The future of the present

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. Isaac Asimov

To what do Ellsworth Huntington and Stephen Sargent Visher refer when they expound that “Unity is perhaps the keynote of modern science. This means unity in time, for the present is but the outgrowth of the past, and the future of the present. It means unity of process, for there seems to be no sharp dividing line between organic and inorganic, physical and mental, mental and spiritual. And the unity of modern science means also a growing tendency toward coöperation, so that by working together scientists discover much that would else have remained hid….  Its fundamental principle has been that the present, if rightly understood, affords a full key to the past?” Can it also be said that the fundamental principle is that the present, if rightly understood, affords a full key to the future?

The land for the afforestation areas was purchased by the City of Saskatoon in 1960.  Then the lands were afforested with trees as a tree nursery in 1972 along with fire breaks left in 1972.  These firebreak areas left unplanted resulted in native prairie untouched since 1960.  Additionally  only some of the land was homesteaded before the city purchase, resulting in native grasslands and woodlands left in their native state since before 1960.   Currently, the trees are also too large to be used as transplants so the afforestation areas are no longer considered viable as a tree nursery.

The afforestation areas are quite diverse, being  riparian woodlands wholly situated in the wetlands of the West Swale.  Additionally to the general West Swale wetlands classification there is also a Class IV permanent wetlands creating a huge diversification in flora and fauna including ~ grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands.

So it is quite a mix, indeed of flora, therefore, which host quite a mix in the wildlife one can see while in the afforestation areas.

The afforestation areas, thus described, are located within city limits.  Perhaps it is areas such as these which are invaluable to the City of Saskatoon while the city  is growing to 380,650 by 2035; 500,000 before 2050; with some projections seeing the City reach 1.52M by 2038.  It is areas such as these afforestation areas that make Saskatoon a green city, which was foreseen by the City Planners of 1960.

The afforestation areas were “preserved in perpetuity”  by City Council in 1972 and, furthermore, they were designated in 1979 in honour of Dr. Lt. Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, O.B.E., Hon. LL.D. (Sask), F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., ACF and St Barbe’s vision.

How is that to be interpreted?  That is the question.

Photo of Richard St. Barbe Baker Courtesy: University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name. Alice Meynell

Richard St. Barbe Baker often quoted Henry van Dyke, whom he thought of as the  greatest of tree poets;

“He that planteth a tree is a servant of God;
He provideth a kindness for many generations
And faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.~Henry van Dyke”

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: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“We are passing through a time of unprecedented destruction of things of the spirit of the natural order.  We have been caught up by personal greed and national competition.  The very body of life on this planet is now being threatened by the destruction of earth’s green mantle, the Trees.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker.

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Author: stbarbebaker

This website is about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area - an urban regional park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hosts are the stewards of the afforestation area. The afforestation area received its name in honour of the great humanitarian, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was an English forester, environmental activist and author, who contributed greatly to worldwide reforestation efforts. As a leader, he founded an organization, Men of the Trees, still active today, whose many chapters carry out reforestation internationally. {Wikipedia} Email is StBarbeBaker AT yahoo.com to reach the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

2 thoughts on “The future of the present”

  1. I love the quotation you’ve used, “Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name.” Alice Meynell Thank you! ❤

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