Donate used Christmas trees for habitat

Each year, we all gear up for Christmas by getting decorations out of the attic, setting up the outdoor lights and preparing ornaments for the tree – all while getting excited about picking out the perfect tree.

Many people have opted for artificial trees in recent years, but a lot of people still pick out a real tree. Some families venture to Christmas tree farms and cut down their own trees, and some who own land chop down a tree on their own property. There is no right or wrong on what kind of tree to use, but Christmas trees certainly help bring out the spirit of the season, especially decorating them and putting an angel or star on top at the very end of decorating.

For several weeks, people get to sit in front of their tree and enjoy the lights – and in the case of live trees, they can enjoy the wonderful smell that comes with them. This is the fun part of having a tree in one’s house.

The not-so-fun part is having to take the tree down after Christmas and saying goodbye to it after putting it on the curb to be picked up. A lot of people simply wait for their trees to be picked up by the trash hauler, which is well and good, but we want to offer a better solution: donate your tree to be used as a water habitat.

For decades now, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has had drop-off locations around the state where trees – with all ornaments and lights removed – can be left. KDFWR takes the donated trees, attaches weights and sinks them in lakes and waterways across the state. These “brush reefs” provide a useful habitat for gamefish as well as creating homes for invertebrates and smaller fish.

As most people know, fish need habitat and these Christmas trees provide just that. They not only create a place for fish to stay and hide from predators, they also provide a place to nest in and around during nesting season.

According to officials with KDFWR, thousands of trees were dropped off last year and used for fish habitats.

We really encourage people to drop off their trees at these locations to provide much-needed habitat for fish in the lakes and waterways in our area. It really is a wonderful way to recycle your tree.

The Daily News of Bowling Green