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Indian Creek Nature Center to put Christmas trees to use

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Five days into the New Year, many families are taking down their Christmas decorations, including real Christmas trees. Once decorations are removed from these trees, they become organic material.

The Indian Creek Nature Center is taking donated trees and the city of Cedar Rapids is mulching the trees for their trails. With many trails damaged by the derecho, these Christmas trees are even more important.

According to the Director of Land Stewardship Jean Wiedneheft, ICNC will be rebuilding its trail system over the next two years.

"This mulch will be to help guide people on the new pathway," Wiedenheft said.

Christmas trees can also be reused as habitats for birds and squirrels. Wiedenheft says to move trees near a bird feeder or bath.

"They like to feel safe because hawks will come in town and take them out, the feral cats will come and take them out, so they need to feel safe," Wiedenheft said. 

The Prairie Park Fishery is also accepting disposed trees.

"If you bring your tree there, they’ll take it out on the ice," Wiedenheft said.

When the ice melts in the spring the trees will sink down and become a habitat for the fish in the reservoir. 

People interested in recycling their trees in Cedar Rapids can take them to the Sac & Fox trail parking lot, on Bertram Road and Wilder Drive SE, or Prairie Park Fishery, 2125 Otis Road SE through the end of January. The Christmas trees must have all their decorations removed, as it can interfere with the mulching equipment. 

On Monday, Waterloo started its two-week pickup of real Christmas trees. Trees need to be completely undecorated and cut to be less than 6 feet in length if longer. Place the tree to the curb on your usual garbage day. 

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