Five Rivers MetroParks collecting used Christmas trees to support aquatic life

DAYTON — Five Rivers MetroParks is collecting used Christmas tree’s this holiday season in hopes of supporting aquatic habitat and improving angling opportunities at Eastwood Lake.

MetroParks’ parks and conservation staff and volunteers, along with staff from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, will bundle and sink the donated trees into Eastwood Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 19. This year they hope to collect 800 trees.

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Sinking the trees will provide food and refuge for fish in the lake, Grace Dietsch, regional manager of conservation, said in a release. It also gives the public a way to get rid of their Christmas trees.

Trees should be free of decorations, paint and artificial snow.

In 2019 Metroparks completed the same conservation project, sinking 750 trees. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources biologist Michael Porto, tree sinkings at Eastwood Lake and other public bodies of water have yielded positive feedback from anglers.

Dietsch said because of Eastwood Lake previously being a quarry, there is a lock of woody debris surrounding the lake. This means that natural materials — leaves, branches and wood — don’t fall into the lake.

You can drop off your Christmas tree at Eastwood MetroPark (lakeside), 1401 Harshman Road, from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 to Jan. 31.