The Times West Virginian

December 27, 2013

Christmas tree recycling event beneficial for all groups involved

Times West Virginian

— What’s better than a fresh-cut tree at Christmastime?

How about knowing that tree will go on to help nature for many months to come? For those with live-cut Christmas trees, disposing of them after the holiday season can be beneficial for animals.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tygart Lake has started its Christmas Tree Recycling Program and will collect trees through Jan. 31, 2014.

The recycled trees help fish attractor projects at Tygart Lake.

The donated trees will be anchored to cinder blocks along the shoreline of Tygart Lake in February when the lake level is low. When the water rises in the summer, the submerged trees will provide habitats for the lake’s fish.

“It will provide insects for the fish to eat, spaces for little fish to hide and hunting grounds for our larger fish,” said Christine Renzoni, natural resources specialist.

Merchants with unsold trees and residents can drop off their unwanted trees under Bridge Street, near the Grafton City Garage in Grafton. All that is required is that they be free of decorations.

It helps the fish population, but the people who use the lake will benefit as well. Tygart Lake has become quite an attraction for bass fishing.

“It’s at the point where Tygart Lake is one of the top 100 bass fishing lakes in the country now,” Renzoni said.

And the tree collection will benefit those fishers without boats, too. While it’s difficult to fish from the shorelines of Tygart Lake, these habitats will draw fish toward the shoreline.

We’d be hard-pressed to think of a better example of a situation where everyone wins, from the fish to the fishers. We encourage those with live-cut trees to make that short trip to Grafton to help the environment, the community and the fishing industry.