Christmas trees can find new life at Rend Lake

It is after Christmas and you need to take the tree out of the house. 

What can you do with it now? How about helping out some fish with a new home for the holidays.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake is asking for Christmas trees to improve fish habitat.     

Donated trees will be bundled together to create underwater fish structures. 

The structures serve a variety of purposes, such as providing feeding areas for fish of all sizes, refuge for small fish and fishing spots for anglers.

Christmas trees can be dropped off at any of the following three Rend Lake boat ramps or parking lot locations: 

Sugar Creek parking lot, located at the intersection of Licata and Mine 21 roads; Dam West boat ramp, located on the west end of the main dam; or Jackie Branch boat ramp, located north of Route 154 across from the Barren Township building. 

Christmas trees will be accepted at the locations until Jan. 16.

Two additional collection locations have been added through a partnership with the Marion Park District.  

The first location will be in Ray Fosse Park, which is located just north of Route 13 on the east end of Marion.  

The collection point will be located in the “Goofy Golf” parking lot, just behind the swimming pool, at 519 Parish Ave.  

The second collection point will be located at the northernmost picnic shelter parking lot as you exit Pyramid Park at 1300 Bevabeck Dr. 

Trees will be accepted until Jan. 16 at the Marion collection sites.

Artificial or flocked trees (with artificial snow) cannot be accepted. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers ask that prior to dropping off trees, all tinsel, decorations, stands and plastic bags be removed from the tree.

Corps of Engineers employees, Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists and volunteers will team up to drop the bundled and weighted trees in the lake sometime during March. 

The exact date for the drop will be announced, at a later date, in a news release and on the Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center Facebook page. 

Volunteers and outdoor organizations interested in assisting with the collection of Christmas trees or the Christmas tree drop should contact park ranger Tim Bischoff at the Rend Lake Project Office at 618-724-2493. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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