How to help conservation efforts at an area park

Dec. 24—Area residents can recycle their live Christmas tree and help fish habitat in a local lake.

Five Rivers MetroParks is collecting used Christmas trees for a conservation project that will “bolster aquatic habitat and improve angling opportunities at Eastwood Lake.”

“By sinking these trees, we’re adding a natural resource that will provide refuge and feeding areas for fish,” said Grace Dietsch, MetroParks’ regional manager of conservation. “It also gives the public a way to repurpose their trees and enriches Eastwood Lake’s ecosystem — a win-win for nature and the community.”

To participate, people can recycle their trees by dropping them off at Eastwood MetroPark (lake side), 1401 Harshman Road, from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 to Jan. 31. Eastwood MetroPark is closed Jan 1.

The parks asked that trees be free of decorations, paint and artificial snow. On Jan. 19, MetroParks’ parks and conservation staff and volunteers, along with staff from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, will bundle and sink the donated trees into Eastwood Lake.

In past years, Five Rivers has collected trees for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to sink in local state parks. This year is an opportunity to help a Dayton park.

“It’s an ongoing process for habitats such as Eastwood Lake,” Dietsch said. “Because this body of water was once a quarry, there is a lack of woody debris surrounding the lake. That means natural materials — such as leaves, branches and wood — don’t fall into the lake. With help from the community, we can support aquatic life and improve angling opportunities throughout the lake.”

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