When all the lights and decorations have been removed, and the packages carried off from under its branches, your Christmas tree can live on in lakes across West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will host their 10th annual Christmas tree recycling event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston.
Over the years, thousands of live trees have been collected and placed in lakes across West Virginia to improve fish habitat. “The trees enhance existing fish habitat in lakes and serve as fish-attracting structures for increased fishing opportunities,” said Bret Preston, assistant chief of DNR’s Wildlife Resources Section.
This year, DNR will place trees in Beech Fork, East Lynn, Stonewall Jackson, Sutton and Tygart lakes. To be accepted, all decorations must be removed from the trees, including ornaments, tinsel and stands. Those who drop off trees can enter their names into drawings for a day of skiing for two at Winterplace Resort; free night’s lodging and breakfast at Chief Logan Lodge; and a $25 gift card from Capitol Market.
The recycling event yielded close to 500 trees last year. The DEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) program coordinates the tree recycling effort.
“This continues to be an extremely popular event with area residents and we hope it stays that way,” said Danny Haught, chief of the DEP’s REAP program. “Not only does it benefit the fish habitat in West Virginia’s beautiful lakes, it also helps our environment by keeping these trees out of our landfills.”
For more information, contact the DEP’s Sandy Rogers by calling 304-926-0499, ext. 1004, or via email at Sandra.D.Rogers@wv.gov.
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about the Adopt-A-Highway, West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia NonPoint Source and Youth Environmental programs, connect on Facebook.