Keep Liberty Beautiful Director Sara Ann Swida hates to see Christmas end and gets sad when the Christmas decorations come down.
There comes a time, however, when you have to undeck the halls and “Bring One for the Chipper,” she said, referring to the Liberty County-Fort Stewart cooperative effort to recycle Christmas trees.
Swida said live trees still have value after the holidays. With all the lights and ornaments removed, the trees can be recycled to make mulch or enhance fish habitat in ponds and lakes.
Residents can turn in trees at one of more than a dozen Liberty County locations or on Jan. 11 at the Liberty County Health Department and get free seedlings provided by the Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewers Christmas Tree Farm.
Swida said “Bring One For the Chipper” is a statewide effort led by Keep Georgia Beautiful that began more than 20 years ago. Locally, the event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, Fort Stewart, Georgia Power, the Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
According to Fort Stewart Public Affairs spokeswoman Dina McKain, trees will be collected at the main Post Exchange from through Jan. 11. They will be used as fish habitat throughout the installation or provided for mulch on post or in Liberty County, she said.
“According to our Fish and Wildlife Branch, the Christmas trees are used as fish attracters that enhance spawning and feeding habitat,” McKain said. “They also increase potential cover for fish. The trees are replaced in installation ponds every year.”
Swida said the trees collected at county drop-off sites are available to pond owners. She said from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 11, Chipper the mascot will be at the chipper mulch site operated by Georgia Power in the health-department parking lot at 1113 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Flemington.
Those who deliver their trees unbound and undecorated there on mulch day will receive free tree seedlings, she said.
“We often have student groups like the local 4-H and other volunteers, who help provide manpower as we accept trees from local citizens,” Swida said.
For more information, call KLB at 880-4888 or go to www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.