Island Beach not accepting discarded Christmas trees

     Island Beach State Park - April 2013: In January, volunteers placed thousands of discarded Christmas trees in trenches to help reestablish dunes that were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. (Sandy Levine/for NewsWorks)

    Island Beach State Park - April 2013: In January, volunteers placed thousands of discarded Christmas trees in trenches to help reestablish dunes that were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. (Sandy Levine/for NewsWorks)

    Last January, many communities happily accepted discarded Christmas trees to help rebuild protective dune systems that were damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy’s storm surge. The mechanics are simple: functioning like snow fencing, blowing sand gets trapped in the trees, helping to naturally grow dunes.

    At Island Beach State Park, where the storm breached the extensive dune system in numerous spots, a herculean effort last winter and spring spread thousands of trees in areas where dunes once sat high. 

    “Within two weeks most of the trees were completely covered with wind-blown sand,” Ray Bukowski, manager of Island Beach State Park, told NewsWorks in April. “So we went ahead and put (dune) fencing in front of the trees, and we’ve started to build that profile, and in a couple of months we’ve come up three and a half to four feet in some of the most impacted areas of the park. So it’s really significant, a real positive.”

    But in 2014, the state park will not accept Christmas trees, according to a statement released by The Friends of Island Beach State Park

    “The need for specific dune restorations are being evaluated and will be determined in the coming weeks. Plans will be announced at that time,” the statement advises. 

    Stay tuned for a list of municipalities that will be accepting Christmas trees in January. 

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