Our River Challenge

For our 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! March 14 is International Day of Action for Rivers, think of how you, personally can take action for the International Day of Action for Rivers! The theme for 2021 is celebrating the Rights of RiversWe have a spectacular challenge for our Winter Staycation for you!

March 14 is a marvellous Sunday! And it is a day to think about the South Saskatchewan watershed! What is the South Saskatchewan watershed you say?

South Saskatchewan River Basin Shannon_1 CC4.0

This above picture shows the river basin, the catchment area, or the drainage basin for the South Saskatchewan River. This is a contemporary image of the south Saskatchewan River Basin. The image which follows shows the formation of the West Swale from the Yorath Island Glacial Spillway. The hydrological surface drainage patterns shown in the topological map above are a stark difference to the glacial spillway below which shows that the waters in the Glacial North Saskatchewan combined with Glacial Rice Lake. When the waters from the retreating glacier reached a great volume, the shoreline of Glacial Rice Lake could not contain the water anymore. and there was a sudden surge of spillwaters through the Yorath Island Channel and the Moon Lake Channel cascading in an eruption across the Cory Plains until the waters were stopped in the Glacial South Saskatchewan Lake. Yorath Island was formed from the deposited till and rubble of this Pleistocene Glacial event. Today we create river drainage maps for the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers. The glacial spillway with its huge surge of water created a momentous and catastrophic joining between the two basin areas. Because of the land topography, there are remains of the Yorath Island Channel and the Moon Lake Channel seen today on Google Satellite maps, and they show evidence of the rich and lush riparian waterway which once existed, and which is still connected through underground springs and wetlands.

Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges
Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges

This was a contributing factor to the formation of the South Saskatchewan River as we know it today. As you walk in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area imagine the Pleistocene ice age mammals startled by the glacial spillway. Imagine this same ice age mammals creating new trails along the two new rivers in the Moon Lake Channel and the Yorath Island Spillway. Wonder as they wandered to the water’s edge for a drink of water. Where would the Palaeo-Indian fit into this scenario? Would they similarly follow the animal trails? Would they hunt the ancient ice age mammoths. Would the Palaeo-Indian find the two new rivers in the Moon Lake Channel and the Yorath Island Spillway handy to help them forage, and find food to eat? There were major encampments found where these channels met the Glacial South Saskatchewan Lake. As you walk in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, imagine living during the time of ice age mammoths.

Then, appreciate the semi-wilderness habitat we have in Saskatoon today. Along with the waterfowl, do we have other animals using the West Swale Wetlands named after B.T. Chappell as Chappell Marsh? Have you spotted a muskrat or any ducks, geese, herons, or terns? The West Swale is a geological treasure in the City of Saskatoon.

During this day, International Day of Action for Rivers, think of how you, personally can take action for the International Day of Action for Rivers! The theme for 2021 is celebrating the Rights of Rivers

Today think of geology, and geography, and the history of ancient rivers which formed today’s rivers which we appreciated so much.

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 for the Winter Staycation Take It Outside program, 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)

Perhaps some ideas for Rights of Rivers may centre around the following….(To get you started)

  1. A River’s right to its own river basin and all the watersheds within the waterbasin.
  2. A River’s right to retain their river bank, and lush riparian ecosystem along the shorelines
  3. Freedom from pollution, destruction to live in harmony with Mother Earth.
  4. A River’s right to our collective recognition of the inherent value of clean fresh water for the survival of living species on land and underwater.
  5. A River’s right to flow naturally unimpeded.
  6. A River’s right to guardians and stewardship.
  7. A River’s right to support shoreline and wetlands flora and fauna in its biosphere.
  8. …What is another great Right for Rivers? Email us today

We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.

David Brower

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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

United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too.

Aiden Chambers

Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.

Emma Smith

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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