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Adopt a Christmas tree and save local salmon this year

An Everett-based non-profit will plant trees returned to them alongside nearby salmon runs.

EVERETT, Wash. — If you're still looking for a holiday tree, a local non-profit is hoping you'll consider adopting one of theirs and saving salmon at the same time. 

The Adopt a Stream Foundation's Northwest Stream Center is offering five varieties of trees, Sitka spruce, western red cedar, western hemlock or Douglas fir, available in pots. After the holidays, trees returned to the Northwest Stream Center will be planted next to local salmon streams. 

"They'll do great things for the planet and salmon runs in the northwest for hundreds and hundreds of years," said Tom Murdoch, Executive Director of the Adopt a Stream Foundation. 

The "Holiday Trees for Salmon" program has grown in popularity over the years. The foundation had 300 trees up for adoption at the start of the season, and now there are just 60 left with two weeks left in the program.

"Why cut a tree down for the good of a month when you could take care of a tree that might live upwards of 800 years in the right conditions?" said Kelly Singleterry with the Adopt a Stream Foundation.

The trees will go on to help with erosion control, stabilization of the stream bank and providing shade and cooling the water for returning salmon. 

Murdoch says improving the salmon habitat will have a ripple effect on other parts of the ecosystem. Salmon are an important keystone species in the Pacific Northwest and are a vital source of food for Southern Resident orcas, bears, seals and large birds of prey according to the National Wildlife Federation. 

The Holidays Trees for Salmon program is in the home stretch for this year and the remaining trees are available until they’re gone. The wild and live trees are 3 to 5 feet tall and range from $40 - $100 dollars. Reservations are encouraged. Visit their website to pick out a time.

Last-minute gift ideas are also available in their Nature Store where proceeds benefit environmental education and salmon stream restoration. The Northwest Stream Center is located at 600 128th St SE, Everett.