Just in time for the holidays, free holly will be given away on Bainbridge Island as the invasive species is cleared.
The Bainbridge Island Metro Parks and Recreation District is cleaning up Rotary Park and Owen’s Playground by removing a holly tree in the wooded area by the ballfields.
The free holly bunches will come with a label explaining why holly is bad, how to dispose of it and what to plant instead.
And it will attract shoppers to the Waterfront Thrift Store Holiday Sale, which is an important source of funding for the BI Senior/Community Center.
To pre-register email Jeannette Franks at firstname.lastname@example.org, text 206-755-8461 or it is fine to just show up, but it is helpful to know who will be where when. Almost all work will be outside and masked if in close proximity.
Holly spreads aggressively through roots and seeds, which birds eat and disperse in places like the Grand Forest, where it crowds out native plants. It is difficult to remove after just a few years of growth. There are many hollies that are sterile hybrids and do not reproduce. Native Oregon grape also comes in many beautiful varieties that are decorative and hold up well in arrangements. People should remove all English holly from their yard, put seeds in the trash and do not compost.
• Nov. 24 from 2- 4 p.m. will be the first opportunity to help with bundling, and, if you like, choose the choicest branches for your own decorating. Go to the Senior Center.
• Nov. 26 from 1-3 p.m. help out at the Senior Center, organizing the holly into bunches small, medium and large to give away the next day.
• Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. until they are gone, distributing the free holly and cleaning up afterward.