As Christmas trees are removed from living rooms across Columbia County, they can take on a new role once the holidays are over.
Area residents will have several opportunities to recycle their Christmas trees within the county.
Natural Christmas trees can be dropped off at Riverside Middle School on Furys Ferry Road through Friday, Jan. 6 as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program. All decorations, including tinsel, lights and garland, should be removed before trees are dropped off.
Corps rangers and volunteers will put the trees around fishing piers in Clarks Hill Lake to improve fishing habitats. Additional trees will be placed at ramps around the lake for public use.
“Small trees and brush provide cover for fish, particularly as nursery areas for juvenile fish,” Clarks Hill Lake Conservation Biologist Kenneth Boyd said in a news release.
“In addition, they provide habitat for aquatic insects, (which are) essential food during the early stages of most fish species.”
Additional information can be found by calling (800) 533-3478 or visiting www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/thurmond/index.html.
At the Evans Home Depot on North Belair Road, residents can bring their trees Saturday, Jan. 7 to be turned into mulch.
“We’re going to provide the mulch again free of charge while supplies last,” said Columbia County Green Programs Manager Jenny Hinton. “We’re trying to encourage everybody to go ahead and bring their own bags, shovels and items that they’ll need to collect the mulch.”
The ninth annual Bring One for the Chipper takes place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. Early drop-off begins Monday at the Evans Home Depot.
As with the Corps of Engineers, only real trees, with all decorative items and stands removed, will be accepted at the event.
Volunteers from the 4-H program, Keep Columbia County Beautiful board and Georgia Power will help unload trees from vehicles, Hinton said.
“Last year, we had about 300 trees brought in,” she said. “It’s a great service.”
For details, call (706) 312-7195 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
Boy Scout Troop 643 also will be collecting Christmas trees in the Martinez and Evans areas as a fundraiser.
For a $10 donation per tree, the troop will pick up trees Saturday, Jan. 7, from 9 a.m. until noon. Money raised will go toward replacing troop equipment and offsetting costs for summer camp.
Tree pickups can be scheduled by emailing email@example.com or calling (706) 373-8922. The preferred pickup date must be indicated.