During this holiday season, Alabama Power is partnering with the city of Hoover to collect recycled Christmas trees for enhancing fish habitats in the company’s reservoirs.
“Anytime you can partner with a municipality like the city of Hoover is great,” said Mike Clelland, Alabama Power Environmental Affairs specialist. “It fosters a healthy relationship, especially when we share common ground in environmental stewardship efforts. I look forward to many more projects such as this together.”
Alabama Power has submerged more than 60,000 Christmas trees in lakes and rivers since 1993 for fish habitat. The company also uses artificial fish habitat devices in its reservoirs, but Clelland said a majority of habitats built and submerged by the company are made of natural materials like recycled Christmas trees, stumps and logs.
Using old Christmas trees for fish habitat also cuts down on the number of trees destined for landfills, Clelland said.
Residents can bring their Christmas trees, cleaned of holiday ornaments, starting Dec. 25 to the Hoover Sports Park Central complex, 3458 Chapel Lane. Trees will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2024.
Alabama Power will collect and store the trees until spring, when they will be deployed in various lakes to create habitats.
Come springtime, Alabama Power, with the help of volunteers, will place the old Christmas trees in reservoirs to help fish thrive. (contributed)
Which reservoirs get additional habitat this coming year will be determined once the company knows how many trees it will receive from the collection effort, Clelland said. It also depends on which lakes have had trees submerged for habitat in recent years. The habitat created with the trees typically lasts between three and five years.
Clelland said company experts identify spots where fish would naturally like to congregate to add habitat. The experts also look for places that boats can access easily, without obstructions.
He said the company depends on volunteers to assist with and support habitat projects.
“We hope to work with lake association members, fishing teams and clubs, and any interested parties,” Clelland said.
He said the locations selected for new habitats will be marked via GPS and shared with the public via Alabama Power’s lake-related website, apcshorelines.com. The information can also be found on the company’s Shorelines app.
For more information about the company’s habitat projects, and to learn about volunteer opportunities to support them, contact Clelland at 205-664-6391.