Decorations go back into hiding and Christmas trees get hauled to the curb after the holiday season. Saying farewell to the holidays is a little easier knowing that your Christmas tree can actually help restore the Credit River.

In 2008, we noticed that the stretch of the river that winds through Upper Credit Conservation Area needed to be restored. This area was once used as cattle pasture. Cattle access, declining vegetation and urban development caused the banks of the river to erode and widen. This is bad news for plants and fish.

We found that Christmas trees could be an effective way to address the problem. We joined forces with the Region of Peel to collect Christmas trees. Since 2008, we’ve collected hundreds of Christmas trees in Peel Region.

CVC’s restoration crew collecting Christmas trees                                in Meadowvale.

Christmas trees are natural barriers that can help slow down water currents. Nutrients and sediment from biodegraded Christmas trees created ideal conditions for new plant life to grow. More plants along the banks of the river results in lower water temperatures and better conditions for cold-water fish like brook trout.

Volunteers help CVC's restoration crew line the Christmas trees up one-by-one along the shoreline.
Volunteers help CVC’s restoration crew line the                Christmas trees up one-by-one along the                                          shoreline.

Since 2008, shoreline Christmas trees have been working as hard as elves. Large areas of sediment have settled, closing large coves along the Upper Credit shoreline.

BEFORE AFTER
BEFORE                                                                               AFTER

Volunteers are an important part of our conservation projects. Their enthusiasm and commitment make projects like this a success. This August, you are invited to help us with restoration projects throughout the watershed. Keep an eye on our events calendar for updates and more information.

After next year’s holiday season, bring your Christmas tree to your local Region of Peel waste facility to make sure it gets reused to help our Credit River. Guarantee your spot on Santa’s nice list.

By CVC’s Kimberley Holt-Behrend

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