While some Lions Clubs in the Lower Mainland are tallying up donations from their Christmas tree sales in December, the North Delta Lions are getting ready to turn your now-undecorated hemlocks, spruces and pines into mulch.
Clubs in Richmond, Lynn Valley and Ambleside, among others, all raised funds through tree sales this holiday season. In North Delta and Ladner, Lions will be taking those now unwanted evergreens and tossing them into chippers on Jan. 9 and 10. Donations will be accepted to support club programs and to help out community organizations and individuals.
With the Delta Scottsdale Lions folding in November due to declining membership, the North Delta Lions are doing double duty this winter, taking over operation of the tree chipping at Sungod Arena, while maintaining their usual event in Ladner at Memorial Park.
“Our members and their families are stepping up so that we have enough volunteers at both locations,” said club president Doug Fitzpatrick. “With so many of our fundraising initiatives cancelled in 2020 because of COVID restrictions, the tree chipping is vital to ensuring we can continue to make donations to organizations that do so much good in our community.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has, however, meant that the volunteers will have to take some precautions to ensure social distancing and other safety measures are adhered to.
“It is challenging to try to keep our members and volunteers safe in anything that we do,” said Doug Lucas, co-chair of the club’s tree-chipping operation. “The public health orders from Dr. Bonnie Henry are out there for everybody to follow.
“We’re asking people who come to drop off their tree to stay in their vehicle and make it easy for everybody by letting us take the tree out of your pickup or your trunk. And then you’re safely on your way.”
Social distancing will be practised throughout the event, including with how donations will be handled.
“We’re following the lead of other people doing drive-thrus and drop-offs, using the hockey-stick-and-bucket method to allow people to donate from their vehicle window,” Lucas said.
At Sungod, where drivers will need to enter off 112th Street, signage and volunteers will help direct the one-way traffic.
The tree-chipping operations at both Sungod and Memorial Park in Ladner will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.