Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will open 13 sites in Rockford, Belvidere, Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton and Pecatonica; where natural Christmas trees can be chipped and recycled into mulch from Jan. 1-15. Recycling trees, a renewable resource, conserves valuable landfill space and returns vital nutrients to the earth while beautifying landscapes.

SUBMITTED PHOTO – The Herald. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Founding Executive Director Lori Gummow dropped off a Christmas tree to be recycled into mulch last January at Martin Park, Loves Park. Recyclers are asked to remove decorations and not leave wired wreaths, stands or bags that will damage chippers.

Before dropping off a tree in the designated area, remove the stand, any ornaments, lights, or wraps. Garlands and wreaths made with wire cannot be accepted as they will damage the chipper. No flocked trees accepted.

This service, organized and promoted by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, is sponsored by donations from Winnebago County; the City of Rockford; the City of Loves Park; the Villages of Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, Rockton and Roscoe; Harlem Township; Lincoln Rental-All; Trans Environmental and Williams Tree Farm. In-kind sponsors include 23WIFR Gray Television, Inc.; Mid-West Family Broadcasting; The Rock River Times; Rockford Park District; Valley View Farms and Winnebago County Forest Preserve.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful calculates more than 750,000 trees have been recycled here since 1988. For a map and other information about Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, visit or call (815) 637-1343. The Recycle Centers do not accept trees but will accept light strings.


Belvidere:  515 W. Locust St. at the Belvidere Street Department, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weekdays.

Cherry Valley:  Baumann Park, 300 South Walnut, during daylight hours.

Loves Park: Martin Park, 5600 Park Ridge Road, off East Avenue, south of Riverside Boulevard.

Machesney Park: Southwest parking lot, south of Machesney Town Center, 8702 N. Second St.

Rockford: Alpine Park, 950 S. Alpine Road; Andrews Park, 800 N. Central Ave.; Don Schmid Youth Sports Center, Riverdahl Park, 871 Sandy Hollow Road; Gambino Park, 4421 Pepper Dr., west of North Alpine Road; Levings Lake, east entrance off of South Johnston Ave. at Montague.

Rockton: Boat Ramp Parking area, which is about 830 E. Main St., opposite the Hononegah ball field; and Williams Tree, Farm, 4661 Yale Bridge Road.


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