Tree recycling offered

December 31, 2018

By Tesa Glass-

MT. VERNON — Local communities are teaming up with the Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake to offer Christmas tree recycling.

Live Christmas trees donated through the program will be bundled together, weighted and sunk in specific areas of Rend Lake to create underwater fish structures.

“The tree bundles serve as feeding areas for fish of all sizes, a safe refuge for small fish, and excellent fishing spots for anglers,” information states. “In March, Corps of Engineers employees, Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists and volunteers will team up to place the bundled and weighted trees in the lake.”

No artificial trees are accepted to the program. Live trees with flocking, also known as artificial snow, can’t be accepted. All tinsel, decorations, stands and plastic bags must be removed from the tree prior to drop off.
Drop off locations around Rend Lake are in the Sugar Creek parking lot located at the intersection of Licata and Mine 24 roads; the Dam West boat ramp located on the west end of the main dam; or at the Jackie Branch boat ramp located north of Illinois Route 154 across from the Barren Township Building.

Locations in Mt. Vernon are at the Veterans Park softball field and at Optimist Park at 903 Pace Ave. Tree donations will be accepted at the Mt. Vernon locations until Jan. 7.

Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the Christmas tree drop in March should contact Cassie Magsig at the Rend Lake Project Office at 724-2493.