Your Lion Nation Station

90.9 The Lion

Your Lion Nation Station

90.9 The Lion

Your Lion Nation Station

90.9 The Lion


Randy Bergeron
SAVING THE WETLANDS ONE DISCARDED TREE AT A TIME – A Southeastern Louisiana University student helps deploy discarded Christmas trees to help restore Louisiana wetlands. This is the 29th straight year Southeastern has conducted its recycled tree program.

HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University is again asking area citizens to give the environment a gift after Christmas. Turtle Cove and its partners will provide Christmas Tree Recycling. Discarded Christmas trees can be dropped off and used for wetland restoration rather than throwing them out with the trash.

“Recycled Christmas trees can be put back to work in our area marshes, while also reducing the waste going into landfills,” said Rob Moreau, manager of Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station located on Pass Manchac between Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

Although grant funding from the state programs for Christmas tree recycling in many areas ended years ago, local partners stepped up to keep the project going. This marks the 29th straight year Southeastern has conducted its recycled tree program. Each year students from Moreau’s environmental awareness class, as well as volunteers from the local community, help to deploy the trees into areas needed most in the Manchac Swamp Wetlands. Approximately 45,000 trees have been deployed through the Southeastern program in the past 28 years.

Southeastern scientists and volunteers at Turtle Cove use the discarded trees to help build up marshland in areas that have been impacted by erosion and other factors, said Moreau.

Moreau explained that the trees will be used in a variety of ways, creating new habitats for wildlife and, of course, helping to control erosion along various shorelines, most recently occurring on Galva Canal and in areas around the research station itself on Pass Manchac and the boatshed/parking lot area at Galva Canal.

This practice also provides hands-on environmental education opportunities for students and other volunteers who help with the project.

Collaborating in the project for the eighth consecutive year is the Southeastern Sustainability Center on North Oak Street, which will serve as a drop-off point for area residents to leave their used Christmas trees. Other primary partners include the city of Hammond, city of Ponchatoula, and Middendorf’s Restaurant in Manchac. Several local tree farms and other businesses usually jump in on the action as well in terms of providing left over trees.

Trees can be dropped off beginning Jan. 4 through the day after Mardi Gras from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hammond maintenance facility, located at 18104 Hwy. 190 next to Piggly Wiggly Supermarket. Trees should be dropped off using the gate on Falcon Dr. next to Piggly Wiggly. During those same dates, city of Ponchatoula residents can drop off trees anytime at 385 North 4th St. by the fence. The Southeastern Sustainability Center, located at 2101 North Oak Street, will collect trees beginning Jan. 4 through the end of the month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday. Moreau said a Turtle Cove trailer is maintained at Middendorf’s Restaurant, so customers going there can also drop off trees.

“The city of Hammond will again provide transport of collected trees from Hammond and Ponchatoula to the Turtle Cove Galva Canal parking lot area in Manchac, where they will be stored until they are deployed in the marshes in the spring,” Moreau said.

For all of these sites, no flocked trees will be accepted, and all trees should be stripped of any ornaments, lights, tinsel, stands, nails and screws, etc.

“This greatly helps our efforts to get the trees quickly deployed,” Moreau said.

For more information, contact Moreau at [email protected] or visit the website at

Donations to help support the activity can be sent by check payable to Southeastern Foundation – c/o Turtle Cove and mailed to Southeastern Box 10585, Hammond, LA 70402 or can be made by credit card through the Turtle Cove web site and under the donations link.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All 90.9 The Lion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *