TROY, Mo. — It may be time to take down the Christmas tree, but that tree could continue to enrich the earth.
The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking tree donations from around the region. These trees won't be ground into mulch, though. They will be dropped into one of 14 lakes in the St. Louis area.
The trees help the fish find cover, improving the habitat and fishing opportunities.
“Much like we as humans need a home, fish also need to have shelter so that they can rest, feed, and hunt," MDC Fisheries Management Biologist John Schulte said in a news release. “Christmas trees make an excellent material for building this much-needed habitat in our manmade lakes across the region. This will help support quality fishing opportunities for our anglers now and in the future.”
Young fish will be able to hide from larger fish, helping support a new generation of fish that are popular with anglers, like largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie.
Park staff and biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation will do the work to place the trees in the lakes.
The trees are tied to cinderblocks and submerged 4-7 feet underwater. The tree tops are visible for five to six weeks before they sink completely.
If you want to drop off your tree, remove all the decorations before bringing them to the following locations.
Tree drop off:
St. Louis City:
Carondelet Park (Boathouse and Horseshoe Lakes).
O'Fallon Park Lake:
Forest Park (Drop off site at lower Muny parking lot, 1 Theatre Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112).
St. Louis County:
Spanish Lake Park (12500 Spanish Pond Road, St. Louis, MO 63138 - Main parking lot by the lake).
Creve Coeur Lake Park (13777 Marine Ave., St. Louis, MO 63146 - Sailboat Cove parking lot).
Queeny Park (550 Weidman Road, St. Louis, MO 63011 - Corporate parking lot off Weidman Road).
Bee Tree Park (2701 Finestown Road, St. Louis, MO 63129 - Lake parking lot).
Forest Wood Park (806 Ferguson Ave. Ferguson, MO 63135).
Preslar Lake (Drop off at Fabick Nature Preserve parking lot, 597 New Smizer Mill Rd, Fenton, MO 63026).
Cuivre River State Park (678 MO-147, Troy, MO 63379).
Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 26 – Jan. 15.