to have their picture taken and then have it put into one of the artist's paintings.
"There will be a lot of fun things going on with the exhibit," Goodwin said. "We've had to make room for it, however, so we've had to move a lot of things and put them in storage.
"It's been a lot of work, because we don't have a freight elevator; everything is being carried up and down our stairs."
Goodwin said the staff at the museum takes great pride in keeping things in pristine condition.
"We always want our museum to be a clean and healthy environment for the children and families who visit," she said.
"We've been working very hard to get it all shiny and bright, so we hope people will realize we're still open and that they'll find their way back to us in a few days."