The annual Christmas Tree Bonfire in New Paltz was postponed because of bone-chilling temperatures, but it's happening this Saturday. My question for New Paltz is: Why?

I am not trying to start trouble here, but why is an environmentally-concerned town like New Paltz burning old Christmas trees? Don't get me wrong, I love a good bonfire, and it does benefit the volunteer fire department, but burning the old trees is not putting them to their best use.


Many towns in the Mid Hudson Valley will collect old trees and grind them up into mulch, that is spread in town and city parks and gardens. Some even make the mulch available to residents. The mulch helps nourish trees and gardens, and it also looks good. Does New Paltz already do this too?

According to Real Christmas Trees, there are lots of uses for old Christmas trees. One of them is as a soil erosion barrier for lakes and rivers. I don't know if this would help around parts of the Wallkill River that runs through New Paltz.  Another use could be for the hikers.

Paths for hiking trails: Some counties use shredded trees as a free, renewable and natural path material that fits both the environment and the needs of hikers.

Once again, I am not criticizing New Paltz for the big Bonfire, but just asking the question since the town does seem to champion the beauty of Ulster County and the Mid Hudson Valley.  If I am way off base on any of this, please leave your comments on our Facebook page.

Bonus Video