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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Trees picked up for recycling


Trees picked up for recycling

Bryce Ebel, a member of the La Grande High School swim team, lifts a Christmas tree into the back of a pickup on Saturday. Photo by Chris Baxter.
Bryce Ebel, a member of the La Grande High School swim team, lifts a Christmas tree into the back of a pickup on Saturday. Photo by Chris Baxter.
La Grande High School swimmers and members of Boy Scout Troop 511 gave Christmas trees new life on Saturday. 

The teenagers collected about 240 Christmas trees and then, with the help of adult volunteers, brought the trees to portions of the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area to provide wildlife habitat.

Trees were collected by Troop 511 scouts at Walmart and by the swimmers at the LHS student parking lot. The scouts and swimmers also picked up Christmas trees for those who could not bring them in. People were charged $4 for each tree they brought in and $6 for the trees that were picked up.

At the LHS parking lot, swimmers kept warm in the face of chilly weather by cooking hot dogs and enjoying hot chocolate prepared with the help of their parents and volunteers. 

“It is a lot of fun. It is a good bonding experience,” said LHS swimmer Emmitt Ambert.

Troop 511 collected close to 100 trees, said Patrick Smith of Island City, an adult Boy Scout volunteer. 

Smith said people welcomed the service the scouts provided.

“One lady (who brought in a tree) told us that last year she had her tree in her backyard until March,” Smith said.

The two groups also collected Christmas trees on Dec. 28, but not nearly as many trees were brought in then. Only 20 trees were collected by the LHS swim team that day and about 50 by Troop 511.

“People do not want to get rid of their trees right after Christmas,” said Dorothy Ambert, an LHS swim parent. 

Local youth groups have provided recycled Christmas trees to the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area for at least 19 years. The Christmas trees are used to provide winter and hiding cover for small mammals, quail and other small birds. The trees protect these animals from snow and keep predators like raptors out, said Dave Larson, manager of the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. 

Contact Dick Mason at 541-786-5386 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Dick on Twitter @lgoMason.


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