Lincoln Boy Scouts pick up used Christmas trees

Boy Scouts scoop mulch into a trailer for a project
Boy Scouts scoop mulch into a trailer for a project(John Grinvalds)
Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 8:32 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - House to house, tree to tree. The Boy Scouts of Troop 8 bring a different kind of Christmas present to the table: it’s not what they leave behind, but what they take off your hands.

“With Christmas trees, we just want to keep them out of the landfill,” Brooks Rushman, the Troop 8 committee chair, said.

It’s part community service, part conservation.

“I think that it’s important because it saves the environment, and it gives back to the community,” Silas McDaniel, a boy scout, said.

The trees get turned into mulch for the community.

“This pile at Holmes Lake is here for free for the whole Lincoln community,” Rushman said. “Anybody can come pick it up. They can fill up a bucket or fill up a trailer load. It’s up to them.”

Or they go to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. But the program is also a lesson for the budding scouts and a chance to work toward ranking up.

“They’re interacting with the public in a way that they may not normally do every day, and so they get to see where their efforts are at,” said Brendan McDaniel, an assistant leader for Troop 8. “So whether that’s an elderly person or a person that doesn’t have a vehicle that can take this tree somewhere else or have to rely on their refuse service to take it to the dump.”

Folks in Lincoln sign up online, and they get put onto a route for the scouts.

Today, the scouts brought 220 trees to the drop off site at Holmes Lake, and they don’t plan on stopping until mid-January.