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When trees turn to mulch on Whidbey Island

Mike Miller, owner of the Pacific Winds Farm on Torpedo Road in Oak Harbor, said he and his wife Tricia have been very pleased with the reception they’ve had after they reopened a Christmas tree farm on their property this year. Once Christmas is over, clean trees are being accepted for recycling at Habitat for Humanity stores in Oak Harbor and Freeland for a $5 donation. - Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Mike Miller, owner of the Pacific Winds Farm on Torpedo Road in Oak Harbor, said he and his wife Tricia have been very pleased with the reception they’ve had after they reopened a Christmas tree farm on their property this year. Once Christmas is over, clean trees are being accepted for recycling at Habitat for Humanity stores in Oak Harbor and Freeland for a $5 donation.
— image credit: Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

It’s possible the Christmas tree that’s standing in your living room will be around Whidbey Island for years to come.

Just in a different form.

Habitat for Humanity of Island County is teaming up with Pioneer Tree Service & Landscaping to collect and recycle Christmas trees on Whidbey Island.

In an effort to keep trees out of landfills and make progress toward its mission, Habitat for Humanity of Island County is accepting clean Christmas trees for a $5 donation at its Oak Harbor and Freeland locations on two days next week.

The trees may be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 27-28.

Oak Harbor-based Pioneer Tree Service & Landscaping will collect the trees and put them through a chipper to use for landscaping. They ship the wood chips to Mailliard’s Landing Nursery, where they are reground and sold as beauty bark, said Mindy Walton, marketing director for Pioneer Tree Service & Landscaping.

“We just really wanted to keep the trees out of the landfills and do something good,” said Sadi Foltz, development director for Habitat for Humanity of Island County. “The donations will help support our housing programs and also get people in the stores and everything. It’s to help support our mission.”

That mission, she said, is to eliminate substandard housing for low-income families in Island County.

It’s the third year the nonprofit organization has collected trees on the island.

Foltz said she is hoping for more participation this year with increased publicity.

The Habitat for Humanity store in Oak Harbor in downtown at 350 SE Pioneer Way.

The Freeland site is at 1592 Main St.

For more information, contact the Oak Harbor store at 360-675-8733.

If you want to wait until after the New Year to recycle your tree, a group is scheduling pickups for Jan. 4.

The 2014 China Orphanage Mission Team will pick up trees in the Oak Harbor and Coupeville areas for a $10 suggested donation.

To arrange for a pickup, call Toni at 360-672-5449, or email crebbintoni@gmail.com. Proceeds will support a missionary trip to work with orphans in Chaoyang, China.

 

Festival of Trees nets $115,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County is celebrating another successful year after its Festival of Trees fundraising gala and auction netted $115,000.

A gala and auction was held Dec. 6 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge and a public viewing of the trees happened Dec. 7.

“It was fabulous,” said Tamra Sipes, board president for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County. “It was a sellout as it has been in years past. It was just an amazing event.”

Sipes knows Festival of Trees events in other communities are larger, but said she doubts many tree decorators are better than the ones who beautify trees at the Oak Harbor event.

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