Worldwide, the efforts of St. Barbe have been recognized. St. Barbe was a humble man, who looked upon his fellow-man as though they were much taller trees than he, himself Richard St. Barbe Baker’s book, “Tall Trees” enumerated the many people whom he encountered and whom he looked up to, indeed.
And yet, he persevered, reaching out with a dream and a simple ideal within the grasp of everyone, “the simple act of planting a tree, which is in itself a practical deed, is also the symbol of a far-reaching ideal, which is creative in the realm of the Spirit, and in turn reacts upon society, encouraging all to work for the future well-being of humanity rather than for immediate gain.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.
St. Barbe enrolled in Divinity at the University of Saskatchewan before serving in World War One. At this time, Richard St. Barbe Baker took out a homestead south of Beaver Creek on the North West quarter of Section 25 Township 34 Range 6 west of the Third meridian, which is currently in the R.M. of Dundurn #314. St. Barbe traveled in for classes every day until abandoning his homestead duties, and taking up residence on campus. Very close to the homestead location can be found “Baker Road” on maps.
St Barbe formed two international organisations, “Men of the Trees” and “Children of the Green Earth”. Because of the tireless energy and passion which St. Barbe expended to save trees everywhere, estimates made in 1979 reported that organisations founded or initiated by St. Barbe have led to the planting of 26 billion trees worldwide. In over 108 nations, are “Men of the Trees” organisations.
Those who became “Watu wa Miti” or “Men of the Trees” had three missions;
1/ Plant ten trees, seedlings or seeds each year.
2/ Do a good deed every day.
3/ Care for trees everywhere.
Alongside United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s Roosevelt and St. Barbe established the Civilian Conservation Corps to save the California Red Woods. St. Barbe’s “Save the Redwoods” project attracted millions of dollars in donations. St. Barbe bought land to be preserved as a natural reserve, and gave it to the State of California to be preserved forever.
The World Forestry Charter Gatherings was begun by St. Barbe in 1945, which was a collaborative joining between 62 governments around the world.
St. Barbe went on two Sahara Expeditions. The first in 1952 was a 9,000 mile trip, and this was followed by a 25,000 mile journey around the entire perimeter of the Sahara. St. Barbe followed in the footsteps of Charles Fourier, who employed armies of men to reclaim the Sahara desert in 1808. St. Barbe, also strove to reclaim the Sahara and sought to change the climate, and retain water in the soil by tree planting efforts. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Wangari Maathi founded Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, and The Billion Tree Campaign, and won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, and Yacouba Sawadogo from Brazil all were St. Barbe protégées, and used tree planting techniques to reclaim barren lands.
Images of St. Barbe, credit
University of Saskatchewan,
University Archives & Special Collections,
Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71
In 1966, the Millennium Guild of New York presented St. Barbe with the Freshel Award in London by for his book Sahara Challenge.
The World Wildlife Fund WWF, made St. Barbe the inaugural Honorary Life Member.
In 1972, St. Barbe was the recipient of the Friends of Nature Conservation Award on the Golden Anniversary of founding of the international organisation, Men of the Trees. This same year, St. Barbe’s autobiography, My Life, My Trees, is published.
St. Barbe has been recognised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 1971 he was awarded an honourary Doctorate of Laws at his old alma mater, the University of Saskatchewan.
The Order of the British Empire was bestowed upon St. Barbe in 1978 by her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. . The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area was proposed on October 19, 1978. On December 28, 1978, it was taken before Saskatoon City Council, that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area become a park ~ and has been referred to as an urban regional park. On January 2,1979, this is recommended by council.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales becomes the Patron of The Men of the Trees organization in 1979.
Shortly before St. Barbe passed away, June 9, 1982 he planted his last tree on the grounds of the University of Saskatchewan. At this time he was writing his thirty-first book, in a worldwide humanitarian effort.
The Arbor Day Foundation, paid tribute to St. Barbe with a Special achievement Award in 1983.
In 1984, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Foundation held its first conference. The following year, the Foundation presented the Trees Award to Chines forestry ecologist Zhu Zhaohua.
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in Saskatoon, SK has a dedication ceremony on June 15, 1985.
In 1992, The Men of the Trees organisation, became The International Trees Foundation in the United Kingdom.
St. Barbe was born in the West End of Hampshire, March 2003. A memorial sculpture of St. Barbe, a bronze bas-relief image by Jill Tweed. In his birth village, a street, Barbe Baker Avenue bears tribute to St. Barbe also.
In 2013, near the site of St. Barbe’s last tree planting, the Meewasin Valley Authority and the Saskatoon Baha’i Community erected a plaque commemorating St. Barbe.
Catriona Baker, who lives in Fairlie, Mackenzie District, Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, wrote a book in tribute to St. Barbe, The Man of the Trees and Other Dedicated Environmental Guardians.
A memorial was placed in Centennial Park, Timaru, New Zealand, honouring St. Barbe. St. Barbe made his home at Mount Cook Station, New Zealand between 1959 and 1982.
So who was St. Barbe to have received these accolades from those around him? St. Barbe said; “I have just celebrated my 88th birthday. All of you should pray to God for the success of these Men of the Trees movement.
I pray to God that I remain to be just to the earth under my feet, to my neighbour, and my inner conscience”.
Please email or add a comment to this web page if you are aware of any other honours and recognitions bestowed for Richard St. Barbe Baker, and they will therefore, become part of this page of commemoration for this great silviculturist, Richard St. Barbe Baker.
“26 trillion tree estimation”, The International Journal of Environmental Studies 14, 1979: 77, retrieved 14 August 2010
Adamson, Hugh C. Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Series
Edition 2, reprint
Publisher Scarecrow Press, 2006
ISBN 0810864673, 9780810864672
Agenda – City of Saskatoon. Public Agenda Executive Committee. Monday September 21, 2015. Council Chamber, City Hall. Date accessed June 5, 2016.
Events in the History of the University of Saskatchewan. University of Saskatchewan Archives. Date accessed June 5, 2016.
Keyes, Gene. To Give Life: A Nonkilling Military Precedents and Possibilities. Reforesting the Sahara Desert.
page 23 out of 70. Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada
Littlewood, Matthew. Book Honours Tree Guardian. The Times Herald. March 3, 2014Stuff.co.nz
Date accessed June 5, 2016.
Miller, Ruth. Saskatchewan Heroes and Rogues. Edition illustrated
Publisher Coteau Books, 2004
ISBN 1550502891, 9781550502893 Digitised online by Google Books. Page 168.
Richard St. Barbe Baker. Source Watch. October 13, 2013. Date accessed June 5, 2016.
Momen, Wendi, and Anthony A. voykovic. Baker, Richard Edward St. Barbe
(1889–1982)Bibliography The Baha’i Encyclopedia. National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States.
Topic: Richard St. Barbe Baker The Naked Scientists. April 20, 2005. Date accessed June 5, 2016.
We are sad to report the death of Catriona Baker [November 12, 20140 November 7, 2014. International Tree Foundation. England. [International Tree Foundation “Trees” Journal featured an article of her life with her husband, St. Barbe, which is now online] Date accessed June 5, 2016.
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