As Earth Week begins, we also bring attention to
National Volunteer Week April 18-24, 2021, with a theme The Value of One, The Power of Many.
This is such a perfect theme, as it echoes the province of Saskatchewan’s motto, Multis e gentibus vires from many peoples strength.
This National Volunteer week theme also resonates with the slogan initiated for the Watu Wa Miti by Richard St. Barbe Baker founding the International Tree Foundation in 1922. The slogan, TWAHMWE, means “All as one” or Pull together.
Twahmwe is a word from the Kikuyu (also Agĩkũyũ/Gĩkũyũ), a Bantu ethnic group native to Central Kenya. It was here in Kenya that Richard St. Barbe Baker received his first posting as assistant conservator of forests after graduation as a silviculturist from Cambridge.
So, this week, it is a great time to celebrate environmental stewardship, and the amazing volunteers who have done ever so much in reclaiming and taking back the afforestation areas as urban regional parks for the citizens of this great city to enjoy for current and future generations.
The Fatlanders FatTire Brigade volunteers are there maintaining trails for people to appreciate nature and come out in awe of the man-made forest on the prairies.
SOS Trees Inc. come out time and time again to help restore the afforestation areas greenspace ecosystems during clean ups, and to support trees. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. have learned so much from SOS Trees Inc. in the care of trees and the urban forest, and this is so much appreciated. Additionally, SOS Trees Inc. included Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in their latest release of the SOS Trees Tree Guide pocket tour book. Thank you for the inclusion of the progress reports on the afforestation areas in their annual newsletter.
Loraas, the City of Saskatoon environmental protections, parks, YXE green infrastructure strategy (sustainability), land branch, and the Meewasin Valley Authority are always there to help with environmental clean ups to help create safe park space environments for people, species at risk and the semi-wilderness habitat at large. Urban Forestry is there with forest checks, and to provide a guiding hand.
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas volunteers are amazing in their dedication to the afforestation areas celebrating the natural, cultural, geological, historical, geographical heritage creating value for the residents of City of Saskatoon as we celebrate two 50th anniversaries, one 40th anniversary, a 100 centennial anniversary, and a 70th anniversary coming up. Wow! This is ever so exciting to explore these amazing events with the residents of the City of Saskatoon, and with the International Tree Foundation and Trees Canada internationally and nationally. Stay tuned for event announcements, and let us know if you would like to help plan celebrations! Even during COVID, there are safe ways to have a party or a virtual party and celebrations.
The community associations in the City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon residents and corporate sponsors have been truly and greatly appreciated throughout the years. The work that is being done for the afforestation areas could not be done without you!
The various green groups in Saskatoon have been so excellent, whether it is the Wild About Saskatoon group who puts on the NatureCity festival and also wrote an article about their experience out at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The Saskatoon Nature Society who have hosted nature tours in the afforestation areas and have included the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in their latest release of Nature and Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon. Outdoors Sask who have supported the afforestation areas. Additionally, the North East Swale Watchers, Nature Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Saskatchewan Horticultural Society, the Climate Hub, Permaculture Saskatchewan and Saskatoon green groups are all networking together. We have learned so much from all of these varied groups as we share information and network together for the betterment of greenspaces in the City of Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Global News, Shaw TV, CBC radio Morning Show, CFCR, the Saskatoon Media Group, the home of CJWW, 92.9 The BULL, 98COOL and Homefield have all been superlative in sharing the stories of the afforestation areas.
The south west off leash dog walkers are impressed with the afforestation area named in remembrance and in honour of Richard St. Barbe Baker’s legacy. The dog walkers support the bio-blitz iNaturalist efforts with reports on the semi-wilderness habitat sightings, they engage in stewardship roles every spring and fall keeping the park space cleaned up, and they are ever thirsty for more information about the park space which they and their pooch enjoy so much.
We are very sorry if we have missed any of our fantastic supporters and volunteers. (please email us and let us know) Know that each and every one of you have done wonders in supporting the value of the afforestation areas, and it’s unique and one of a kind heritage.
Stay tuned for upcoming events, how to be a volunteer and how to support your urban regional parks on the west side of Saskatoon! The history of the afforestation areas shows that it has been indeed The Value of One, The Power of Many volunteers to be able to enjoy afforestation areas as greenspaces taken back by the citizens themselves. Thank you for all the time and people who appreciate these “man-made forests on the prairies” to enjoy as urban regional parks and who truly take action on climate change and protect the varied eco-system as valued stewards and stakeholders. Afforestation is wonderful as a nature-based solution to climate change, and yet after the trees are planted, there needs to also be caring of the trees.
Richard St. Barbe Baker, the afforestation area namesake encouraged the Watu Wa Miti or forest guardians to take a pledge to plant ten trees a year, take care of trees everywhere, and do one good deed every day. So this is a resounding and heartfelt thank you to all the afforestation area volunteers throughout the years who have taken these urban regional parks back and reclaimed them as city parks after they fell off the radar and were forgotten about. They were preserved in perpetuity in 1972, and as people come out to the afforestation areas, winter, spring, summer or fall, there are so many expostulations about the wonders of phenology, and the delight in having this “man-made forest on the prairies” inside of the City of Saskatoon.
So doesn’t this all sound remarkable! Do you wish to also volunteer? We have opportunities listed here
And, also, we are always looking for people to be citizen scientists and come out to the afforestation areas in their COVID bubbles to track and take pictures of plants, animals, bugs, or mushrooms by using the iNaturalist or eBird app to help and assist the City of Saskatoon and Meewasin to compile an ecological assessment database of the afforestation areas.
Check out the iNaturalist.pdf pamphlet!
There are also new eBird hotspots for the afforestation areas also for your bird sightings, and your bird counts!
We wish you luck with what you spy with your little eye.
For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park
For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
For more information:
Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits
NEW P4G District Official Community Plan
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)?with map
Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park
Facebook: StBarbeBaker Afforestation Area
Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Twitter: St Barbe Baker Charity Twitter:FriendsAreas
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date! Canada Helps
- Use the UN Decade’s Visual Identity
- Make it your own
- Spread the word about the UN Decade
- Let’s Bring Back Forests
- Let’s Green Our Cities
““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”Richard St. Barbe Baker
“Creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.”