The Meewasin Valley Authority has an amazing and picturesque network of trails along the South Saskatchewan river. There is no doubt about it, “the Meewasin Trail ranked as the top thing Saskatoonians like about walking in Saskatoon. (City of Saskatoon Active Transportation Plan consultation, June 2015 source)”
“In the wood among the pines, it seemed that for one brief moment, I had tasted immortality, and in a few seconds had lived an eternity. This experience may last forever.” Richard St. Barbe Baker from My Life My Trees
City of Saskatoon seers of distinction, Bill Graham, City Planner; Alfred Henry Browne, “Man of the Trees” city Parks Superintendent ; Wyndham Winkler Ashley, local horticulturist and founder of the parks ; Bert Wellman, City planning and Building Director and A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent all envisioned a green city. The Afforestation Areas began in 1972 had been approved as an afforestation area in perpetuity at a city council meeting that same year. These included the areas which came to be known as the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Gabriel Dumont Park, and the afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Park. (in 2008, this namesake was bestowed upon a pocket park in Willowgrove. ”
Over the course of City council meetings of 1978 and 1979, Richard St. Barbe Baker was honoured with naming of the wooded area south of the CN Trains Yards. The afforestation area became then known as the Richard St. Barbe Baker Park (Urban Regional Park). A dedication ceremony was held in 1985.
Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982) Founder of Men of the Trees (MoTT) world renown horticulturist, and silviculturist ( a person who tends to trees) received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on 6 November 1971 from the University of Saskatchewan. This honour was followed by an appointment bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II as Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE in 1978.
As an open space designation of the City of Saskatoon, there is a bylaw prohibiting motorized vehicles within these afforestation areas.
The Tourism Saskatchewan Website does show which areas in Saskatchewan have designated All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails and parks. In a similar fashion, Tourism Saskatchewan also has online which areas in the province have Snowmobile trails.
The Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA), Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association and the Saskatcheawn All Terrain Vehicle Association SATVA have more information online about motorized recreational vehicle pathways in the province.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is approximately a 2-1/2 mile length of woodland north of Cedar Villa Road, and west of the City of Saskatoon Civic Operations Centre (Bus Barns construction site).
“I began to walk faster, buoyed up with an almost ethereal feeling of well being, as if I had been detached from the earth. I became intoxicated with the beauty around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all. …I was lost in the depths of the forest, but at that moment this did not dawn upon me.” Richard St. Barbe Baker from My Life My Trees
For more information:
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
July 9, 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area CLEAN UP Day PAMPHLET