VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Before you toss your Christmas tree to the curb, considering dropping it off at a local business instead.
This is the second year Chicho’s at the Oceanfront is collecting donated Christmas trees to help the Outer Banks erosion project.
Owner Matt Potter says they started the project last year after seeing North Carolina businesses do similiar collections.
“We thought it would be great to give back,” he said.
Potter, who grew up vacationing at the Outer Banks as a child, says last year’s donation was a hit so they brought it back.
“Last year was a great turn out. We had 500 trees. We want to keep it going this year. So far, it looks like we have 1,000 so we’ve doubled last year,” he said.
Potter says their goal this year is to get between 1,500 to 2,000 trees. While they’re focusing their efforts on the North Carolina beaches, the business is trying to also place some trees along Virginia’s shores.
“We’ve been talking to Fort Story and Damn Neck bases. They’re able to use them as well. We’d like to get a hold of more localities and protect our own backyard,” he said.
Potter is glad that the donations will not only rid people of trees that would’ve been thrown out, but it’s also helping the environment.
“The Outer Banks and Nags Head, in general, gets hit every year with a Nor’easter and hurricane. It tears a part of the beach up down there. It helps the sand come back up on the tree and build those dunes back up,” he said.
In exchange for a tree, the restaurant is giving out vouchers for a $7.99 large cheese pizza.
Potter says trees should be bare, meaning no tinsel, decorations or lights.
If you would like to drop off trees, you can do so at the Chicho’s Oceanfront location until January 16 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This Saturday, January 4, you can drop off trees at the Chicho’s Strawbridge and Shore Drive locations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Sunday, January 5, Chicho’s Greenbrier and Hickory restaurants are collecting trees from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well as the Haygood Skating Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Potter says the trees will be delivered on January 18 and they are looking for volunteers with trucks or trailers to help. If you are interested, please call (757) 428-1424.
The Chicho’s Oceanfront restaurant is located at 2820 Pacific Avenue.