SPRINGFIELD — Bass Pro Shops is partnering with the Boy Scouts, and the Missouri Department of Conservation to put real trees back into habitats after the holidays.
For many families, an annual bonding experience revolves around cutting down and decorating a Christmas tree.
When it comes to having an actual tree in your house, the real headache could begin when you start thinking about disposing of it, but there are ways to dispose of that tree that are good for the environment.
For the 31st year, Bass Pro Shops will be making an effort to help get those real trees back where they came from. Again, the trees need to be real trees. Pete Duchrow at Bass Pro explains.
“We will begin on December 26th and go through January 1st,” Duchrow says. “We will do it from noon until six. We do it off Campbell at the outlet store.”
The only thing you have to do is remove all the ornaments and objects from the tree, haul it out, and they take care of the rest.
“You just bring them to the store, the boy scouts will accept the trees, and put them in the trailers. We work with the conservation department to determine where they need to go,” says Duchrow.
After all the gifts are out from under the tree, the tree then becomes a gift to nature. Francis Skalicky with the Conservation Department says this is the gift that keeps on giving to critters when these trees are put back into habitats.
“Christmas trees, along with some other brush make for great wildlife habitat,” Skalicky says. “They can use it for nesting. They can use it for cover in the way with predators like hawks or owls or something like that. Everybody needs protection. This is a way that wildlife can get away from their predators.”
Sometimes, those trees are dumped into lakes to create habitats for fish. If you like to go fishing, this is exactly what you want to hear.
“From a fishing standpoint, these brush piles are great places to fish. These fish congregate around these brush piles,” Skalicky says.
Duchrow from Bass Pro says there are several advantages to this method of disposal.
“It’s kind of a win-win for everybody,” he says. “You aren’t filling up landfills or anything like that. Over the last 31 years, we have recycled in this way, over 270,000 Christmas trees.”
Make sure you have all the ornament, lights, and hooks off of the tree before you bring them in. These items can be hazardous to wildlife.
Boy Scouts will be out at the drop-off sites doing the heavy lifting, pulling those trees onto the trailers. You can donate to that organization upon arrival.