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Chop Responsibly

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The mayor's massive Christmas tree, towering in front of Crown Center, could bring out the grinch in those hoping to celebrate an eco-friendly holiday season. The 100-foot pine traveled more than 1,500 miles to be adorned with more than 7,000 lights. It's hardly a tribute to energy efficiency or Oregon's old-growth forests. At least there is a responsible way to deck your own halls with boughs of greenery. It's not often that tree huggers are asked to dust off their handsaws, but today it's open season on eastern red cedars in Shawnee Mission Park (7900 Renner Road in Shawnee). Don't despair; trimming these trees is good for Mother Earth. The elegant cedar has thick boughs for hanging ornaments and a pleasant fragrance that makes it a favorite for wood furniture. But it's also an ecological conquistador, invading the Midwest and overrunning the territory's native vegetation. So from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, show your holiday spirit by cutting your own Christmas tree and helping restore one of Johnson County's best-loved green spaces. Plus, your minimum donation of $10 is a gift that will keep on giving. Event proceeds benefit KC Wildlands, an organization that works to restore native habitats across the metro. For a map and more information, see kcwildlands.org. kcwildlands.org/redcedarchristmastreeday.html
Sat., Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 2007

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