“Landscape painting is the thoughtful and passionate representation of the physical conditions appointed for human existence. It imitates the aspects, and records the phenomena, of the visible things which are dangerous or beneficial to men; and displays the human methods of dealing with these, and of enjoying them or suffering from them, which are either exemplary or deserving of sympathetic contemplation.~John Ruskin”
A new story unfolds. At the meeting of Wednesday evening March 29, a group of interested stakeholders and stewards came together to discuss the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It was appreciated that new faces were brought into the mix, and a new development unravelled.
Amid the conversation, a new strategy came forward by the councillor for Ward 2, Hilary Gough. This topic was to network and tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at the citizen level. Getting the story out there looks to embrace the single key concept which came forward time and time again during the meeting from all users and all stakeholders; the need to respect the Afforestation Area.
Just as a painter, needs must, as they paint the landscape, choose; so too must a story teller choose. The painter can either show that which is dangerous to man, and relates the story of those suffering from that phenomena, or the painter shows that which is beneficial to man, and the painting’s story is told of people benefiting or taking enjoyment from the painting’s narrative.
As the several groups and people go forward from the meeting of Wednesday night, which story will they paint as they tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? Will all the individual painters network the tale which shows respect for the afforestation area? Pause a moment, consider truly, what words you choose to paint the picture you personally desire which show simply and easily this; a healthy respect of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Pass this story forward.
As the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area reach out to those experienced in that art of “painting a picture”, it is amazing what is learned in the process. Study the City urban planning department plans, brochures and websites of the City of Saskatoon, Ducks Unlimited and the MVA where thoughtful planners examine the situation from many angles, and far reaching visions. Soon it is seen that a common theme comes forward. Lean towards that which is positive. Lean towards that which respects the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, mitigate that which does not show respect.
The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and a whopping 380,000 by 2035. Cities of this size have growing pains, and things may get complicated if there is no philosophy and no idea of where they are going.
There are undoubtedly challenges and opportunities along the path of getting to where we want to be. However where there are thoughtful planners who give time and consideration to a variety of aspects which are therefore seen on the brochures, facebook pages, websites and media conferences, everyone catches the spirit of where the planners are going and it is uplifting. Readers feel good about the very words presented .
The meeting was an opportunity to hear the old story, the one that is being left behind. The old story shows no respect for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The meeting was an opportunity to replace problems with what feels good and what feels right. The various individuals present at the meeting spoke to methodologies and plans as to how to best respect the afforestation area in their group collective philosophies and desires as well as in their personal individual hopes and dreams.
By the simple act of respect, it is exhilarating to be in the afforestation area and look for positive aspects which fulfill everyone’s concepts of how best to respect the afforestation area. It is wonderful to make peace with opportunities for a thriving and healthy afforestation experience.
The City of Saskatoon report for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from The Community Services Department supported a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”
To turn back time to 1991, this very goal was conceptualized in a plan from the MVA to create wildlife habitat, complement and enhance the riverbank setting, and increase ecological diversity. A selection of flora species are selected and planted in patterns indigenous to the prairie/parkland eco-zone compatable with soil, drainage and topographic characteristics. Create a legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker. The concept promotes all non-motorized activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, horseback riding, nature appreciation, environmental and outdoor education alongside scientific research [to paraphrase the plan].
Everyone plays a part in identifying a vision for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The vision provides the direction of growth and engagement by current and future visitors and users of the afforestation area. Everyone in the meeting was of a consensus that it is time to let go of the old drama which showed a lack of respect, and when at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area let go of the old story.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is not a baseball diamond nor basketball court with clearly defined painted lines and usage ~ the afforestation area is complicated. The afforestation area embraces a framework of diverse users who incorporate new and exciting methods to appreciate and respect the afforestation area. Side by side recreation groups sat beside planners, sat beside environmental and conservation groups, sat beside community associations, sat beside off leash recreation area users, and together everyone agreed and spoke in peace and harmony of the mutual desire to respect the afforestation area.
Creating a plan for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area identifies land use, servicing, transportation, alongside a visionary identification of possible uses while embracing the vision of Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, and A.E. Ligtemoet, Saskatoon parks department. The afforestation area was conceptualized to enhance the City of Saskatoon as a green city. The parks department acted to preserve the afforestation area in perpetuity. Embracing a respect for the afforestation area fulfills both these early movements.
As users and stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, it is imperative to recognize our philosophy on a personal individual level. Lean towards that which is positive to embrace the respect of the afforestation area. A general meeting consensus was that it is truly time to make peace with where we are collectively and tell the new story, and find ways to leave the old story behind.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is being cared for by the MVA Stewards of the South Saskatchewan River Valley. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is in the hands of urban city planners who also follow appropriate and correct processes to cover a wide gamut and variety of contingencies and identify a direction. Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting to hear the City of Saskatoon vision from Hilary Gough, Councillor of Ward 2, and together, now we can all rest in the knowledge that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and South West Sector future growth and plans will, indeed, respect the afforestation area.
PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou contest very near to us through thy Trees.
From them we have beauty, wisdom, love,
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
the food we eat and the strength.
Help us, Oh God!
to give our best to life
and leave the world
a little more beautiful and worthy
of having lived in it.
Prosper thou our planting
and establish thy kingdom of love
and understanding on the Earth.
~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
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
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker