Recycling Christmas trees can support Children’s Foundation

GUELPH – When the holiday season is over, decorations are boxed away and needles drop rapidly from aging Christmas trees, leaving many wondering what to do with the once-loved tree in the window. 

The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington’s Trees for Tots fundraiser offers an answer to that question and gives trees a second life while raising funds for important programming. 

For a suggested minimum contribution of $15, people living in Puslinch, Rockwood and Guelph can register to have their Christmas trees picked up from their homes. 

The annual fundraising initiative, now in its 12th year, raised more than $100,000 collecting over 3,600 trees last season. 

Children’s Foundation director of marketing and community engagement Amanda Kavachak said the trees will be “returned to nature” through a revitalization project. 

Some of the trees will be delivered to Marden Park, where Trout Unlimited Canada will use the trees to help catch sediment and stabilize the banks of the creeks. 

“Christmas trees (or conifers) are a very effective, natural tool to use in stream rehabilitation because of the network of branches and needles on the trees,” states the  Trout Unlimited Canada website. 

“As excess sediment travels downstream, it will get caught within the trees’ branches and eventually, a new bank behind the sediment will form … it will also help reduce stream temperatures and maintain preferred conditions for cold water species.” 

Other trees will be delivered to the University of Guelph Arboretum and the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, where they will be chipped and used to restore and maintain walking trails.

All Trees for Tots proceeds directly support the Children’s Foundation, “furthering its mission to build brighter futures for local children and youth,” states a press release. 

This includes programs such as:

  • Food and Friends, providing nutritious snacks and meals in schools;
  • Free to Grow, offering opportunities for kids to explore interests such as swimming or arts; and
  • Adopt-A-Family, connecting donors with families and independent youth to bring holiday hope and joy. 

“As we embark on another year of Trees for Tots, I’m filled with gratitude for our community’s unwavering support and our volunteers’ tireless dedication,” states Children’s Foundation executive director Karyn Kirkwood. 

“Together, we are planting the seeds of compassion and community impact, while creating a legacy of environmental stewardship.

“Every dollar raised makes a tangible difference in the well-being of kids in our community.” 

To register for tree pickup visit or call  519-826-9551 ext. 125 by Jan. 9.

Tree pick up is scheduled for Jan. 13. Tax receipts are issued, less a $10 service fee. 

People without real Christmas trees can support the Trees for Tots fundraiser by purchasing a limited edition Trees for Tots candle from 

Candles cost $15, with $5 from each candle donated to the Children’s Foundation.