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Lancaster County Central Park offers Christmas tree mulching to county residents

The program will be available from Dec. 26 through Jan. 31. Suggested donation is $1 per tree, park officials said.
Credit: Lancaster County Department of Parks & Recreation

LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster County Central Park announced this week will have mulching services available for Christmas trees from December 26 through January 31.

The program, which is open to county residents, is for Christmas trees only -- no other yard waste will be accepted. It is available at the park's mulching site between dawn and dusk, park officials said.

The tree drop-off site is located behind the Central Park office off Chesapeake Street.

There is a suggested donation of $1 per tree, and a three-tree limit per vehicle, according to park officials. Commercial haulers are strongly advised to contact their local municipalities for their respective Christmas tree recycling locations. 

Trees must be free of decorations, lights, plastic bags and hardware, including nails in the trunk. 

Donations go towards the operation of the Dr. John Moss Native Tree Nursery in Central Park. Trees from the nursery are utilized throughout the County Park System, officials said.

Moss, a former Professor at Franklin and Marshall College and a founding member of the Lancaster Environmental Action Federation, worked to promote the conservation of natural resources for the improvement of the environment of Lancaster County’s public parks and open spaces. 

In 2000, LEAF donated funds to the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation for the creation of a nursery in memory of Dr. Moss.

According to park officials, residents drop off about 1,000 Christmas trees each year, which produce tons 15 tons of mulch. The mulch is ideal for acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas, and many deciduous ornamental trees and shrubs that require slightly acidic soil conditions. 

The mulch will be available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis after January 4, near the tree drop-off site. 

Those who want to take free mulch should bring a pitchfork or shovel, and a bag or a trailer to transport it home. 

“The Department has been offering this program as long as I can remember," said Paul D. Weiss, the county's Park and Recreation Administrator. "It is a great way to promote environmental stewardship, and the funds received support the future planting of trees.”

For more information about the Christmas tree mulching program, residents may call the Park Office at 299-8215, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. 

To learn more about the County Park System, visit  www.lancastercountyparks.org.

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