Values of the Afforestation Areas

The values of the Afforestation Areas. Are there social, environmental, cultural, recreational, scenic values of trees?


The following is a partial listing of the values of the afforestation areas in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
As you will see in this article, that although there is some value to the afforestation areas, these facts remain;

  • Nothing is financed, nor planned for the general public in regards to an urban regional park as the afforestation areas are NOT in municipal reserve, and not in city park space.
  • Nothing is similarly in the long range planning in terms of curbing the illegal activity, and illegal trespass which have gone on for years, in the forms of fencing or gates to prevent access by motorized vehicle.  The afforestation areas belong to land bank, and as such there is NO  money that the city can allocate to the afforestation areas for any purpose whatsoever.
  • Nothing is in the planning stages for erecting signs so that the vacant looking lands are defined as city owned lands, as there is no money allocated for the afforestation areas.
  • The afforestation areas named as urban regional parks in 1979 by city council only and not by the parks department.  The afforestation areas belong to land bank,  they are NOT in municipal reserve, and not in city park space.
  • The afforestation areas were ‘preserved in perpetuity’ on paper by city council in 1972 and not in real life as has been evident by the several community volunteer clean ups removing huge amounts of trash and the ‘George Genereux” afforestation area which has received no clean up at all.
  • There have been grass fires in the afforestation areas over the years, and two massive grass fires at the nearby “Buck’s auto parts” requiring fire protective services from both the City of Saskatoon and the RM of Corman Park 344.  If a grass fire gets away and becomes a forest fire in the afforestation area, it would have devastating consequences for the neighbouring residents of Cedar Villa Estates, and for those train cars carrying flammable goods in the adjacent CN Chappell Yards Train station.  There is NO funding to fill in the existing large fire hole built to burn wood pallets for campfire parties, or convert it to a fire pit of city or provincial standards.  As you will see on reading this article, there is no funding for signs in regards to any fires in the afforestation areas.

Is it really true that nothing can be done?

As has been determined, the MVA has no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon. City of Saskatoon long range planners have no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon, either, as there is NO money for the afforestation areas.  What exactly are long range plans for the afforestation areas as Saskatoon’s population grows to just over 380,000 by 2035, and as the Saskatoon census metropolitan area is forecasted to reach a population of 448,985, the afforestation areas, around 380 hectares of land?  Is there something for everybody?  No. Read the following list of values of the Afforestation Area for more information.

380 hectares of land should provide the opportunities for the long range planners City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority to allocate  a naturalized areas for the population of the city.  Though our children will see the city rise to about 1/2 million by 2015, there no plans for these afforestation areas whatsoever. There is absolutely no way to protect the afforestation areas so that our grandchildren may still see a frog, a deer, or other creature inside city limits within the wildlife habitat corridor of afforestation areas. There is no safeguard on the wetlands, which the afforestation areas exist in, at all.

The  city and the MVA have the opportunity to follow up on Truth and Reconciliation for our first nations peoples of Saskatoon. “We respectfully acknowledge that the afforestation areas exist upon Treaty 6 territory and the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people”. However, as the afforestation areas are not part of a municipal reserve, there is NO carry through to protect, conserve, or take care of take care of the riparian woodlands, wetlands, or grasslands of the afforestation areas in any planning at all.

If you can think of anymore values for the afforestation areas, please comment.

Please, if you have any values which you personally treasure about the afforestation areas, again it would be fantastic to hear your comment.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding the afforestation areas in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada?

Some Values of the Afforestation Areas:

    1. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has as its namesake, Dr. Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, O.B.E., Hon. LL.D. (Sask), F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., A.C.F. (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) silviculturist, environmental activist, humanitarian and author who founded the International Tree Foundation and Children of the Green Earth. “A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.” Henry David Thoreau
    2. George Patrick Genereux, B.A., MD, CM (March 1, 1935 – April 10, 1989) was a 1952 Summer Olympics Canadian Gold medal-winning trap shooter, recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy and the Viscount Alexander Trophy, inducted into the Canada, and Saskatchewan and Saskatoon’s Sports Hall of Fame and physician. “When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual.”. Erica Jong
    1. Afforestation areas located in the West Swale, of a valuable geological heritage as the West Swale has its origins in the Yorath Island Spillway of the Pleistocene era.
    1. Afforestation areas provide a mixed deciduous and coniferous forest in the midst of an aspen parkland ecosystem, providing a unique setting for visitors. One does not have to drive north to the Prince Albert National Park to be in a mixed woodlands forest setting, it is in the city of Saskatoon.
    1. The mature riparian afforested woodlands situated in a wetlands setting provides the opportunity to observe and view a variety of flora and fauna, very unique to see the diversity of animals especially as Saskatoon grows to just over 380,000 by 2035.
    2. In 1972, Manchurian Elm Ulmus laciniata, and American Elm Ulmus americana were afforested, along with hardy drought resistant tree species such as Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens, Balsam-poplar Populus balsamifera, Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris L., Caragana Caragana arborescens. If Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Manitoba Maple Acer negundo or Willow Salix were planted, there was not a large survival rate of these in the afforestation area. Native prairie Trembling Aspen Groves Populus tremuloides, Buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea and snowberry Symphoricarpo are emerging within the afforested woodlands. It is also intriguing to note that there is one native crabapple perhaps Malus baccata, the Siberian crab apple, honeysuckle Lonicera dioica and a few golden elders Sambucus canadensis ‘Aurea.’ in the afforestation area It is not believed that these were afforested, and there is no evidence of homesteading in the area, so from whence did they arrive to the RSBBAA? It is one of those naturalists type of questions when observing nature in the RSBBAA.
    3. As the afforestation areas were planted with fire breaks, and purchased in 1960, there are definitely areas of native grasslands which have been preserved for 58 years without disturbance.
    4. Woodlands not only enhance the wildlife habitat corridor, they provide a windbreak, and scenic setting for recreation, in an expanding urban environment, the larger Saskatoon census metropolitan area is forecasted to reach a population of about 450,000 by 2035.
    5. The afforestation areas absorb noise, dust, carbon dioxide, and greenhouse gases.
    6. The afforestation area enhances the City of Saskatoon’s green belt created by Bert Wellman and Bill Graham
    7. The afforestation area also happen to provide screening of the train yards for those driving Township Road 362A or enjoying the south west area past Saskatoon.
    8. Oxygen is released, enriching the general sense of well-being in humans, and also to wildlife in a protected area in the city limits. They help us breath, and the woodlands are the best source of great air quality.
    9. The afforestation woodlands, and wetlands naturalized area provides the opportunity for Truth and Reconciliation. What would reconciliation look like in the afforestation areas? “The current state of water in and around many First Nations communities is stressing the special relationship that many First Nations people have with water. This relationship is characterized by unique ways of knowing that water and using water for ceremonial purposes. For example, Mushkegowuk Elders of the James Bay Cree Nation describe water as a “mirror [of] the climate or mood that we, as human beings, are in” (Lavalley, 2006: 8). Another elder from the Haudenonsaunee Iroquois Nation points out that water is a living entity. Avoiding degradation of water includes changing the way water is perceived (emphasis added, Lavalley, 2006: 9). First Nations’ special relationship with water exists in the laws as well. Oji-Cree Elders state: “A treaty was negotiated and concluded by our ancestors to last forever for ‘as long as the rivers flow.’ Water signifies the everlastingness of this treaty relationship. The inherent right to water was never surrendered in the treaty. The Crown recognized that we would continue to exercise our inherent right to water without interference or molestation…the settler population’s government must be reminded of their treaty obligations” (in Lavalley, 2006: 34). “{source} Wetlands are wonderful, îhkatwâwa kihcîtâkwana. {source}
      It is a tragedy that “provincial cuts, downloading costs Saskatoon $59M” for without funds how can the City of Saskatoon place the afforestation areas into municipal reserve and have the capacity to provide funding for the wetlands and water of the afforestation areas. (CBC News 2017) “Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says a surprise provincial budget cut could cost the city more than $10 million and create a “fiscal crisis” in 2017. ” (Bridges, 2017) The afforestation areas are not a part of municipal reserve and do not belong to the City of Saskatoon park space. Rather the afforestation areas are just lands held in the City land bank. As such, there is no money available which can be allocated to the afforestation areas for any purpose.
    10. Menoyawenek, “the Cree word that most closely represents ‘health’ is menoyawenek. Meno translates into ‘good’ or ‘well’ while yawenek means ‘living’, ‘alive’ or ‘being’. As a consequence, menoyawenek has been translated into ‘a good way of living’. Notably, menoyawenek does more than merely describe health in terms of the absence of disease but rather embodies an overall sense of leading a good life in all aspects….interactions with the natural environment through the practice of traditional harvesting activities, along with language, contribute to well-being.”{Source} Combining the existant ecology and further afforesting of the afforestation areas with the drive of the Saskatoon Food Forest Initiative would be one method to honour Truth and Reconciliation. “A report by the City of Saskatoon says provincial downloading and cuts will have ‘substantial financial implications’ for Saskatchewan’s biggest city”(CBC news, 2017)
      The afforestation areas are not in municipal reserve, nor are they a part of City park space, which would be the means to allocate money for these urban regional parks by the various city departments. The “Meewasin Valley Authority funding cut by $409K in Saskatchewan budget.”(Giles, March 23, 2017) Similarly, the MVA’s shortage of finances has limited the capacity of this environmental conservation agency.
    11. A statue, or commemorative naming in tribute of Missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) would provide distinction and recognition in the reconciliation process. It is truly unfortunate that a tragedy in the area (not a car accident) is currently marked by a nearby roadside shrine. The existing shrine of flowers located on Township Road 362A is dedicated by family and friends who loved the fallen victim of tragic circumstance.
      A shortage of $400K to the Meewasin Valley authority resulted in “a major hit for Meewasin. We knew there would be likely some reduction. We certainly hadn’t planned for something like this,” according to MVA CEO Lloyd Isaak.(Menz, 2017)     What did the provincial funding cuts mean for the city? “This is an $11.4-million hole in our operating budget for providing core services to citizens,” said City of Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.(Bridges, 2017) There are no short term plans by the City long range planners to place the afforestation areas into municipal reserve nor into park space inventory. As the afforestation lands are part of the City of Saskatoon “land bank” the various city departments are allocated no portion of city funds for the afforestation areas, the city funds which are short $11.4 million dollars.
    12. The area is flat – a flood plain for all intensive purposes – so there is great value for use by many diverse users, the bicycle group, cross country skiers, the disabled, snowshoers, walkers and hikers who wish a walk without hills. The city riverbank trails are absolutely fantastic, however the disabled person, has a grasslands experience on the upper plains, as the river bank hills are not easy to navigate by walker, or wheelchair. A flat forest such as the afforestation areas, affords the disabled an experience in a forest setting which is not available in any other city green spaces.
      “Councillors spent hours brainstorming ways the city can cover the $11.4 million yearly revenue loss.” (Wilson, 2017) The city of Saskatoon has retained the afforestation areas in land bank, and there are no immediate plans to move them into municipal reserve or into city parks space. How can they, when they are suffering from an $11.4 yearly revenue loss?
      What are the ripple effects of the “Meewasin Valley Authority losing nearly half its provincial funding?” (Shields, 2017) The MVA is without funding for the afforestation areas.
    13. During these times of climate change, woodlands absorb CO2, mitigating global warming. Saskatoon has the unique heritage distinction of being one of the very first cities with an afforestation area started in 1972, Saskatoon, pioneer in the reduction of the projected climate change
    14. Saskatchewan cycles through years of high water tables, flooding and drought. Forests influence local weather patterns, and create individualized micro-climates. As Richard St. Barbe Baker knew when he reclaimed arable land from the Sahara Desert project, trees make it rain.  “My answer to this is: enlist the whole population to restore tree cover until they have a 33.3 per cent tree Cover. They would thus be fighting shoulder to shoulder on the green front as they are doing in the Sahara desert today to grow food for their people. We have heard this evening about the Sahara and I would like to say one word about this. These countries had fought for their freedom from colonialism and sometimes amongst themselves. They are coming together to reclaim 2 million sq. miles of this world’s most famous desert. “~Richard St. Barbe Baker Friends of the Trees Speech 1980”
    15. Tree roots, themselves are powerful systems. They absorb the devastating effects of flooding reducing loss of soil and reducing property damage. “ I believe that the minimum tree cover for safety is l/3rd of the total land area of every country. Every catchment area should have at least this proportion of tree cover made of mixed species including the broad leaved trees -mono culture in any form is injurious to the land, especially mono-cultivated coniferous woods, because the roots compete underground, of course. If you study the profile of a soil, the first roots may go down together and compete with each other. The hair roots of every tree are changed with acid sheath and this acid sheath is there to help the tree melt the rock, so that the root can go through the rock. You have seen a root go right down through the rock and continue growing at the other end, the bottom of the rock. Nature has provided this acid so that the roots can melt rock and get a hold and cling and split the rock. It is amazing that the power of a small root when it starts to grow, it can crack a rock, and just imagine, all these conifers planted at equidistant of the same age with roots competing at the same level.” Richard St. Barbe Baker Friends of the Trees Speech, 1980
    16. Trees act on the aquifer systems below the soil surface. “when the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear.” Richard St. Barbe Baker Land of Tone 1954
    17. The afforestation areas are testaments to the history of Saskatoon, as they acted ahead of their time, planting trees. Afforestation areas are known to address the environmental issues of the world, and as such, Saskatoon has acted as a pioneer in the “Green Survival” campaign of 1972. “Let TAWAMHWE-pull together-be our motto and I pray that we may give our active support to all efforts of desert reclamation by tree planting and I pray that I may be just to the Earth below my feet, to my neighbour by my side and to the light which comes from above and within, and this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy for my having lived in it.” Richard St. Barbe Baker Friends of the Trees Speech, 1980.
      Though the afforestation areas are a true testament to Saskatoon’s heritage, and champion the city as a true pioneer in climate change mitigation, the afforestation areas are not a part of municipal reserve, the afforestation lands belong to the City land bank and are not City park space. “Saskatoon facing ‘immediate fiscal crisis’” says Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark.(Giles, March 23, 2017) There are no immediate plans to place the afforestation areas, and the attendant wetlands into municipal reserve where funding could be allocated through the various city departments, however in the face of the fiscal crisis, there is no immediate plans to change the status quo of the afforestation areas, and they will remain in the city of Saskatoon “land bank” and not be a part of City park space Former Mayor Brad Wall mentioned on facebook that  “We [the provincial government] think it is fair they [the city of Saskatoon] use some of their reserves or perhaps reconsider spending decisions, rather than a court injunction or an increase in local taxes.”(CBC News, March 23, 2017) The drastic shortage in finances has left the afforestation areas in limbo. They are not municipal reserve. They are not City of Saskatoon park space, the afforestation areas ‘preserved in perpetuity by city council (1979) belong to “land bank.” “Informally, the City of Saskatoon has been buying, developing and selling land since the 1920s. The City formally established the Land Bank in 1954 to acquire land for future development.”(City of Saskatoon About us)
    18. The wetlands located here are one of the only sites in Saskatchewan to view the ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis. The wetlands possess the capacity to provide foraging, and breeding grounds for many other species, Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias, Canada goose Branta canadensis, Black Crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, American white pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, a plethora of waterfowl and migrating birds. The site provides an amazing opportunity for hikers, bikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts to connect to nature outdoors.  Though there are activity restriction guidelines by the Government of Saskatchewan for nesting colonies of colonial nesting birds, there is no funding for the afforestation areas.
      As the afforestation areas are not declared as municipal reserves, nor are they a part of the City of Saskatoon park inventory, there is therefore no funding available for the afforestation areas. Though these birds have been sighted at the Chappell Marsh wetlands, to date, there has been no investigation into whether or not nesting colonies exist in the wetlands.  AS $11.4 million dollars in funding to the City of Saskatoon has been drastically cut by the provincial government, there is no foreseeable plan to place the afforestation areas into municipal reserve. “This leaves a significant hole in our operating budget,” says Mayor Charlie Clark.(Saskatoon, March 2017)
      The MVA, has no funding capabilities, either. “The provincial budget has slashed funding for a conservation group dedicated to protecting the South Saskatchewan River.
      The Saskatchewan Party has cut $409,000 from the Meewasin Valley Authority, roughly half of the province’s annual contribution of $909,000.” (CBC News, 2017)

      I believe, therefore, that water must be a basic consideration in all our national and earth wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be restored to their natural motion and thus floods and droughts must be eliminated. Forests and woodlands are intimately linked with biological, social and spiritual well-being.” Richard St. Barbe Baker Friends of the Trees Speech, 1980

    1. The afforestation area situated in the West Swale wetlands provides a naturalized area enhancing wilderness tourism, and as such is an advocate for environmental, social, and economic wilderness tourism. As such, the West Swale wetlands provide recreational and aesthetic appreciation of a permanent wetlands in the case of “Chappell Marsh”.  It is hard to comprehend, however, the entirety of the afforestation areas are located in a wetlands area according to botanists, though the permanent wetlands area are only “Chappell Marsh.”
      Though the opportunity arises for a naturalized area, there are no immediate plans to place the afforestation area into municipal urban reserve nor into City Park Space as requested April 25, 2016 by former councillor Pat Lorje, so there is no opportunity for funding provided to the afforestation areas, the Blairmore sector urban regional parks by the City of Saskatoon.  So the afforestation area urban regional parks are parks in naming title only, they do NOT belong to City of Saskatoon park space, the afforestation areas belong to Saskatoon Land Bank. “Provincial cuts this year combined with direct and indirect downloading of costs adds up to nearly $59 million…Mike Jordan, the City of Saskatoon’s director of government relations, said those costs have “substantial financial implications.”” (CBC News, April 10, 2017)For the areas managed by the MVA, the MVA is in a similar pickle, with funding being cut off to this environmental conservation agency. The MVA “lost $400,000 in funding” (SUMA 2017)
    1. The wetlands, themselves operate similar to a sponge, mitigating flooding controlling flow to the South Saskatchewan River near Yorath Island, soaking up rainfall, and releasing the moisture over time playing a vital role in the hydro-logic cycle. Wetlands also act as sustainable carbon “sinks” playing a vital role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere slowing climate change. This role of a healthy wetlands, provides huge economic benefits as they already exist, without charge, as an ecosystem service to remove water pollutants, store floodwaters, and sequester carbon.Wetlands also act as amazing biogeochemical cycling ecosystems removing and transforming nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorous from surface water. Wetlands function as amazing systems protecting and improving water quality while recharging groundwater supply.
      As the afforestation areas are not a part of municipal urban reserve, there can be allocated no funding by any City programme.  As such, there is no money to clean up the George Genereux urban regional park which is located in the West Swale wetlands which is covered in trash at all of the entrances.  Nor is there any money for the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area to ensure that ATVs and 4x4s cannot drive through these urban regional parks.  There are no signs up announcing that the afforestation areas are urban regional parks, so therefore the lands appear to be vacant crown lands which under regulations are permissible for ATVs and 4x4s to drive in.  The afforestation areas are not covered by any funding as is the case of municipal reserves, so therefore there is no capability to provide the urban regional parks with any signs identifying the afforestation areas as urban regional parks.
      “Fairness is the key and whatever we present to government will be looking at fairness and sharing the pain.” spoke Government Relations Minister Donna Harpauer “Fairness is exactly what the mayors of the province’s two largest cities say they are also looking for. Those cities are still receiving significantly less money. “(Fraser, 2017) The City of Saskatoon report “states provincial cuts this year combined with direct and indirect downloading of costs adds up to nearly $59 million.”(CBC News, April 10, 2017)
      “The Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) lost $409,000 from the provincial Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. “(Levy, 2017) The ripple effect of the provincial cuts has come to the afforestation areas. The Meewasin Valley Authority is a conservation organization created by the Provincial Government of Saskatchewan in Canada and is dedicated to conserving the cultural and natural resources of the South Saskatchewan River Valley. Though the wetlands are invaluable resource as biogeochemical cycling ecosystems there can be no money to prevent illegal trespass, nor erect signs which may mitigate illegal trash dumping, there are no funds available.

    I believe that water must be the basic consideration in all our national and earth- wide forest programmes. Streams and rivers must be returned to their natural motion. What is a natural motion? A river flowing in its natural course comes to a bend. This gives it a spiral motion. It comes to a marrow, this provides tension. It broadens out, here is relaxation. This is how blood circulates in our veins and the sap circulates in a tree. This is the natural motion. When you destroy this natural motion, the water goes on its way sick or cancerous. When water comes up against a dam, the natural motion is destroyed and the water becomes sick. This sickness spreads up to the tributary rivers and to the fields through which these rivers have come and the sickness will go to the fields bordering these rivers and will affect the grazing animals. They say that cancer is a disease of civilization. You will accept that, won’t you? It was unknown till we called ourselves civilized.”Richard St. Barbe Baker Friends of the Trees Speech, 1980

    1. By providing a natural habitat for birds, wetlands help to control pests. It is amazing the numbers of leaf eating insects which birds help to control.
        1. As can be seen by the superb educational tours by Ducks Unlimited in the neighbouring Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, Chappell Marsh provides an amazing opportunity for education, scientific research, and education of youth and visitors on biodiversity in support of  Ducks Unlimited work.
          However, as there are not any short term plans to place the afforestation areas into municipal urban reserve, there is no money for any type of program of any sort by the City of Saskatoon.  “The loss of the grants will leave the city $8.3 million short in its 2017 budget and $11.4 million short each year that follows.”(CBC News, March 27, 2017)
          The MVA is likewise strapped for cash, and there are no short term plans advanced by the MVA for any programming in their controlled lands in the afforestation areas. MVA CEO Lloyd Isaak “said the board is already looking towards how the organization can remain fiscally sound. ‘We’re going to be working with our board and our stakeholders to determine how to position Meewasin so that we have fiscal stability in the future,” he said. “But pulling out the provincial funding would have profound impacts on Meewasin as we know it.'” (Shields, 2017)
        2. The afforestation area has the potential to provide futherance to the very large design of the Fatlanders Fat Tire Bike Brigade (FFTB) trails which are groomed for the winter sport of Fat Bicycling. The City of Saskatoon and the MVA have both announced that they have no money and that providing any welcome to the general public in the form of signage is out of the question as the afforestation area is most definitely not part of Municipal Urban Reserve and there is no plan to place the afforestation areas into municipal urban reserve in the short term due to the absolute shortage in money for the city and the MVA also concurs, as they, too also lament their absolute dire lack of funds. Because the hands are tied by the City and MVA financial woes, the FFTB private club have to date received carte blanche permissions  to do pretty much anything anywhere in the making of a plethora of fat bicycle trails in this city owned green space.  The afforestation areas are faced with the long range plans of becoming solely a winter fat tire bicycle park.
          30 people in a privately run bicycle group can figure out how to create trails, create a programme for signage, and waymarking, however the MVA and city cannot. ““We can’t just simply stop what we are doing and find $12 million at this point,” former City manager Murray Totland said.(Giles, March 23, 2017)
          “We certainly knew that there was financial pressure on the province and we thought there would be some modest reduction, but we didn’t think it would be a 45 per cent cut from the provincial government,” Meewasin Valley Authority CEO Lloyd Isaak said.(Giles, March 24, 2017)
        3. The afforestation area has the potential to sustain recreation for City of Saskatoon youth with a BMX jump / trick park and yet still opportunities arise regarding safety issues. The City of Saskatoon has not come forward with any plans to place the afforestation areas into Municipal Urban Reserve, so therefore at this time the City of Saskatoon is presented with a challenge without any source of funding.  Concerned tax payers are crossing their fingers that a youngster on the BMX trick park does not meet with injury, a travesty in and of itself, and yet what financial shortfall would the city be in if they were sued because of a tragic accident? There are no safety regulations, no organisation, and no policing of procedure in any form whatsoever. Additionally this lack of any money means that the afforestation area has no possible method to avert accidents for the Saskatoon youth who use the jump park without proper safety protocols, the city has no possible modus operandi to ensure that dangers posed to the trees are mitigated.  As well there is no money to ensure that provincial and municipal environment protection bylaws for the wetlands are followed and sorted out.
          “How does the province’s decision to cut out grants-in-lieu affect Saskatoon residents? This decision will have an annual impact of $11.4 million dollars to the City, equivalent to a 5.63% property tax increase. It forces City Council to choose between raising taxes and/or making cuts to core services such as snow clearing, leisure facilities, police, or fire.”(City of Saskatoon, 2017)
          The MVA has no immediate plans for the afforestation area, as the “Meewasin received about $900,000 from the province last year. The number accounted for about 35 per cent of the authority’s total budget, with the City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan covering the remainder. This year’s budget will see the MVA receive about $400,000 less.”(Menz, 2017)
        4. The afforestation areas are so so scenic, beautiful and relaxing (once the trash is removed). The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area received community volunteer cleans ups in June 2015, July 2016, and October 2016, March 2017. The ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park has received no clean ups. Neither the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area nor the ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park have received fencing, signs, or vehicle restriction barricades. These afforestation areas appear to be vacant land unowned and uncared for by anybody, and they receive a lot of illegal dumping, and illegal trespass.
          It would be nice to have ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park cleaned up too, so it could be used safely and without fear as well as it seems to be very very picturesque, however there are no short term plans to place the afforestation areas into municipal urban reserve, so therefore there is absolutely no money to clean up the huge amounts of trash dumped in the  ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park located in the West Swale wetlands.  This very sad predicament mans that ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park cannot be walked in, nor can vehicles access the ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park as the quantity of construction materials with nails, and shingles with nails located in the trash piles is very high posting a serious risk.
          However, this situation will likely remain, as the afforestation areas do not belong to municipal urban reserve nor are they a part of City Park Space. Because the afforestation areas are a part of Saskatoon’s land bank, there is no money allocated to any Saskatoon department to clean up the ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park. Note the ‘George Genereux’ urban regional park is an ‘urban regional park’ in the naming process of city council 1979 only it is NOT a part of City Park Space.
          There are no funds available for the City of Saskatoon nor for the MVA to proceed with any projects in regards to the afforestation areas.      “Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says a surprise provincial budget cut could cost the city more than $10 million and create a “fiscal crisis” in 2017. Wednesday’s budget put an end to $36 million in grants”(Bridges, 2017) In discussing the Province cuts $400K from Meewasin funding and the province taking over Wascana Centre, h Christine Tell, the minister responsible for the provincial capital commission, in a news release, said that “I want to offer reassurances that under the new model we will continue to invest in infrastructure and make sure the park is well-maintained for all those who enjoy the beauty of this natural and recreational area.” However, that being said, there is still trash and illegal trespass in the West Swale wetlands and afforestation areas of the Blairmore sector.
        5. The wetlands with their emergent vegetation provide great and varied flora which attract diverse animal species. Besides birds and waterfowl already mentioned, the wetlands and associated riparian woodlands attract reptiles, and mammals who seek food, water and shelter in the adjacent riparian woodlands of the afforestation areas. The existence of the Tiger Salamander Ambystoma tigrinum, Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens, Woodland Frog Lithobates sylvaticus, muskrat Ondatra zibethicus, Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus, White Tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus, Skunk Mephitis mephitis, North American porcupine Erethizon dorsatum, snowshoe hare, cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus. The Government of Saskatchewan has put into place activity restriction guidelines  regarding the Northern Leopard Frog.  nocturnal nature walks by the Nature Society reveals species of owls, and very likely bats as well. Besides waterfowl, and the declining numbers of songbirds under watch by the Saskatoon Nature Society the American Kestrel, Falco Sparverius, and Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides are both species which have received attentions in the West Swale and afforestation areas.  The black-capped chickadee Poecile atricapillus, Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus, Bohemian waxwing Bombycilla garrulus, and numerous sparrow species are among the common avian sightings. The spring season welcomes the The American robin Turdus migratorius, and western meadowlarkSturnella neglecta.The afforestation areas are not in municipal reserve placed before the city by former city councillor Pat Lorje April 25, 2016, and reviewed May 39, 2017. As the afforestation areas are not a part of the city’s urban reserves, nor do the afforestation areas belong to city’s park space inventory there is no funding available by any city department.
          “Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said the city is facing a potential financial crisis following the release of the 2017-18 Saskatchewan budget.”(Giles, March 23) “The government also announced it will be changing legislation to eliminate the requirement that the University of Saskatchewan’s 30 per cent funding commitment to the MVA remain in place.” (Giles, March 24) This has the potential to further reduce funding to the MVA which has already been cut $400,000 in funding.
        6. The Forestry Farm Park and Zoo are absolutely wonderful ways for urban families to appreciate animals while living in an urban setting. However, it is also true that experiencing nature, wildlife in the natural setting is a true treat, and a testament to the City of Saskatoon that there still exists an oasis of green space where one can still see such a variety of flora and fauna inside of the city limits.  AS there are no plans on the horizon to place the afforestation areas into municipal urban reserve, there is no money available for fences nor gates to keep vehicles, 4x4s or ATVS  out of the afforestation areas.  The afforestation areas are not a part of the City of Saskatoon municipal urban reserves, without funding there can be no signs erected letting anyone know that the afforestation areas are urban regional parks, and are thus open to illegal trespass, trash dumping, illegal activities, and a host of bylaw violations. The afforestation areas are sadly urban regional parks in name only as they are not in municipal reserve nor are there any immediate plans to place the afforestation areas in city park space. The naming by city council in 1979 as urban regional parks has not been followed up upon. The act to ‘preserve the afforestation areas in perpetuity” by city council of 1972 has not been carried out ~ the afforestation areas are just lands held by the City of Saskatoon land bank, there is NO money allocated by any City department for their care nor for their upkeep in anyway whatsoever. There is NO money for public signs to define the vacant looking lands as city property. There is NO money for fencing or gates to keep illegal trespass and illegal activity out of the afforestation area.
          The afforestation areas predicament was placed before the city by former city councillor Pat Lorje April 25, 2016 requesting that the lands be placed in municipal reserve and into City park space, and reviewed May 39, 2017. There are NO short terms plans for the afforestation areas by the city of Saskatoon long range planners.
          “There was no mention of it [budget cuts could cost Saskatoon $11.4M] whatsoever and this could engender a real fiscal crisis for our city for this year,” said Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark (Bridges, 2017)
          “Meewasin Valley Authority funding cut by $409K in Saskatchewan budget.”(Giles, March 23, 2017)As has been determined, the MVA has no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon. The city of Saskatoon long range planners have no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon, either.  The long range plans for the afforestation areas is nothing as Saskatoon’s population grows to just over 380,000 by 2035, and as the Saskatoon census metropolitan area is forecasted to reach a population of 448,985, the afforestation areas, around 380 hectares of land, will service  only the current plans available for the afforestation areas, put foward by 30 members of the Fat Tire Fatlanders Brigade for their  winter bicycling and their trail creation.  Is there something for everybody of the city of Saskatoon?  No.
          As you have seen, the MVA has no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon. The city of Saskatoon long range planners have no immediate plans for the afforestation areas in the Blairmore sector of Saskatoon, either.   What are the long range plans for the afforestation areas as  Saskatoon’s population grows to just over 380,000 by 2035, and as the Saskatoon census metropolitan area is forecasted to reach a population of 448,985, the afforestation areas, around 380 hectares of land?  Are the long range plans to service  only the current plans available for the afforestation areas, put forward by 30 members of the Fat Tire Fatlanders Brigade for their winter bicycling and their trail creation. 

      Are the members of the FFTB the only people in the entirety of the city of Saskatoon who can figure anything out?  Is the entirety of the 380 hectares of land to become a  winter fat-tire bicycle park as there can be absolutely no sign erected, as well, welcoming the general public?  Winter bicycling is absolutely fantastic, though there are other activities in a Winter City such as Saskatoon, such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, nature hikes, bird watching, etc, etc.

      The general public needs consideration as well.

      Though 380 hectares of land should provide the opportunities for the long range planners City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority to provide a naturalized areas for the population of the city. Though our children will see the city rise to about 1/2 million by 2015, there no plans for these afforestation areas whatsoever. There is absolutely no way to protect the afforestation areas so that our grandchildren may still see a frog, a deer, or other creature inside of city limits within the wildlife habitat corridor of afforestation areas. There is no safeguard on the wetlands, which the afforestation areas exist in, at all.  There is no safeguard on the wetlands, which the afforestation area reside in, at all.

      The  city and the MVA have the opportunity to follow up on Truth and Reconciliation for our first nations peoples of Saskatoon. “We respectfully acknowledge that the afforestation areas exist upon Treaty 6 territory and the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people”. However, as the afforestation areas are not part of a municipal reserve, there is NO carry through to protect, conserve, or take care of take care of the riparian woodlands, wetlands, or grasslands of the afforestation areas in any planning at all.

      As you have seen in this article, that although there is some value to the afforestation areas, these facts remain;

          • Nothing is financed, nor planned for the general public in regards to an urban regional park as the afforestation areas are NOT in municipal reserve, and not in city park space.
          • Nothing is similarly in the long range planning in terms of curbing the illegal activity, and illegal trespass which have gone on for years, in the forms of fencing or gates to prevent access by motorized vehicle.  The afforestation areas belong to land bank, and as such there is NO  money that the city can allocate to the afforestation areas for any purpose whatsoever.
          • Nothing is in the planning stages for erecting signs so that the vacant looking lands are defined as city owned lands, as there is no money allocated for the afforestation areas.
          • The afforestation areas named as urban regional parks in 1979 by city council only and not by the parks department.  The afforestation areas belong to land bank,  they are NOT in municipal reserve, and not in city park space.
          • The afforestation areas were ‘preserved in perpetuity’ on paper by city council in 1972 and not in real life as has been evident by the massive trash removed on several community volunteer clean ups removing huge amounts of trash and the ‘George Genereux” afforestation area which has received no clean up at all.
          • There have been grass fires in the afforestation areas over the years, and two massive grass fires at the nearby “Buck’s auto parts” requiring fire protective services from both the City of Saskatoon and the RM of Corman Park 344.  If a grass fire gets away and becomes a forest fire in the afforestation area, it would have devastating consequences for the neighbouring residents of Cedar Villa Estates, and for those train cars carrying flammable goods in the adjacent CN Chappell Yards Train station.  There is NO funding to fill in the existing large fire hole built to burn wood pallets for campfire parties, or convert it to a fire pit of city or provincial standards.  As you will see on reading this article, there is no funding for signs in regards to any fires in the afforestation areas.  There is NO funding for signs in regards to any fires in the afforestation areas.

      Is it really true that nothing can be done?

      West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling
      West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling

If you can think of anymore values for the afforestation areas, please comment.

Please, if you have any values which you personally treasure about the afforestation areas, again it would be fantastic to hear your comment.

Does anyone have any suggestions regarding the afforestation areas in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada?

Bibliography
About Us, City of Saskatoon

Bridges, Alicia. Grant cuts in budget could cost Saskatoon $11.4M. Provincial budget cuts $36 million in grants for municipalities from SaskPower and SaskEnergy CBC News Mar 23, 2017

Fraser, D.C. Provincial government capping reduction to grants-in-lieu funding at 30% Regina Leader-Post March 31, 2017

Giles, David. Meewasin Valley Authority funding cut by $409K in Saskatchewan budget Global News. March 23, 2017

Giles, David. Saskatoon facing ‘immediate fiscal crisis’: Mayor Charlie Clark Global News. March 25, 2017

Levy, Bryn. Meewasin Valley Authority sees funds slashed in provincial budget 650 CKOM March 22, 2017

Menz, Kevin. Province cuts $400K from Meewasin funding, takes over Wascana Centre CTV Saskatoon

Provincial government cuts push financial burden onto City residents & taxpayers: Choices facing City Council are to raise property taxes or cut City services City of Saskatoon March 24, 2017

Provincial cuts, downloading costs Saskatoon $59M, city says. City official says costs have ‘substantial financial implications’ for taxpayers CBC News Posted: Apr 10, 2017
SUMA FAQ What did the provincial government do with payments in lieu to municipalities? CBC News. May 4, 2017

Shield, David. Meewasin Valley Authority to close interpretive centre CEO Lloyd Isaak says the centre will close July 1st CBC News Jun 08, 2016

Wilson, Jacqueline. Saskatoon mulls legal action over cuts in Saskatchewan budget Global News March 26, 2017

Saskatoon may have no legal grounds to challenge budget cuts, says prof Saskatchewan’s largest city threatening court injunction after provincial budget CBC News Mar 27, 2017

Shield, David. Meewasin Valley Authority losing nearly half its provincial funding ‘very challenging,’ says Saskatoon mayor
Authority and city had feared bigger cuts or end of provincial funding
CBC News. March 22, 2017

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a good place for all of us to live in

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Richard St. Barbe Baker said “You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover”, andthe same can be said for a city’s wetlands
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
“Erosion does not march with a blast of trumpets or the beating of drums, but its tactics are more subtle, more sinister.’ ~ Richard ST. Barbe Baker- I Planted Trees – 1944”
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
‘The world will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.  Richard t Barbe Baker, Green Glory, the Camelot Press, UK, 1948.

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: ***

F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab.

“Always the more beautiful answers, who ask the more difficult questions.” e.e. cummings.

A puzzle was posed on Carve your legacy, Evokes curiosity.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has as its namesake, Dr. Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, O.B.E., Hon. LL.D. (Sask), F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., A.C.F.

Carve your legacy, Evokes curiosity resolved many of the honourifics, and postnomial letters.  However what did F.I.A.L., and For.Dip.Cantab. mean?  That was the curiouser, and curioser poser.

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

At first glance, and knowing the history of Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, the founder of the International organization “Men of the Trees” now known as the “International Tree Foundation” it first appeared that it may have something to do with forestry, an honour or a group. However….

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.”– Dr. Seuss

A letter arrived from Dawn at the Saskatoon Public Library “Ask Us” reference service resolving the conundrum.

By searching in the 1974 edition of the “Who’s Who” directory, a listing was posted for Baker, Richard St. Barb, FIAL.  The abbreviations cited for the “Who’s Who” directory gave the definition that FIAL stands for “Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters.”

Now then, according to The Trustees of the San Luigi Charitable Trust, “The Institute of Arts and Letters, London, is a small and exclusive learned society, based in England’s capital but with an international membership, devoted to the study of the arts and letters in their broadest sense, and to the promotion of humanitarian and philanthropic endeavour.”

Fellows of the Institute are limited to a 50-member honour society, who remain elected for life, and may attach the postnomial letters F.I.A.L. An existing fellow, puts forward an exemplary candidate, and this nomination goes before the society in a peer review.

If one was to speak of an agile mind, the concept of having a quick resourceful and adaptable character would come to the forefront.

Further to this the staff at the Saskatoon Public Library discovered that in regards to the abbreviations ~ “For. Dip. Cantab.” that the abbreviation Cantab. stands for Cambridge University. And then the “Who’s Who” Almanac, again confirmed this abbreviation with the definition “Forestry Diploma, Cantab., 1920”.

There has been historically the Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900 is a biographical register of former members of the University of Cambridge which was edited by John Venn (1834–1923) and his son John Archibald Venn (1883–1958) and published by Cambridge University Press in ten volumes between 1922 and 1953.  However, it ends at 1900, and Richard St. Barbe Baker graduated 1920.

According to Ruth Wright Millar, author of Saskatchewan Heroes, and Rogues, Richard St. Barbe Baker enrolled in forestry programmes at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1920. St Barbe set off with these papers in hand, as the Colonial Office assigned to St. Barbe a posting in Kenya as Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF).

The puzzle is solved with a bit of “study and a quick and agile response!

“Yesterday was the happiest day of my life. Every new day that follows the previous day is happier and what better than this I can wish for my friend.  “I wish you health and strength of an oak, the long life of a redwood.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

Thank you very kindly. The Saskatoon Public Library provides a most excellent “Ask Us” reference service, indeed. As Gertrude Stein says, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.

Roses in appreciation of Volunteers upporters and sponsors of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean up, Saskatoon, SK, CA
Roses in appreciation

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority at 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 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)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

“Any success for which I have been given credit has been the result of teamwork.” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Saskatoon: World Tourism Site

 

If you have not visited, please come to Saskatoon for

World Tourism Day
27 September 2018

City of Saskatoon, SK, CA
City of Saskatoon, SK, CA

September 27, an amazing autumn day with the spectacular colour of golden leaves gracing the river bank, after revelling in a glorious summer season with balmy temperatures from Easter through to October.  Yet check out what Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada has to offer as a fantastic #WinterCityYXE. Any time of year is fantastic to visit the city of Saskatoon.

Mayor of Saskatoon, Charlie Clark writes “The has named Saskatoon #18 out of the top 52 places in the world to visit for 2018. The only Canadian City on the list. Highlighting the opening of the . Welcome World! Come for the art, stay for the people.”

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall commented “Congratulations Saskatoon on being the only Canadian destination to rank in the 52 places to visit around the world. With the newly opened adding to our downtown experience, truly is a great place to see.”

“Did you know that Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada [#YXE] was the only Canadian destination to make it on the New York times list “52 places to visit around the world [ 52 places to Go in 2018 ~ A starter kit for exploring the world. ]

Check out the Saskatoon section of the New York Times facebook page for more spectacular Saskatoon sights!

Seth Sherwood, New York Times, writes of Saskatoon; “Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and other heavyweight 20th-century artists now have a home in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, thanks to the new Remai Modern museum. ”

Do indeed, when arriving in Saskatoon, check out the Remai Modern museum, and relax along the  South Saskatchewan River Valley with its amazing beaches especially those at Sutherland Beach, Chief Whitecap Park [Chief Whitecap Waterway], Fred Heal Canoe Launch [Map] and Poplar Bluffs Conservation Area.

While visiting Saskatoon [YXE] don’t forget to check out the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, for a walk amidst the trees and snap a photograph of a deer, squirrel,  Black-crowned NightHeron or bunny rabbit on your saunter.

Does this not just evoke the four Rs?  Everyone is familiar with the three R’s ~ Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic In Saskatoon experience the four R’s ~reflection, rest, relaxation and renewal 😉

Bibliography

WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy City of Saskatoon Business & Development Planning Community Plans & Strategies

Events and Attractions City of Saskatoon

Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change thatNew strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture CBC News Jan 24, 2017

Remai Modern museum

Saskatoon Winter City Strategy Update. January 10, 2017

Saskatooning Life in the City of Bridges
Tourism Saskatoon  ExploreYXE

Visitors. Meewasin Valley Authority

Yard Bridget Taking the chill off: Proposed Saskatoon budget includes temporary warming huts City to follow in Edmonton’s footsteps, inject $350k into Winter City Strategy CNC News Oct 17, 2017

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!

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 “In the stillness of the mighty woods, man is made aware of the divine”
Richard St. Barbe Baker

Severe Cold Weather and You

Extreme cold warning issued for Saskatoon for -40 wind chills

Extreme winter weather
Extreme winter weather

CBC News reports that people in Saskatoon braving the outdoors despite extreme cold Wind chills will make it feel like –40 across Saskatchewan

It is the kind of weather where hot water freezes when thrown up into the air at forty below zero degrees F. What happens to you when you walk your dog when there are extreme winter weather warnings?

If the wind chill dips down to  –28 or colder, exposed skin can freeze in less than half an hour! Then when the weather  drops to –40, now frostbite can occur on exposed areas of skin in less than 10 minutes.  If it gets colder yet, say to  –55, then the  danger of frostbite occurs within two minutes.  Frostbite affects both humans and their pets outdoors on off leash dog walks.

Please dress adequately for the weather.  In the extreme weather warnings, ski pants and “thermal long johns” may help to keep you warmer.  Down fill jackets go a long way towards warmth.  Check the cold rating on your boots, and layer in a felt insole for extra coziness for your toes.  Always remember at least one pair of mittens, if not two pairs of mittens.  Two pairs of socks are also wonderful for warmer feet.  Besides protecting fingers and toes, small muscle areas like ears, cheeks and noses need protection from frost bite dangers, so wear scarves or balaclavas.  A lot of warmth is lost out the top of the head, so wear a good toque or warm head covering gear.

Cold Weather Dress Warmly
Cold Weather Dress Warmly

Keep your cell phone next to your person when out walking as cold cell phone batteries also are affected by the extreme cold, and will lose their charge quickly in a purse or outer pocket.  The cell phone may be a necessity in case of emergency.

Keep your vehicle gassed up above half, as a gas tank below half full may be prone to water vapour build up and freezing.  Have your gas station attendant add “gas line antifreeze” when you fill up to prevent troubles starting your car in the winter time.  Keep all kinds of antifreeze away from your children and pets, as they are poisonous.

Be aware of the age of your vehicle battery.  Batteries have an average lifetime warranty OR a number of “cold weather starts.”  The purchase of a battery blanket and / or a trickle charger may keep you and your vehicle running during severe cold weather.

Cold weather: wear the right footwear - warm boots rated for the cold weather
Cold weather: wear the right footwear – warm boots rated for the cold weather

Stock a spare set of battery cables in your car so that you may lend a hand and be a cold weather angel.  It just may be that even if your car has been reliable in cold weather, that your vehicle may be the one surprising you and require a winter boost.

If you are stuck and stranded remember:

Stay in your vehicle, and remain calm.
Conserve your energy, and do not tire yourself out [ie do not strain yourself trying to push your vehicle out of a snow bank].
If your vehicle is running, be aware of the gas levels, and run only as necessary.
Keep mindful of any snow build up around the car exhaust. If your car is stuck in a snow bank, and it is running then carbon monoxide poisoning can build up in the car interior if the exhaust if plugged with snow.
Move your fingers and toes regularly.

Check your vehicle’s emergency winter supplies.

In your vehicle emergency kit pack:

Battery booster cables for your own dead vehicle or to help another stranded family
Food that is good to eat at all times such as granola bars, raisins, dates, spirulina and hemp hearts.  [Do not feed raisins nor dates to your pet]
Blankets are a must.
Spare medications.
Extra winter clothing and boots adequate for changing tires.
First aid kit for minor emergencies.
A small shovel or folding shovel in case you get stuck, and can dig your way out. Sand, road salt, or cat litter will help provide traction.
Spare cell phone charger.
A flashlight to shine to attract help and assistance.
A whistle to make noise for help.
Candles in a deep can along with matches.
A tow rope or chain.
Emergency signalling, flourescent tape, cones, beacon, flares etc.
A tarp or rain poncho and reflective foil double bubble foil insulation will help conserve body heat for longer times of winter stranding.  The poncho or tarp will keep your body heat closer to you within the vehicle, or wrap around more than one person and / or pets to share warmth.  The foil is lightweight, and packs in small rolls and will reflect your body heat back to you if you sit on it. Cuddle into your emergency blanket, then layer on the foil insulation then the tarp/rain poncho for heat conservation.

What else can you think of?

Keep your pets safe

Keep yourself safe during times of extreme cold weather.  Know what to do before you are out and away from home during times of severe wind chill warnings!

“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.”–Taylor Swift

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

 

Thank you to Cold Weather Angels

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

We have recently received word about the wonderous and caring help from Winter Angels who provided help to a stranded family of dog walkers and their dogs.

In these days of extreme cold weather, and drastic wind chill warnings, cars may start fine at home when plugged in.  However, after sitting in severe cold weather for half an hour to an hour, vehicles just may not start for the warm ride back home to safety.

A follower of this blog wrote in and expressed their gratitude to the many and several fellow dog walkers who were also out and about in the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and offered a battery boost to them, a stranded family on the outskirts of the city.  However, in dismay, it was found that there were no battery cables to be had in any of the parking lot vehicles.

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

One couple went above and beyond, and rushed to their family’s home in Montgomery and came back to the stranded family with battery cables!  What amazing winter angels they truly were.  The stranded family did not catch their name, but wish to let them know that their assistance was greatly appreciated, and that they will “Pay it forward.”

So a hearty thank you is proferred to these amazing winter angels!

This winter it is good to be mindful of our neighbours and fellow dog walkers and lend a hand when we can.  If you are helped in such a way, please pay it forward to anyone you see in distress especially during this time of cold weather warnings.

Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings
Cars and Severe Winter Weather Warnings

Every act of kindness benefits the giver, as well as the receiver.
-Katrina Mayer

For more information:
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′
Addresses:
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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

 

“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!”–Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Pack up your troubles.

Smile Week => Second Week of August.

August 13-+19 2017

“Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile”~George Henry Powell

What better way to smile, than to get out and harmonize with nature!

 

“There is something in natale solum which charms the soul after a period of absence, and operates so powerfully, as to fill it with indescribable sensations and delight. Every object and scene appeals so forcibly to the senses, enraptures the eye, and so sweetly attunes the mind, as to place this feeling among even the extacies of our nature, and; the most refined we are capable of enjoying.” ~Joseph Corry

 

Nature never did betray The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege, Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy: for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold Is full of blessings.~ Wordsworth

 

Colors are the smiles of nature. Leigh Hunt

 

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Images of Richard St. Barbe Baker credit
University of Saskatchewan,
University Archives & Special Collections,
Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

For more information:

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′
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 OLRA
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)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker