Raising money is a wonderful thing to do when there are amazing results! If there were interpretive signs in the afforestation areas – what wonders would they tell tourists, users, classrooms when they come out to enjoy this mixed woods wonderland?
Perhaps people would like to know a bit about the history of the afforestation areas and how they began under the award winning auspices of the “Green Survival Program” sponsored in North America by the Canadian Nursery Trades Association and the American Association of Nurserymen. “Afforestation” is the planting of trees where there were none before, and turns out afforestation is great for climate change as forests are amazing at greenhouse gas capture. In Saskatoon, our two afforestation areas, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park, began as tree nurseries, and that is why they are both mixed woodland scenic green spaces all year round for nature lovers, special interest groups, solitude seekers, tourists, environmental stewards, students, movement based visitors, citizen scientists. Some of the trees which were afforested were plantings of drought resistant trees; black or balsam poplar also known as the balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifera), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila), Scotch Pine or Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Willow (Salix spp), Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo), Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), and the Siberian peashrub or caragana (Caragana arborescens). These arose in a moist mixed grasslands plains eco-system featuring such native species as; Red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) , Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides), Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia), Western Snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) and Silverberry (Elaeagnus commutata). Tree planting selections recommended by the P.F.R.A. Tree nursery at Indian Head, SK
The trees planted in 1972, of course, are too large now to transplant from these original City of Saskatoon tree nurseries, but they were named as urban regional parks in 1979, for everyone to enjoy as the city expands out to the south west area of Saskatoon.
“Curious about their heritage, natural and man-made, of the environment around them – … geological formations, wildlife, … hydrogeology, …etc. Who can be bored? We are too busy finding out all kinds of interesting things. “(Farquharson, 2000)
There is so much much more at the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas, Saskatoon’s best kept secrets. Stay tuned for the next update about what would be intriguing to have on an interpretive sign at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and at George Genereux Urban Regional Park!
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Nhat Hanh
For more information:
P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits
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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map
Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org We are conducting a virtual bottle drive if you phone or contact us, we will make safe arrangements for pick up and provide you with a charitable receipt. Please and thank you! Your donation is greatly appreciated.
“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
“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker
“All processes in the ecosystem are disturbed by human activities in the valley. Nevertheless, there is surprising diversity and abundance of lifeforms. In its conservation role, the MVA should ensure that human enjoyment of this natural resource does not significantly deter from the health of the resource.” (Fitzgibbon, 1982)