Teens offer tree pickups | ParkRecord.com

Teens offer tree pickups

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Eight years ago the garbage company in town said they wouldn’t be picking up Christmas trees and with that news that the Park City Lacrosse Organization (PCLO) saw a grand opportunity to help the community and help themselves. Eight years later, the annual Christmas Tree Pickup Fundraiser continues to thrive and earn much-needed funds for high school girls and boys lacrosse players all over Park City.

"It has worked out really well for us," said fundraiser organizer and lacrosse parent Karen Emerson.

The fundraiser works like this: Locals call or email a parent in the organization to request a pick up for one of three weekends. Teen lacrosse players and their parents will then head out on three consecutive weekends with trucks and trailers collecting the trees. From there, the trees are taken to a mulching service and donated to places like the Swaner Nature Preserve that uses the wood chips to help restore animal habitats and stream banks.

According to Emerson, this annual money-maker has become a service that the community relies on. Very often people are seeking the PCLO out long before they start the yearly publicity campaign.

"People rely on the service," Emerson said. They think it’s great because they are helping lacrosse, it’s a community service and they’re recycling."

The pick-up is popular because it covers bases in the holiday feel-good category. The Christmas pick-up serves as the community project that teens and their parents can perform together as they provide a much needed service around the area. Those who have their trees pickup are helping local kids and a local organization. And in this era of thinking green, perhaps the best part, is the trees of disposed of in eco-friendly manner.

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The first tree pickup is the first weekend after Christmas, with more pickups on the next two weekends. Emerson said reservations for pickups may be taken up until the day before and says once a call has been made or an email sent, she will call the person to confirm and schedule the timing. She adds that e-mailing is preferable for the use of the service, as it puts them on the email list for next year’s fundraiser.

The fundraiser comes at the perfect time. After a good season of fall ball and an epic amount of interest, the high school spring season is already underway. Tryouts were held early to accommodate fill the rosters of both junior varsity and varsity teams for both genders so the funds come at a great time.

"They’ve got some great talent through the grades," Emerson said.

Forty-three athletes apiece were selected in both the boys and girls divisions, which Emerson jokes should give them excellent manpower for the tree carrying.

While the girls and their parents handle much of the publicity and scheduling responsibilities, they too will be out there with the boys picking up trees.

The three weeks of effort is well worth the while. Lacrosse is not sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association and so each team must fund itself. That means paying for numerous nights of turf rental at the Basin Recreation Field House, field use at area schools and parks, equipment, transportation and defraying individual fees for the athletes.

That’s a lot of cash. Luckily, there are a lot of trees to be picked up in Park City.

The needs of the PCLO will only continue to grow. There are programs for children as young as first grade all the way up to the high school program. It is these development programs that are feeding the high school program and helping them to improve each year. This year, the boys and girls will begin practicing Jan. 25 and travel to the Las Vegas high school tournament the following weekend, so the money raised in the next three weeks will be put to use quickly.

To schedule a pick-up, call 649-TREE (8733) or send an e-mail to pickupmytree@yahoo.com . Pick-up dates are Dec. 29, Jan. 5 and Jan. 12. The cost is $15 payable to PCLO (a non-profit organization).To place an order, call 649-TREE (8733) or email at pickupmytree@yahoo.com . Leave a name, address, phone number, neighborhood and date for the tree to be picked up.

For more information on high school programs, contact boys head coach Ryan Schaeffer at 901-3337 or girls head coach Amy Hafets at yma82@aol.com . Complete information about the PCLO may be found at http://www.parkcitylax.org .