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Firewood will be free for the taking at three city parks

CITY HALL – The warmth, light, cheerful crackle and woodsy scent of burning logs bring comfort on a dark winter’s night, and the city has firewood free for the taking at three parks.

The city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry announced this week that starting Nov. 9, it will be stockpiling wood that’s free to anyone who can stop by and pick it up.

The wood won’t be cut or split into fireplace-ready pieces, so officials encourage people to bring equipment or material to help haul or carry away the wood safely. However, the city notes that commercial vehicles and trailers are banned in St. Louis’ parks.

Here are the three sites:

All of the wood will be from dead or damaged trees taken off streets and out of parks. There’s no saying how much will be available at any certain time, nor what species of trees the wood will be from. Whatever needs to be cut down will find its way to the three sites.

The Emerald Ash Borer threatens ash trees in St. Louis, which has about 15,000 of the trees. Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
The one kind of wood that will not be available is ash. Forestry officials note that the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle, which destroys ash trees, is active in this area as well as throughout the U.S. Wood from an infected tree can contain the beetle, allowing it to spread to other trees if the wood is moved.

The ash is the most common tree along the city’s streets and in its parks, the forestry department says.

An emerald ash borer lurks within a tree in Missouri. Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation
“Our Forestry Division has mapped more than 15,000 public ash trees along City streets and parks. Crews will begin treating large, healthy Ash trees before they can become infested with the bugs, while removing thousands of others before they die and become dangerous,” it explains.
Wood is generally dropped off after 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, but deliveries won’t be made every day, and the supply isn’t guaranteed.
The program will continue until the first week of March 2021. The Forestry Division can be called at 314-613-7200 for more information.
Along with plans for heating homes with firewood come worries about fire safety.
The city’s fire department offers a smoke alarm installation program. Firefighters will install, at no cost to residents, long life smoke alarms with lithium power cells, which can last up to 10 years. The department also offers free home fire safety surveys and help with designing home fire escape plans.

To request a smoke detector for a house or apartment, call the STLFD Smoke Detector Hotline at 533-3406.


MetroSTL.com is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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