WV Press InSight Videos

Recycle your Christmas tree, help a fish or two

By Cody Neff
Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — When halls are no longer decked and chestnuts are not being roasted on a fire, you’re going to need to do something with that Christmas tree. You could throw it out, but what good would that do? The Department of Environmental Protection has another option in mind. Help turn that tree into the kind of place where a fish could start a family.

The DEP will have their ninth Christmas tree recycling event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan 4. at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston as part of their Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan or REAP.

REAP’s grant program manager says your old Christmas tree can keep making someone happy, even if they don’t celebrate Christmas or live on land.

“We started the tree recycling back when the DEP was under the DNR,” Sandra Rogers said. “The environmental resources section started collecting with the DNR. We were part of the DNR at the time.

“The trees that get turned into habitats help fish because they’re able to hide in them and be able to lay their eggs in the tree branches. It just gives them more protection.”

According to a press release from the DEP, thousands of trees have been put in lakes across West Virginia to give fish a safe place to raise their babies. This year the DNR will put trees in Beech Fork, Burnsville, Stonewall Jackson, and Summersville Lakes.

If you want your tree to be a fish house, you have to take off every bit of decoration from the tree, including the stand.

The assistant chief for Warmwater Fisheries Management at the DNR said groups of trees are sunk to the bottoms of lakes with concrete blocks…

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