Heli-port is Arbour Day site
Barren former quarry to be greened
By Chris Woodall
The successful greening of Whistler means that this year's eighth annual Arbour Day planting site will be Whistler Heli-port, north of Emerald Estates, Saturday, May 9, starting at 9 a.m.
"The helipad will be the main focus, where we'll plant shrubs and small trees," municipal landscape supervisor Paul Beswetherick says of the former quarry.
"We've run out of planting areas in town. There's years of work at the heli-port."
The "royal" site is where Princes Charles, William and Harry touched down for their week-long ski visit earlier this year.
Arbour day is sponsored by the municipal parks department. Planting goes until noon.
Volunteers are always welcome to help out on Arbour Day. Call Don MacLaurin at 932-7165 to leave your name and phone number. As an added incentive, there's a post-planting barbecue for volunteers at the Edgewater Outdoor Centre — across from the Meadow Park Sports Centre — starting at 2:30 p.m.
"Your suggestions of tree-needy areas or alternative planting sites are welcomed," Beswetherick says.
This year's tree planting and greening effort has a bit of a twist because of the heli-port site.
Beswetherick is combing the community for donations to get the plants needed, because Ministry of Forests' free trees will grow too tall for the Heli-port's whirlybirds.
There are a few small side projects, too, Beswetherick says, alongside Lorimer Road at the Terry Rogers Bridge, and at spots along Fitzsimmons Creek.
A display in Village Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will have representatives from the forests ministry on hand to offer planting advice and hand out free seedlings: your choice of pine, spruce, fir or cedar.
Volunteers at the heli-port site will first spread biosolids before introducing plants. "Bring shovels or mattocks (a combination hoe and pickaxe)," Beswetherick suggests. Other tools will be available.
WORCA members will be on hand, too, taking care of the top end of the site where the mountain bike trail Thrill Me Kill Me loops by.
To make a donation for plants, ask for the Arbour Day Committee at 932-5535.