FINAL DAYS: Drop off your cut Christmas trees to help Dayton MetroPark’s aquatic life

Five Rivers MetroPark is asking for people to drop-off their used Christmas trees to be sunk in Eastwood Lake. CONTRIBUTED
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Five Rivers MetroPark is asking for people to drop-off their used Christmas trees to be sunk in Eastwood Lake. CONTRIBUTED

Another holiday past means another round of gently used Christmas trees that can be repurposed to help local aquatic life — and tomorrow, Jan. 21, 2021, is the final day to do so.

Five Rivers MetroParks’ conservation team is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to collect up to 450 used holiday trees to help bolster aquatic habitats — a practice that’s been proven to be successful, according to a Five Rivers release.

Trees can be dropped off at Eastwood MetroPark, located at 1401 Harshman Road through Jan. 21. Trees must be free of decorations, paint, tinsel and artificial snow. The drop-off site is in the park, on the lake side near the boat ramp. They will be sunk into Eastwood Lake at a later date.

The Lake is fed by water from the Mad River and contains saugeye, large bluegill and other fish. It’s a popular spot for birding, hiking, boating and other outdoor recreation activities.

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“I can say from personal experience and from talking to countless anglers that these trees provide quality angling opportunities in our public bodies of water,” said Michael Porto, ODNR fisheries biologist. “They give novice and experienced anglers alike someplace specific they can expect to catch fish. ODNR completed a tree-sinking project at Cowan Lake State Park last year, and the results have been very popular.”

Last year, Five Rivers and ODNR participated in a similar conservation project when conservation staff and volunteers sank nearly 750 trees into Eastwood Lake.

The 2019 project was in response to a survey from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that showed Eastwood Lake’s larger fish were not getting enough to eat because baitfish populations were not sufficient.