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Arbor Day Started About 130 Years Ago

Arbor Day is the day when trees are celebrated. It is a day when new trees are planted and established trees are enjoyed.

Arbor Day events will be held on 5 June to drawn attention to the importance of trees. The world's first Arbor Day was held in Nebraska in April 1872 and arose after Julius Sterling Morton, a member of the Nebraska's Board of Agriculture, suggested one day be set aside for planting trees to help save the Great Western Plains. New Zealand's first Arbor Day planting took place in Greytown in the Wairarapa in July 1890, and following calls for the establishment of a day for tree planting 4 August was designated as a holiday in government offices for Arbor Day. This country's first official celebration took place in Wellington that year. But the government service holiday was abandoned in 1916 and reinstated in 1919 but with not government holiday. By the 1930s it had spread far around the world. Today Arbor Day is officially June 5 but celebrations are often spread over several weeks.

Some Arbor Day events in Christchurch: Active Christchurch Sunday Walk, 4th John Moores Riccarton Bush Arbor Day walk from the corner of Rimu-Titoki streets corner 10.30am; Taylors Mistake, 1pm Sunday 18 June and South New Brighton 1pm Sunday 25 June (Coast Care: 382 1678); Travis Wetland (tower opening and planting) Saturday 10 June (meet at Clarevale Reserve, off Travis Country Drive); South Brighton School's 20 classes planting from 31 May until 2 June at various sites. Many other city schools will be planting trees to mark Arbor Day. Other planting details will be issued later.

Further information: Kerry Everingham, Christchurch City Council environmental promotion officer: 371 1779.

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