Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation to collect holiday trees Jan. 2 to recycle into mulch  


Lana Ramer

Lana Ramer figured a holiday tree recycling event was a great fit for Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation’s sustainability mission.

“I was inspired by the work some other parks departments are doing, (like) Philadelphia, New York City, to mulch holiday trees, and suggested the idea,” said Ramer, CCPR volunteer coordinator. “As CCPR is on a path to be the community’s leader in sustainability and nature stewardship, our management was enthusiastic about bringing this opportunity to Carmel.” 

CCPR will hold a free holiday tree recycling event from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 2 at Carmel’s Central Park Westermeier Commons, 920 Central Park Dr. W. Anyone dropping off trees will receive a treat.

“Since this is our first time doing it, we do not have goals in terms of hard metrics, number of trees recycled, volume of mulch,” Ramer said. “Our goal is to bring the community together and to educate the public on the importance of responsibly disposing of the trees. Our team recently returned from a continued education training where they learned of invasive hemlock aphids that are making their way into Indiana on holiday trees and wreaths. It is our hope to divert these trees/wreaths from being left in parks and natural areas and lessen the spread of the invasive insects, so our goals would be community cohesion and sustainability education.”

Ramer said the event is open to people who live outside of Carmel. 

“We want everyone to be able to get in on the fun, do the right thing, learn about responsible sustainable behavior, have a treat and experience our flagship property,” Ramer said.

Ramer said the event is only to collect live trees, wreaths and mantel garlands.

“It’s not a plastic tree recycling event,” Ramer said. “The trees will be turned into wood chips. All trees, wreaths and garlands must be free of decorations. No lights, tinsel, or wire.” 

Ramer said visitors are encouraged to enter Central Park from the College Avenue entrance to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. Registration is not required. 


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