Five Rivers MetroParks hopes to collect 800 used holiday trees for an important conservation project that will bolster aquatic habitat and improve angling opportunities at Eastwood Lake. The public 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, 2022. Trees should be free of decorations, paint and artificial snow.
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 on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
“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.”
Five Rivers MetroParks successfully completed the same conservation project in early 2019. With help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), nearly 750 trees were sunk into Eastwood Lake. According to ODNR fisheries biologist Michael Porto, tree sinkings at Eastwood Lake and other public bodies of water have yielded positive feedback from anglers.
In 2020 and 2021, MetroParks collected trees for ODNR to sink in local state parks.
“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.”