Kansas City WildLands, in partnership with Johnson County Park and Recreation District, is again offering the public an opportunity to remove invasive red cedars and take them home to decorate for the holidays!
This year's event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, at JCPRD's Mildale Farm, 35250 W. 199th St., Edgerton. A minimum donation of $15 is being suggested for the trees, which have a range of shapes and sizes from “Charlie Brown Specials” to behemoths suitable for a mayor’s Christmas tree. Proceeds from this event will be used to benefit future conservation efforts throughout the Greater Kansas City Region. When you take home a native cedar tree, you’ll not only make your house smell great, you’ll be helping restore wild places to their original health.
This will be the fifth consecutive year KC WildLands has presented this event at Mildale Farm. In past years, other JCPRD properties have intermittently been sites for previous events.
As part of this event, haywagons will take participants to the tree site and back to their cars. Those who would like to participate should bring hand saws, rope to tie your tree to your vehicle, sturdy boots, and work gloves. Chainsaws and axes are not permitted. KC WildLands volunteers will be on hand to assist with loading trees. For those who would like to cut their own tree, volunteers will point out trees which can be cut. A bonfire, hot cider, and cookies to help warm up participants will also be available.
Removal of eastern red cedar trees is part of a prairie restoration project at the site. The workday effort is designed to remove a native species considered invasive in prairies and old fields. In time, the cedars’ sheer numbers and effects of their shading eliminate sun-loving prairie flora. In the past, naturally-occurring prairie wildfires kept this species in check, but modern fire suppression practices have allowed cedars to spread.
While eastern red cedars were used commonly by early pioneers as Christmas trees, those interested in participating should be aware this variety does not have the typical needle of the Scotch and white pines now predominantly used as Christmas trees. This gives the eastern red cedar a “leafier” appearance.
For more information on this event, Kansas City WildLands, or to volunteer at this event, contact Linda Lehrbaum at (816) 561-1061 ext. 116 or [email protected], or visit the group’s website at www.kcwildlands.org.
Mildale Farm is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District, which is a charter member of Kansas City WildLands, a conservation coalition initiated in 2001. The Mildale site, which is usually only accessible by reservation, is one of the region’s premier venues for weddings, reunions, retreats, and other special occasions.
Mildale Farm is located at 35250 W. 199th St. From the north, take Interstate 35 south to Exit 205, Homestead Lane. Turn right onto Homestead Lane. Turn left on 199th and follow to Mildale Farm, which will be on your right. From the south, take Interstate 35 north to Exit 205, Homestead Lane. Turn left onto Homestead Lane. Turn left on 199th and follow to Mildale Farm, which will be on your right.