By Matt Bryant
They are a joy to put up, but usually a chore to take down. Once all the presents are opened and all the ham eaten, it’s time to think about untangling the tinsel and dismantling the Christmas tree once again. But this year, the City of Hoover seeks to give purpose to your labor.
The City is joining with Alabama Power to repurpose discarded Christmas trees. The program pertains only to live trees, not artificial ones.
The City will have a site where residents can drop their tree and Alabama Power will then pick them up and use them in a fish habitat enhancement program it takes part in.
“Since 1993 we have been repurposing Christmas trees and building structures to place in our company managed reservoirs as fish attracting devices,” Alabama Power explains. “And as a matter of fact, we have recycled over 60,000 trees in that time. We bundle trees together and anchor them with concrete blocks, then record the locations with a GPS for the public to access. We usually work with fishing clubs, lake associations, school fishing teams, or any interested parties to conduct this program.”
“As reservoirs age, the natural structure, trees and stumps that fish use as cover, begin to deteriorate. We are simply going back and enhancing some of these habitats. When we do, algae begin to form which attract macro invertebrates, insect colonies etc. which in turn attract small fish. Ultimately, they will attract larger fish, and then fishermen, creating a complete food chain. So, we are basically providing the basis for a mini ecosystem when we place these structures.”
The City has participated in the program off and on for several years.
“We value our relationship with Alabama Power and always want to support the company’s power-service efforts, as well as their environmental stewardship,” says Colin M. Conner, Horticulture & Urban Forestry Manager. “Discarded trees not utilized in the fish habitat program will most likely be added to a local landfill. Without question, the discarded trees will be far more beneficial as fish habitat, and you never know who might benefit from that next perfect cast!”
Drop offs begin December 26th and run through January 31st.
Trees can be taken to Hoover Sports Park Central located at 3468 Chapel Ln, Hoover, AL 35226. The location is convenient from Patton Chapel Rd, Galleria Boulevard, Preserve Parkway and Al Seier Rd. Residents are asked to use the football field parking lot near the X at Chapel Ln and Al Seier Rd. Signage and possibly Christmas decorations will be placed at the parking lot access and drop-off point.
Hoover residents can also place their discarded Christmas trees curbside for pickup on DAY 1 of their regularly scheduled trash pickup. They will then need to request a “bulky item pickup”. This can be done through The My Hoover Connect App, by emailing MyHooverConnect@HooverAlabama.gov or by calling 205-739-7311. Trees that are picked up curbside will NOT be utilized in the Alabama Power program.