01/04/2016 05:15 EST | Updated 01/04/2016 05:59 EST

Alberta Wildlife Organization Asks For Donations Of Christmas Trees

The trees help the animals feel at home.

Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation

If you still haven't trashed your Christmas tree, hold off — it might make a happy home for an owl instead.

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) says the trees help provide recovering animals with a more natural habitat, which helps them feel less stressed.

So they're asking the public for donations of real and artificial Christmas trees to help bring comfort some of the animals in their care.

The institute's executive director, Holly Duvall, told The Huffington Post Alberta the AIWC currently has 18 animals under its care, and many of them use the trees as a safe refuge. Some of the species currently dwelling at the institute include bats, owls, hawks, muskrats and deer.

Donations will be accepted up until Jan. 10 — after that date, the institute asks for prospective donors to call 403-946-2361 to check if they're still being accepted.

Trees, real or artificial, should be free of decorations, ornaments and lights.

If you'd like to help out in another way, the centre says it is in need of the following items:

  • Paper towels
  • Kleenex
  • Dish soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Mountain ash berries
  • Saskatoon berries (frozen)
  • Blueberries (frozen)
  • Ground beef
  • High-quality kitten food

AIWC is located just northwest of Airdrie. They also accept monetary donations on their website.

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