OUTER BANKS, N.C. - This time next week, Matt Potter says he'll be getting ready to take hopefully 3,000 Christmas trees to the Outer Banks.
"We plant them in the sand fencing that's already in place and the wind picks up the sand, puts it on top of the trees and creates a bigger dune," said Potter, Co-Owner of Chicho's Pizza, of the effort to fight beach erosion.
Saturday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., four Chicho's locations will be collecting Christmas trees: 29th Street and Pacific Ave. at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Strawbridge, the Shore Drive location and Greenbrier.
There will also be a drop-off site at Virginia Beach National Golf Club during the same hours, Potter says, both Saturday and Sunday.
Chicho's began collecting at the golf course last weekend and currently has a pile of about 700 trees. Potter tells News 3 they'd like to collect at least 2,000 more this weekend.
This is the effort's third year.
"One of my business partners, he thought about it one day, said, 'Hey, let's collect some Christmas trees,' expecting about a hundred of them. 'Maybe we'll take them down to the Outer Banks and plant them in the dunes.' Next thing you know, it turned into a thousand trees and last year it turned into 2,500 trees," said Potter.
The trees will then be taken to the Outer Banks in trucks next weekend.