SOS Elms Coalition came to fruition with a passion to save Elm trees across the province of Saskatchewan during the rampage of Dutch Elm Disease DED in North America. Keeping abreast of the progression of the disease and forestry practices, SOS Elms was on top of the situation when the provincial Dutch Elm Disease program was cut from the budget in 2010. In lieu of the program, individual towns, municipalities and cities are taking responsibility upon themselves of educating the public in their area about DED and best conservation practices.
Communities established a regional urban forestry community group or NGO, and in Saskatoon, it is the SOS Elms Coalition providing that support for the city of Saskatoon. These local foresters have had a keen eye out for Dutch Elm Disease, and work together with the City of Saskatoon Urban Forestry Program, and so are able to implement the Dutch Elm Disease DED response plan, so that any infected trees in Saskatoon with DED would not promote a city wide infestation.
“Urban forests in Canada have been dominated by three themes: superficial support by the provincial and federal governments, individuals’ commitment to developing urban forests of excellence, and awareness and action fueled by natural disaster….Cities like Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw saw urban forests created largely with elm due to the limited number of species choice. In the 2000’s greater efforts were expended to diversify these forests. Regina’s Wascana Centre has had a lead role in maintaining tree cover in the prairie city as has SOS Elms in Saskatoon.”~Rosen
“The arrival of Dutch elm disease in the early 1960’s virtually wiped out the American elm (Ulmus americana L.) the street tree of choice in Canada’s cities. From this an urban forestry movement was born including the creation of a number of organizations – from community groups such as SOS Elms”~Rosen-Kenney
SOS Elms Coalition, reached out to the public for unique and spectacular trees of Saskatoon, and published a full colour booklet of these sites. These large tree centenarians grace Saskatoon’s Urban Forest. As an example of some of the trees presented are a Ginkgo Biloba, Limber Pine, Prairie Silk Honey Locust, Black Walnut and Northern Pin Oak grow against all odds in the City of Saskatoon, rare and unique species, indeed.
SOS Elms Coalition sets up conference displays, initiates programs for schools, and assists in community projects bringing to the Saskatoon community an awareness of urban forests, environmental issues and the precautions to mitigate the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.
Members of the SOS Elms Coalition were at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean UP in the summer of 2016. Robert White, of SOS Elms Coalition, was the official photographer at the clean up.
As was the case in 1972, Manchurian Elm, and American Elm were afforested, along with hardy drought resistant tree species such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Balsam-poplar, Scotch Pine, Caragana. If Green Ash, Manitoba Maple or Willow were planted, there was not a large survival rate of these in the afforestation area. Native prairie Trembling Aspen Groves are mixed within the afforested woodlands. SOS Elms members recognizing the various locations of Elms in this urban regional park will truly ensure best conservation practices.
SOS Elms placed the City Urban Forest ~ the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ~ in the December 2016 SOS Elms Coalition newsletter
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
in southwest Saskatoon (see map) was mostly neglected even though proclaimed by City Council in 1979 as an “urban regional park” and a “forest in perpetuity”. The park began in 1960 with a visionary idea of City planners” …
The present is full of opportunity. Never before in the history of the planet has mankind been given the privileges and opportunities that are at his disposal today. A great light has been raised and is penetrating the darkness of the world, but alas,
too many with dust blinded eyes have yet to catch the vision. Some of us have. That is our privilege and our responsibility.~Richard St. Barbe Baker.
For more information:
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.
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
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
“When tree cover is destroyed it is a threat to both man and the creatures. The protection of world wildlife was in the vanguard of the conservation movement and it was very soon recognised that it was not possible to protect the wild animals and the threatened species without protecting their tree-cover habitat because they, like ourselves, need an adequate supply of oxygen, the very breath of life. The main source of oxygen is the evergreen tropical forests. ” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker
13th Annual Environmental Activism Awards. Saskatchewan Eco Network. Spring 2015. Paddy Tutty, Director SOS Elms.
Eco-Friendly Sask. Honouring Saskatoon’s Trees. SOS Elms Coalition Urban Forestry Mascot in Saskatoon. Lorax YXE who speaks “for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” EcoFriendly Slide Presentation.
Heather Cline – URBAN FOREST
Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2:00pm
June 18 – July 14 The Gallery / Art Placement
Just a reminder, we have some pretty cool trees growing at innovation place. The Scene. April 2015
Towns will have to monitor elm trees:Sask CBC News March 31, 2010
Marjan, Richard. Co-president of SOS Elms Richard Kerbes with a giant cottonwood in the 200 block of Eighth Street East in Saskatoon on August 6, 2014. Saskatoon Star Phoenix. December 4, 2014.
Modjeski, Morgan. Saskatoon Lorax gives local trees and forestry a voice on twitter. Metro Publishing News.
Re-Imagining Saskatoon towards Sustainability 2015 Slideshow. EcoFriendly Saskatchewan. Dec. 28, 2015.
Rosen, Michael, Trees Canada. A Brief Historical Perspective of Urban Forests in Canada. As published in Histoires Forestieres du Quebec, HIver 2015, Vol 7, No 1 Pages 27-32.
Rosen, M.R. and W.A. Kenney. Urban Forestry Trends in Canada. 0752-B1
Williams, Sara. A Celebration of Saskatoon’s Trees. Saskatoon Star Phoenix. March 11, 2016
Williams, Sara. Trees, Trees, Trees Garden Bhat. BAttlefords News-Optimist. March 5, 2016.