Free Holly for the Holidays

FREE Holly at the Bainbridge Island Senior and Community Center (BISCC)
Located at 370 Brien Drive SE in front of Waterfront Park
Wednesday, November 24th at 2pm
Friday, November 26th at 1pm
Saturday, November 27th at 9am

Thrilling news for users of Rotary Park and Owen’s Playground!  Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) is cutting down a nicely-berried holly tree at the wooded area by the ballfields. This will improve three major community resources: one) the park itself, which will be liberated from a seed-producing invasive holly tree; two) the free bundled holly bunches will come with a label explaining why holly is bad, how to dispose of it, and what to plant instead; and three) attract shoppers to the Waterfront Thrift Store Holiday Sale, which is an important source of funding for the BISCC, an amazingly important resource for people of all ages.

Volunteer Details:

  • Wednesday, November 24th from 2pm to 4pm will be the first opportunity to help with bundling and, if you like, choose the choicest branches for your own decorating. We will be located outdoors at the rear of the BISCC.
  • Friday, November 26th from 1pm to 3pm, we will again be behind the Center organizing the holly into bunches small, medium and large to give away the next day.
  • Saturday, November 27th from 9am until they are gone, distributing the free holly and cleaning up afterwards.

To pre-register: Email Jeannette at or Text 206-755-8461. While it is fine to just show up, it is very helpful to know who will be assisting. Almost all work will be outside and masked if in close proximity.

English holly, Ilex aquifolium – Why is holly bad? Homesick English settlers probably brought it to Bainbridge centuries ago. It adapted well—too well! Holly spreads aggressively through roots and seeds, which birds eat and disperse in places like the Grand Forest, where it crowds out native plants such as trillium. It is terribly difficult to remove even after just a few years growth.

What to plant instead? There are many attractive hollies which 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.

What should you do? Remove all English holly from your yard. Put seeds in trash, not compost.

For additional information, visit Sustainable Bainbridge/Weed Warriors

Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center logo

Scroll to Top