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Christmas tree recycling program goes back to nature

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 12:02 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger
Christmas trees are being collected at the historic Marshall House in Dayton. The Army Corps of Engineers will recycle the trees as fish and wildlife habitat at Mahoning Creek Lake. Monday January 7, 2013 Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times

A lot of Armstrong County Christmas trees could be heading back to where they came from — the woods.

All that tree owners have to do is bring their discarded trees to the parking lot of the Marshall House in Dayton any time up until Jan. 25.

It's all part of the Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, Christmas tree recycling for habitat program.

For several years now, the Corps has recycled used Christmas trees to help protect the environment and improve fish and wildlife habitat at Mahoning Creek Lake.

The trees will be recycled as brush piles at the Milton Wildlife Area off Route 839, or made into fish habitat structures at the Sportsman's Ramp Access Area of the park.

Recycling the trees not only saves them from taking up space in a landfill, it provides a positive benefit by providing shelter for a variety of wildlife species such as cottontail rabbits and small birds, according to Army Corps of Engineers officials.

The parking lot area for tree drop off will be marked with signs.

Contributors of trees must remove all decorations, including tinsel.

Then, later this month, depending on weather conditions, the Mahoning staff, along with any community volunteers, will transport the trees to the areas for recycling.

The last several years they have recycled many trees and constructed brush piles for fish habitat and wildlife.

If you are unable to transport a tree to the Marshall House and live within a reasonable distance from Dayton, the ranger's office may be phoned for assistance at 814-257-8811.

For more information, or to volunteer to help, call the ranger office, e-mail, or stop by the park ranger office from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Mahoning Creek Lake and Dam is 12 miles southeast of New Bethlehem and seven miles northwest of Dayton.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or mfryer@tribweb.com.

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