You can repurpose your live Christmas tree by giving it to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake and Carlyle Lake, who will be turning donated trees into underwater fish structures that will serve a variety of purposes such as feeding areas for fish of all sizes, a refuge for small fish and excellent fishing spots for anglers.
Trees can be dropped off until Jan. 16 at the Sugar Creek parking lot, Dam West Boat ramp or at Jackie Branch boat ramp at Rend Lake.
If you live in Mt. Vernon, drop your tree off at the Veterans Park women’s softball field, Optimist Park or Airport Park until Jan. 5.
For Carlyle Lake, trees can be donated from December 26 through January 30, at Plant Land on Old Route 50 east of Breese, Dam East High Water Boat Ramp, and the Little Prairie Nature Trail parking lot located in the West Spillway.
Artificial or flocked trees (with artificial snow) will not be accepted. Make sure trees are free of all decorations including tinsel.
Once trees are collected and turned into underwater fish structures, they will be dropped into Rend Lake sometime in March.
If you need more information, call the Rend Lake Project Office at 724-2493.