A couple of proposed symbols for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – One a stylized tree, the other the same tree symbolizing the diversity of the forest, embraced by the RSBBAA community and the blue of the wetlands and sky.
This symbol comes to represent the dreams of the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA). The RSBBAA has proven to be a site which over and over again draws people together, and unites diverse groups and areas.
The RSBBAA, itself is composed of two sections, east and west.
The afforestation area is comprised of two major tree plantings both coniferous trees in the shape of Scotch Pine, and Colorado Blue Spruce, along with deciduous trees. Those deciduous trees planted in 1972-1973 included drought resistant and hardy trees such as American Elm, Siberian Elm, Black Poplar, and Caragana.
Within the RSBBAA, selection of tree species also embraced diversity. Trees were chosen for varieties of soil type, slow or rapid growers, long lived or short lived trees, light demanding or shade bearing.
RSBBAA not only has an area of prairie which was afforested – a forest brought into being where there was none before- but it also has large 50 foot areas of fescue grasslands left as fire breaks within the afforested area, providing two ecosystems together in one area. Together at the RSBBAA, native Trembling Aspen groves, and prairie shrubs have joined with the planted afforestation area creating spectacular scenic visions.
There is yet another embracing of two major ecosystems, the wooded area is dissected by the West Swale wetlands, and three large paririe potholes make homes for the Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, Geese, Muskrats, and a number of other wetlands birds and animals, thriving alongside the woodlands animals – jackrabbits, white tail deer, porcupine, and mule deer, etc.
However there is also another embracing outside of the wildlife corridor habitat – the RSBBAA is situated on the border zone of the City of Saskatoon and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park #344. At this south west border of the City of Saskatoon, the Montgomery Place Community Association have become stewards of the RSBBAA, and completed a clean up in the spring of 2015 to protect the environment. At the border of the Rural Municipality of Corman Park #344 is the hamlet of Cedar Villa Estates. The community members have also been for the past number of years, “Stewards for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area” and besides enjoying walks in the woodlands, they keep an eye on the forest, protecting it. They also effected a clean up in another area of the RSBBAA in the spring of 2014. Change in the RSBBAA begins with action. It is with actions such as these, that a ripple effect is created which will leads to preventing trash build up in this urban regional park.
And so there is yet another joining of two besides the City of Saskatoon residents who have come to love and embrace the beauty and splendour of the RSBBAA, there are also the rural residents from the neighbouring Rural Municipality of Corman Park #344 who have also a deep wish that the RSBBAA can reach its full potential as a spectacular wooded area to enjoy.
Again- another coming together of two groups is presented in the RSBBAA logo, the many committees and personnel within Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA)and the several departments of the City of Saskatoon are working towards a vision for the RSBBAA. These two entities have a proven track record for considering a wide variety of potentialities, recreational, economic and environmental among a very few. The city and the MVA look towards the current needs from a variety of inputs, embrace past directions for what works, and have long range sustainable projected growth plans for the future.
However, this does not end here, the RSBBAA represents both the past the the present embracing the future. A vision for a green belt for Saskatoon in 1960. This starts with Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, who walked around Saskatoon’s perimeter choosing high spots of land for scenic beauty. Together with City Planner Bill Graham they worked on parkways and planted trees for the 1960 Circle Drive Parkway at these sites. Alfred Henry Browne “Man of the Trees” city Parks Superintendent – “The Man Who Made Saskatoon Beautiful” also had a vision for Saskatoon – planting over 30,000 trees in the city. Wyndham Winkler Ashley local horticulturist and founder of the parks board advocated trees, and dispersed tree seedlings. They all envisioned a green city. RSBBAA brings together these visionaries of 1960 with the planners and designers at City Hall of the current era.
But again, the RSBBAA continues on, bringing together community that have a love and passion for RSBBAA. The Honourable Pat Lorje, councilor for ward 2 has been bringing direction to the many diverse interest groups of the RSBBAA. Pat Lorje, with great wisdom and diplomacy has been able to steer the ship, and bring such a wide variety of people interests and user group skill sets together to chart a course upon which everyone can sail. By taking into account and remembering the needs and passions from the growing Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area community, Pat Lorje, keeps the RSBBAA ship from sinking, and keeps everyone’s head above water. For the diverse users and groups who are taking part in the RSBBAA discussions, having such pilot in the ship is a wise and invaluable asset to have to stay the course, and not get bogged down and mired in the mud.
So this symbol represents the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The symbol has within it a heart which is pointing upwards in direction, moving forward in a positive way. The RSBBA has become itself, a symbol brings together the users and groups who have embraced the afforestation area and its decided beauty. Country and city, neighbourhood and employment sector, nature lovers and sports enthusiasts, wetlands and forest, native plants and afforested trees all come together to make the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area a vision for many of a dream come true. While the city grows towards half a million people by 2023, it is reassuring to know that such a forest is nestled within the boundaries of Saskatoon – a place which is enjoyed by a wide and diverse range of users and user groups.
“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker
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