For the past nine years people have been bringing leftover Christmas trees to Dunbar Cave after the holidays. Typically about a 1000 trees are donated each year, although many more can be used. Trees can be brought to the visitors’ center parking lot from December 26th until January 11th from 8:00 am until sunset. The park is open seven days a week. They should be free of tinsel and other decorations.
The trees will be ground into mulch, thanks to CDE volunteers. Christmas tree lots are invited to bring any leftover trees as well. No other types of plants or vegetation are allowed. Why only Christmas trees? Typically grown on farms for this purpose or harvested from the wild, these trees make mulch ideal for protecting soil and tend to be free of any invasive species which could spread in the park.
Around Earth Day, April 22nd, volunteers will spread this mulch along the earthen dam to enrich the soil and prevent erosion. In the past the mulch has been used on walking trails and around picnic tables. Scout troops and other community groups are invited to bring a rake and join the Friends of Dunbar Cave spread the mulch and enjoy each others’ company. There will be a public announcement, once a specific date is set, on the Friends of Dunbar Cave website.
These events are sponsored by the Friends of Dunbar Cave, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Dunbar Cave State Natural Area. The website for the group is www.dunbarcave.org. There are some twenty similar groups associated with Tennessee State Parks. For more information, please call Visitors’ Center at 648-5526.
Submitted by Dick Gildrie on behalf of Dunbar Cave.