Lake County Forest Preserves offer Christmas tree recycling

Turn your holiday tree into trails at 8 preserves offering the service

The Lake County Forest Preserves recycle holiday trees into wood chips for trails and landscaping in your forest preserves.

LIBERTYVILLE – From festive to forest. Recycle your holiday tree for a greener tomorrow.

Don’t send your holiday tree to the landfill. Donate it to the Lake County Forest Preserves and they’ll recycle it into wood chips for trails and landscaping in the forest preserves.

Bring your undecorated tree to one of eight marked drop-off sites at preserves around Lake County. Preserves are open from 6:30 a.m. to sunset through Feb. 1, 2024. No yard waste or commercial drop-offs are accepted.

Drop-off sites are:

• Grant Woods Forest Preserve, 25405 W. Monaville Road, Ingleside

• Greenbelt Forest Preserve, 1110 Green Bay Road, North Chicago

• Half Day Forest Preserve, 24255 Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills

• Heron Creek Forest Preserve, 22890 N. Old McHenry Road, Lake Zurich

• Lakewood Forest Preserve, 27277 Forest Preserve Road, Wauconda

• Old School Forest Preserve, 28285 St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa

• Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods

• Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve, 15838 W. Route 173, Wadsworth

The Lake County Forest Preserves has been accepting trees for recycling for at least 20 years.

Most years, more than 1,000 trees are donated.

The majority of the trees are mulched for use on trails.

Some are used to create “fish cribs.” Staff members tie several trees together and sink them with a cinderblock in larger lakes, particularly those that formerly were gravel quarries and lack substantial underwater vegetation. The lakes benefit from the fish cribs, which serve as crucial habitats for fish.

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