Southeastern rounding up Christmas trees for marsh restoration
Contact: Christina Chapple
HAMMOND – Taking the time to haul your Christmas tree to a recycling site after it has done its decorating duty can help rebuild Louisiana’s fragile hurricane-battered marsh areas, according to Mars Stouder, marsh restoration coordinator for Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station.
Stouder, who heads Turtle Cove’s annual Christmas tree collection program, said that five Waste Management tree collection sites have been established this year. Trees will be accepted Dec. 26-Jan. 12. Locations are:
▪ Hammond Recycling Center, 18104 Hwy. 190 East (near the Hammond Airport and Eastside Collision Center).
▪ Ponchatoula Maintenance Facility, 300 block of North 4th Street (behind the Community Center.
▪ Waste Management office,14061 Hwy. 442, Tickfaw (behind Chevron Station).
▪ Parish landfill, 57510 Hano Road, Independence (I-55 Independence exit, west on Hwy. 40 for two miles, right on Hano Road).
▪ Kentwood Rotary Club, Avenue G (between Verges Dental Clinic and Peoples Bank).
“If these trees are brought to one of the collection sites, they will be used to protect our coast and our wetland areas,” Stouder said. “The trees also help fight erosion and establish animal habitats extremely well.”
Southeastern has been participating in a Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Christmas tree marsh restoration project since 1992. Trees annually are placed in the Pass Manchac area in locations such as Jones Island and the Prairie.
The trees are used to construct brush fences that reduce wave energies and allow the capture of suspended sediment. Stouder said the trees are also useful in the preservation and enhancement of habitat for wetland animals such as ducks.
“We can only accept real trees without flocking, plastic wrapping or ornaments,” he said. “Please bring your trees where they will do a great service for us all and keep them out of the already crowded landfill.”