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SLU collecting used Christmas trees to enhance wetlands

January 8, 2022 GMT

HAMMOND, La. (AP) — Although Christmas has come and gone, Southeastern Louisiana University said area residents still have time to give a gift to the environment.

The university will be collecting discarded Christmas trees again this year to benefit the state’s wetlands. It’s the 27th year Southeastern has coordinated the program, which has deployed about 40,000 trees since it launched.

Discarded Christmas trees can be dropped off and used to help build up marshland in areas that have been impacted by erosion and other factors.

“We can put the old Christmas trees to work in our area marshland while also reducing the waste stream going into landfills,” said Rob Moreau, manager of Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station located on Pass Manchac between Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

Moreau said the trees will be used in a variety of ways, creating new habitats for wildlife and helping to control erosion along various shorelines.

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Trees can be dropped off now through Mardi Gras, March 1, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hammond Maintenance facility on Highway 190 next to Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. The Southeastern Sustainability Center will collect trees beginning Jan. 10 through the end of the month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday.

A Turtle Cove trailer drop off site will also be maintained at Middendorf’s Restaurant, so customers going there can also drop off trees, Moreau said.

“The city of Hammond will again provide transport of collected trees to the Turtle Cove Galva Canal parking lot area in Manchac, where they will be stored until they are deployed in the marshes in the spring,” Moreau said.

No flocked trees will be accepted, and all trees should be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands, nails and screws.