Take it Outside Winter Staycation

The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. non profit environmental charity celebrates WintercityYXE – Saskatoon’s Winter Strategy and thanks the City of Saskatoon for approving the Winter Animation Fund. As recipients of the “Take It Outside” Grant, the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. announce their programming to enhance being “Outside Safely.”

The Take It Outside Grant Program was created in 2020 to support organizations hosting COVID-19 safe outdoor activities.

To enhance being “Outside Safely,” the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (Friends) will promote and recommend safe outdoor activity along the 326-acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA) Winter Trail Network. This will be done by producing a pamphlet for self-guided use of the trail network and providing Covid-19 appropriate, and much needed seating at assigned rest areas along the trails. The pamphlet and informational pdf online will outline distances and approximate times from the starting point to the rest areas and back along the connecting loop to the parking area. Visitors will be able to distinguish the route and plan their time accordingly. In addition, it will describe pertinent information about this unique, semi-wilderness, ecological asset and its exceptional history.

Along with this, sturdy benches will be placed at two sites along the trails to provide valuable rest sites. Users of the area have already shown the need for rest areas by creating make-shift seating along the trails. One site has a rickety bench and collapsed picnic table and another has logs stacked on logs. Though rustic, these seating arrangements are physically unsafe and don’t allow for social distancing in seating. Therefore, our project supports this existing demand by providing appropriate and safe seating.

At both these sites two benches would be installed at a distance apart greater than two metres, as the terrain suits. This will reinforce the social distancing requirement for COVID-19, and will enable two different parties, each within their own bubble, to use the rest areas simultaneously and have a safe connection place outdoors.

In addition to the installation of the benches, our project would include bird feeding stations near the two sitting areas as an enhancement. These would include bird feeders, suet balls, and bird balls. The self-guided tour pamphlet would tie in with this by providing information on winter birds that visitors are likely to see while out in the forest. The observation of birds provides a source of delight to most people.

Overall, this project will encourage greater use of this once neglected green space for recreation and enjoyment. Both exercise and spending time in nature are recommended antidotes to stress, and particularly the extra stress of this COVID-19 winter. Extensive research on contact with nature has shown that it can nourish mental well-being and harness the restorative and resiliency benefits of the outdoors. Outdoor activity in a semi-wild area is especially beneficial. The Outside Safely project makes activity in the large afforestation area much more feasible for all ages and varying ability levels. Safe community connections can also take place while visitors rest. In summary, this project will encourage and aid COVID-19 family and relationship bubbles to use this expansive space this winter, a space that is unknown to most citizens.

Our project supports local businesses for the purchase of our rest area benches and bird stations. Additionally, in support of local businesses, our brochures promoting the “Outside Safely” lifestyle will be available at local businesses for pick up. Announcements will be made as the posters and pamphlets are distributed on our web pages and social media in support of these local businesses.

We will offer exciting winter challenges throughout the months of January to March in support of the the WintercityYXE – Saskatoon’s Winter Strategy and the Take it Outside programme initiative of the City of Saskatoon for COVID bubbles.

Once again, thank you to the City of Saskatoon. Stay tuned for future details!

COVID-19 “Outside Safely” Challenges:

As events cannot be planned at this time, the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. will have a lot of fun announcing a variety of winter challenges which will take place periodically over the winter months!

Which challenges you have engaged in? We have prizes and we can enter your name in our prize draw. How can you get entered in the prize draw? Email us a photograph(s) showing your participation in one of the Outside Safely challenges. Or email with a link to your Facebook posting on the Users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. These kind of emails would place you into the draw for a prize(s) 😉 For our winners, we can drop off your prize in a social distancing manner to a location in the City of Saskatoon, or you can pick up your prize – also in a social distancing arrangement (Yay!). Arrangements can be made via email. Friendsafforestation@gmail.com or by text when winners are announced


To begin:

    1. For anyone who joins the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. during the time period January to March, the member names will be entered into a draw for a special winter members prize to be awarded at the end of the challenge.
    2. While walking along the trails with your COVID bubble, the mushrooms and flowers are down below under the snow…so….take photos of as many different kinds of trees as you can find in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the forest is an amazing Winter Wonderland! Using iNaturalist will help with the identification of the tree!
      On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open the App Store
      On your android phone or tablet, open Google Play
      Browse or search for iNaturalist and download.
      Check out the iNaturalist.pdf pamphlet! In your iNaturalist tree observation include the full photo of the tree, the tree bark and the end of a branch or a twig to help with identification! If it is an evergreen make a note if the needle rolls easily between two finger and is round, or if when rolled the needle feels square. We would be happy to get you acquainted with iNaturalist and how fun it is to use or if you having problems using iNaturalist, just Email friendsafforestation@gmail.com and we can certainly arrange a zoom meeting with you about using iNaturalist!
    3. Discover birds. Record a winter bird count on the new eBird Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area HotSpot. No pictures needed to post on E-bird. Remember the numbers of the different kinds of birds you saw and heard. Email friendsafforestation@gmail.com and let us know your E-bird sign in name so we can see and celebrate the birds you spied out at the afforestation area (and enter you in the prize draw).
    4. Have some winter fun! Create some crystallized Frozen Bubbles and set them in the branches of the trees. Enter the Take it Outside challenge with an email sending in your bubble picture.
    5. Mysteries of psithurism Enter our challenge with your interpretation of psithurism out at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Will it be through a photograph or a story of a special time in the afforestation area, just pop an email friendsafforestation@gmail.com
    6. The United Nations have some amazing Sustainable Development Goals. Take part in the goal of sustainable global development which leaves nobody behind. Submit a photo of your artwork done on-site at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
    7. Find out how to be an animal track detective. Register your sightings on iNaturalist or email a photo(s) of your animal track observations to be eligible to win prizes.
    8. Here is something fun! Create your own TikTok while out in the afforestation area (and email us about it to enter into the prize draw)
    9. Colourful sculptures and creations…take a picture and email a photo of your creations
    10. This bird feeder challenge presents you with a great opportunity to engage in stewardship for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area!
    11. Search for any type of animal sign for this challenge! Pop on over to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and send in an email of what you see for any type of evidence of animals out in the forest! What do you think you can find? Don’t bother with a Where’s Waldo puzzle on your kitchen table or computer desk, come out and play the real thing, and use your little beady eyes to find animal sign!
    12. This challenge throws down a gauntlet for you to overcome! It is without a doubt a formidable task! March 14 is International Day to Take Action For Rivers. With a theme, the Rights of Rivers, can you imagine now what the challenge is set before you? Download our local wetlands bird checklist Pamphlet
    13. Part one of the Squirrel’s Dilemna and here is Part Two of the Squirrel’s Dilemna! What will your TikTok see at the new bird feeder stations? Thanks to the City of Saskatoon “Take It Outside” YXEWinterStrategy program to help Saskatoon residents observe nature out at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area!! Challenge: What will your video show?

For our Winter Staycation challenge today, we would like you to email to us at friendsafforestation@gmail.com what you think would belong in a list for the Rights of Rivers!

Download our International Day of Action for Rivers Pamphlet

As a further challenge, record on iNaturalist or the eBird hotspot for Chappell Marsh the wetlands birds which you have sighted. The International Day of Action for Rivers Pamphlet contains a water birds checklist as an indicator of what might be sighted. The Geese and some ducks are back already (March 11)

Winter Staycation prize draw occurring between Sunday March 28 and Wednesday March 31.  Prizes will be posted online soon!  😉

#CuriousAboutSaskatoonContests #WIN #GETAWAY #WinterStaycation #TakeItOutside #YXEWinterCity #WinterCityYXE

COVID-19 Outside Safely:

  • COVID protocols are regularly updated check with Sask Health and the City of Saskatoon COVID webpages for up to date information
  • As of December 17th, people may meet and greet outdoors with up to 10 people only, provided physical distancing between households can be maintained.
  • People who have signs of COVID should not come to the greenspace park areas, but rather stay home and take care.
  • People from different COVID “bubbles” should keep a physical distance of two meters outside.
  • Move over to allow others to pass to keep 2 meters (6 feet) apart.
  • There should not be more people per group than current allowed outside public gathering restrictions.
  • Events are not permitted at this time as per Sask Health guidelines.
  • Wash your hands before and after using park spaces.
  • If outdoors with your COVID bubble, best to wear a facemask to pass other people on trails. Wearing facemasks is a safer way to be in the forest greenspace to facilitate the safe passing of other people who are appreciating the semi-primitive area
  • Using the trails respects the landscape and species at risk.
  • Respect the trails, they are made by volunteers of the FatLanders FatTire Brigade to encourage safe recreational use.
  • Come to the afforestation area in the off hours avoid peak times.
  • Heed COVID precautions, and stay safe.
  • If you experience COVID symptoms, stay home.
  • Benches will be set up at six foot distancing to encourage compliance to COVID protocols.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park
For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
For more information:
Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits
NEW P4G District Official Community Plan
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
Pinterest richardstbarbeb
Blogger: FriendsAfforestation
Tumblr friendsafforestation.tumblr.com
Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park
Facebook: StBarbeBaker Afforestation Area
Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Reddit: FriendsAfforestation
Twitter: St Barbe BakerCharityTwitter:FriendsAreas
Mix: friendsareas
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date! Canada Helps

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Use the UN Decade’s Visual Identity Make it your own

Spread the word about the UN Decade 

Let’s Bring Back Forests

Let’s Green Our Cities

“The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. ” Wangari Maathai.

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. “
~Richard St. Barbe Baker

We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.~ Wangari Maathai

“ If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. ” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung

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

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