A 326-acre afforestation area, planted as a man-made forest on the prairies, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada was named after Richard St Barbe Baker, aka Man of the Trees. Celebrate this Jubilee celebration 50 years after he received his honorary doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas have commissioned a documentary about this remarkable man with historical footage, arguably the first global conservationist, and his legacy here in our city. It is based on interviews with several people who knew St Barbe Baker. The program, will also have greetings from conservationists from Australia, Switzerland, Scotland, Britain and the USA who were inspired by St Barbe and who became conservation leaders in their own right.
Did you know that Saturday November 6 is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict?
Peace, and harmony, this is something which Richard St. Barbe Baker advocated for. In fact, St. Barbe went one step further saying, “We advocate that all standing armies everywhere be used for the work of essential reafforestation . .. in the countries to which they belong, and that each country . . . shall provide expeditionary forces to cooperate in the greater tasks of land reclamation in the Sahara and other deserts.” — Richard St. Barbe Baker, Green Glory:The Forests of the World, (1947)
“Almost everywhere in the world man has been disregarding the Divine Law and the Laws of Nature, to his own undoing. In his pride, he has rampaged over the stage of the earth, forgetting that he is only one of the players put there to play his part in harmony and oneness with all living things.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker The Divine Law and the Laws of Nature.
Take some time today to speak to students and your children about peace, justice and environmental issues. Each person could express a wish. Sessions could expand from one family to include friends and guests to classrooms.
As one of the most dynamic and motivated in our conservation industry, we’d be humbled if you would join us for this year’s 50th anniversary event. We’ll discuss emerging trends in nature based solutions to climate action, introduce you to global experts, help source potential inspiration, and more. The event takes place on November 6, 2021 virtually at 1:00pm, so please let us know if you’d like to attend at your earliest convenience by registering here.
Many people have heard of David Suzuki, David Attenborough, or Greta Thunberg. Richard St. Barbe Baker was the first global conservationist and humanitarian. This is our way to remember his international legacy. International Online Premiere: The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest Saturday November 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm CST (UTC-6)
What was the secret of Richard St. Barbe Baker?
Well, he formed the Men of the Trees from the very first Dance of the Trees July 22, 1922, and not this organisation is known as the International Tree Foundation. This part is known, and not a secret.
We know that he encouraged all who joined the International Tree Foundation – who were called [from the Kikuyu of Africa] the Watu Wa Miti or forest guides to make a promise. The forest scouts, all took a solemn oath to “promise to plantten trees a year, take care of trees everywhere, and do one good deed every day!“
We know that he knew Wangaari Mathai, nobel prize laureate, and that they spoke often about the Sahara Desert reclamation. Baker took a trip in the Sahara desert, and realized that it once was a lush verdant forest. So just as in the final scene of the Planet of the Apes, it was ARRRGGGHHH! what has happened to the earth? The difference is the Planet of the Apes was a futuristic movie scenario and the Sahara Desert is a testament of the past and present.
Tree planting, nay, not just tree planting but forest planting was an imperative message from Richard St. Barbe Baker as he travelled the globe. This is not a secret, and an amazing feat of accomplishing the planting of billions and trillions of trees worldwide.
What many people don’t realize that his mission, his imperative, his modus operandi was that everyone should develop a “tree sense.” This “tree sense” is what shouldn’t be Richard St. Barbe Baker’s secret. Just as he travelled the world speaking and writing books about developing a “tree sense” so should we all today, in this era.
So, to honour the Legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker, can you today, foster your own “tree sense?”
By raising a flag, this act unites citizens across the city to recognize the value of trees and forests in our life and community. A flag raising campaign inaugurates a campaign to commemorate all the amazing benefits that our forests provide. This flag is a tribute to the role of urban forests and all forests in our life. More than one tree – a forest – is depicted inside a gold shield. This golden symbol of protection relates the value of protecting trees, rural forests and urban forests through the Official Community plans, government departments such as Urban Forestry, Green Infrastructure Strategy, Parks and tree bylaws. The shield of protection recognizes the value of biodiversity, nature-based solutions to climate action, and the very oxygen we breathe. The shield, stripes use the colors green and gold and the pride in the strategic goal of environmental leadership and the strategic goal of quality of life. The gold stripes symbolize the diverse cultures and areas in Canada and how much the residents appreciate a green city, country and nation. The green bands correlate with our native ecosystems and how fortunate we are that Canada and all the cities provide a beautiful green environment with trees in our parks, landscapes and boulevards – a veritable forest on the prairies, and across the nation. The double green bands resonate with the National Maple Leaf flag of Canada. The white bands resonate with peace, hope, tranquility – and therefore, this flag might be referred to as a nation united between all the neighbourhoods as represented by the gold bands. The protected forests and trees in our city neighbourhoods and rural countryside are flanked by two vertical green bars symbolizing our grassland prairies – boreal forests and our urban parks and forests. The gold is also the symbol of the harvest, reaping the invaluable history of ethnobotany, food forests, and the rich interdependence between the citizens of Canada historically, and the harvest of enriched health and wellness for our Nation’s residents and eco-system biodiversity presently and into the future. The tree canopy providing shade, symbolizes the health benefits provided to residents from the cooling effect of trees during this era of climate change, and the reflection of trees in the water shows the connection between trees and water as trees raise the water table, encouraging the flow of rivers, lakes and wetlands throughout Canada.
This program for National Forest Week is brought to you by the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas an environmental non-profit charity that was created to preserve and restore the 326-acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the 148-acre George Genereux Urban Regional Park. Our work reinforces the 1979 City Council decision designating these afforestation areas on the western fringe of Saskatoon to “be preserved in perpetuity.” They are important habitat for wildlife as well as semi-wild public spaces for recreation and nature immersion. The larger of these two areas is named after Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982), who has been called the “first global conservationist” and in recognition of this he was made the first Honorary Life Member of the World Wildlife Fund in 1969. A British forester who also homesteaded and studied in Saskatoon, he dedicated his entire life unfailingly to the preservation and planting of trees and forest events.
Let us know what you are doing for Canada’s very own National Forest Week in the province of Saskatchewan!
National Forest Week
Saturday September 18, 2021 to Sunday September 26, 2021 Maple Leaf Day September 22, 2021
So as we are making some exciting plans for National Forest Week, we would like to hear from you and your exciting adventures, and ways you are celebrating trees and forests in September. The theme for National Forest Week this year, 2021 is, “Our Forests – Continually Giving.”
Doesn’t that imagery just resonate with you? -Our Forests – Continually Giving-a delightful theme. National Forest Week hosted around Canada’s very own Maple Leaf Day is a time to explore the amazing benefits of trees and forests as they support biodiversity and ecosystems, mitigate flooding, raise the water table, absorb carbon dioxide, provide life-saving oxygen as well as providing amazing greenspace for recreation and healthy lifestyles. It’s a celebration to focus on forest heritage, culture, and history highlighting the importance of trees, their essential ecological services. It’s a time for residents to tell stories about their love of trees, and appreciation of forests and how very blessed we are.
The value of forests helps us take action for the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations such as good health and wellbeing, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action (forests are carbon sinks), life on land, peace justice and strong institutions, partnerships for the future we want.
Have you had a deep, meaningful holistic connection or experience with nature? Have you had the chance to explore and immerse yourself in the afforestation areas – Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area or George Genereux Urban Regional Park. These local forests are a great way to experience a mixed-woods boreal-like forest in a moist grasslands prairie eco-system without driving north past the tree-line.
Share how you are sharing your love of forests during National Forest Week, we would love to include your enthusiasm and plans in our calendar and let the world know how many forest guardians there are celebrating National Forest Week in September, 2021!
If you are a teacher or homeschooler we have been collecting some nature and forest curriculum based resources while developing our afforestation curriculum resources. How very exciting – so stay tuned!
We will let you in on a little secret about Saskatoon’s hidden treasures.
We are also proud to announce our planning for two 50th anniversaries. Whomever has heard of Richard St. Barbe Baker by some estimates the world’s first global conservationist, and very likely the world’s first climate change activist as well. Baker did amazing feats in the era before television and internet. Everyone knows David Suzuki and David Attenborough. Baker was a visionary ahead of his era, and has inspired the planting of over billions of trees during his lifetime, and later billions of trees were lanted by global organizations motivated and galvanized to action from Baker’s example.
We are also celebrating another 50th anniversary with the birthday for the afforestation areas in Saskatoon. This celebration is truly a way to focus our vision of living together on the land in the spirit of Witaskêwin, and highlight the rich geological, historical, natural, and cultural heritage of the areas to honour where we have been. Science, conservation, hands-on learning about the land, environment and sustainability ensure our future. Experience nature immersion at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park.
Eco-Friendly Sask is ten years old! What an amazing contribution they have made for the environment! Eco-Friendly Sask is the epitome of Environmental Leadership!
Thank you for your support for the afforestation areas, and thanks for supporting so many environmental endeavours!
“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,” was spoken by Richard St. Barbe Baker. In this case the simple acts of supporting the environment and community endeavours by EcoFriendly Sask has had such a far-reaching ripple effect, and truly , society is so much better for their commitment.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is sharing 50 actions for 50 years, which is a great way to help protect the environment, indeed.
We are committed to helping people here become a citizen scientist to help protect nature which is one of the 50 actions listed. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. are meeting every Sunday at Two to discover nature with iNaturalist on our smart phones. We invite you to help find the project which helps you protect nature.
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
““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
Richard St. Barbe Baker
“The continuing challenge of restoration. …”reconstruction,” ”restocking,” and “rebuilding,” of “doctoring sick land.”…Habitat restoration is both desirable and feasible. -Aldo Leopold ed. Joy B. Zedler Author
For this decade; (2011–2020) what is the global initiative? Scroll down to find out!
And here is the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. “hidden phrase search.”
Biodiversity Word Search
T O G D E C O S Y S T E M P I
A T O I B X C R E A T U R E N
C M D V N E T F M A E O T Y V
E O H E E O U I X O T F H R E
T R N R G N I O N E S P I R R
A P W S G R N T C C A S U L T
R H E I E O A T A R T T E O E
B O E F M R I D G R A I R S B
E L C I I O V O A R O G O L R
T O C C N L E A E T A T I N A
R G A A N G D P T N I V S P T
E Y A T O C M L I I I O R E E
V S E I C E P S I N O E N T R
F O B O T R M N G W Y N A T U
R E V N L A I R T S E R R E T
Of these words which pertain to biodiversity; how many are you aware of? How many fungus, plants, animals, or birds have you identified today? iNaturalist can help!
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!
“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger
“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 nation 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.
“I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.”Richard St. Barbe Baker
“The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.”Richard St. Barbe Baker