Whistler is celebrating National Forest Week with its annual Arbor Day tree-planting program, May 11. For the past six years many of Whistler’s community groups, service clubs and businesses have joined forces to plant trees in various locations around town that have been stripped of trees and may be subject to erosion. Co-ordinated by retired forester Don MacLaurin and the municipality’s parks crews, the Arbor Day plantings have helped "green-up" many areas in Whistler. Volunteers for this year’s Arbor Day are welcome. Whistler’s Arbor Day comes at the end of National Forest Week, which is May 5-11. Arbor Day is an American tradition, begun in 1872 in Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. National Forest Week began as Forest Fire Prevention Week in the 1920s. Already by that time it had become necessary to enlist public co-operation in the prevention of forest fires. With evolving conditions and uses of the forest the week has changed names and emphasis several times. In the 1930s it became Save the Forest Week. By the 1950s it was National Forest Conservation Week and in the 1960s it took on its present name. In the early ’80s the Canadian Forestry Association began looking for ways to increase the impact of the week, which led to asking people in the forest industry to get together in their communities and take part in publicizing forestry. In B.C. it began with 13 communities in 1982. Today nearly 130 communities get involved.