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.
So this is the note from Regan Olson, environmental protection officer with the City of Saskatoon;
“The George Genereux Urban Regional Park is an afforestation area located on the north side of the overpass on Highway 7 at the west end of Saskatoon. At this location, 30 cubic yard roll-off bins were filled with various waste by volunteers from the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas, SOS Trees Inc., City staff and residents from nearby. This included heavy equipment such as a skidsteer and a tractor which were essential to get some of the heavy items that have been illegally dumped here over the years. These large piles included shingles and concrete. The concrete was relocated to help re-enforce present berms on site that are utilized to help block access.
A huge thank you goes out to those that donated time & equipment to make this possible!!
The bin was emptied 5 times in total with waste with an accumulated weight of 9,860 Kg’s
9 tires that were taken to A1 tire for recycling.
A small amount of syringes were clean up and properly disposed of from this site.
Also please see the link below for more information on this area:“
Can you imagine it, 5 each 30 cubic yard roll-off bins were taken away full to the top with trash placed into the forest – an urban regional park – by folks too lazy or too cheap to go to the landfill! These bins are much bigger than the 4.5 𝑚 cubed 𝑜𝑟 6 cubic 𝑦𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙 bins behind apartment buildings to give you an idea of the size. The bins at the forest were 5 times bigger than the apartment building bins, and still five each of the 30 cubic yard size were filled up! So that is like hauling away 25 apartment sized bins from a forest, can you imagine!!??? Who would be crazy enough to dump in an urban regional park, and says to themselves well here is a gorgeous forest, so I think I’m going to dump some trash so the classrooms doing nature place based education field trips can wade through the garbage. Arrrgghghhh! How silly is that. So here we have some wonderful results from stewards of Saskatoon urban regional parks.
For those of you who like Imperial measurements, 9,860 kg is 21,737.58 pounds! That is like hauling 20 Grand Pianos out of the park or the volunteers picking up and lifting 20 American Bison out of the park. Or to put it another way, the volunteers would have had to lift 50 adult bears to get to that weight. So, a lot was accomplished, and there is just no way to say thank you often enough! So this means that on average each and every volunteer did 1/2 ton each!!! WOW WOW WOW isn’t that amazing.
Thank you so very much to volunteers from SOS Trees Inc. for helping out during the Arbor Week Celebrations with the afforestation area clean up at George Genereux Urban Regional Park.
Thank you kindly to members from the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. for coming out to the clean up.
We had so many folks from the community who heard of the clean up as well, and wanted to help out and learn more about the afforestation area. So, to all these people, thank you for taking time on a Saturday to help with the clean up, the afforestation area is amazing now, absolutely amazing, and so much safer, and pleasant to enjoy as an urban regional park, indeed.
The City of Saskatoon environmental protection officer Chelsey Studer was out helping with the clean up loading buckets, her truck, other trucks, and helping with hazardous waste collection and tire collection. The City of Saskatoon arranged the Loraas bins to be on-site and waived the tipping fees.
Appreciation is extended to Evan & Ila’s No Frills Westgate Plaza 2410 22 St W at Avenue W North for helping with refreshments on the hot day. As people sweltered, the bananas, juice, water and granola bar kept everyone hydrated, full of sustenance – so that was Yay!
We had some unique people out at the clean up. Two helpers from Len’s Hauling came with a truck, kept track of the volunteer bags to take them to the Loraas dumpster on-site, and they hauled so very much out of the forest. They took care of the old stove, lumber, the heavy water-sogged fibreglas insulation that was at least 8 feet wide, and rolled into 4 foot diameter rolls, and weighed a ton. The final one, was so heavy, it needed three people to get it into the bucket of the front end loader, and up into the truck. Another fiberglas roll needed to be cut in half to also get it dragged out of the forest and into the front end loader bucket.
Speaking of the front end loader, Don who lived nearby took care of a whole house that was discarded in the forest, lumber, plastic siding, eavestroughs, were in a pile, and volunteers helped load the bucket and off the front end loader went to the Loraas bin on-site. Wow! The front-end loader, and Don’s expertise driving it helped so very much and we are all grateful. The front-end loader, took care of much more than just the fibreglas insulation, he was able to scoop lumber and shingles that had decayed into the sod turf, scoop bags of garbage the volunteers had piled together, and a huge motor that was in the forest, which was much to heavy to shift by volunteers on foot. He was up at the lake enjoying our summer weather, and made a special trip back while the Loraas bins were out just to help, so that is also going above and beyond. Thanks!
Another amazing help for the clean up was Paul and his puppy dog with his skid steer. Well Paul shifted shingle piles also into the Loraas bin, piles of wood, and cement blocks. There was, for some reason more than one pile of concrete at the afforestation area. Paul also found another motor in the afforestation area which is now removed, and in the Loraas bin and taken away. While Paul did many loads of trash to the Loraas bin, he also moved the concrete and cement onto the existing built berms to help reinforce barriers to prevent more trash dumping! Yay! This was so much appreciated also!
CJWW radio broadcast the cleanup on the airwaves, and online additionally which was so very helpful. It was a tricky wicket, because to comply with COVID protocols, it was originally thought that 10 people would be the maximum outside, but then the protocols changed to 150 shortly before the clean up date, and how to change 10 people to 150 in a short time, well CJWW came to the rescue! Thank you ever so much!
Sept 19, 2020 – 9,270Kg or 9.27 tons or 10.2 US tons or 204,367 pounds removed
So on October 3, 2020 – 2,660kg’s was removed
There were additionally six cleanups in 2020 using the MVA bins, and one day with the MVA support to fill truck and trailer.
June 5, 2021 – 9,860 Kg’s removed
Between 2020 and 2021 the TOTAL is OVER 21,790 kg of trash removed from George Genereux Urban Regional Park in Saskatoon and note cement placed onto berms not included in weight
So to everyone who celebrated some very special days….
June 5 ….. Arbor Week request for city proclamation by SOS Trees Inc.!
June 5 ….. the first day of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
June 5 ….. International Trails Day.
June 5 ….. World Environment Day.
June 5 is….. Clean Green Community Scene.
Hats off to you! You are truly part of #generationrestoration
If you heard the public service announcement on the air, please email us and let us know! Thank you to each and every one of the listeners, and especially those who heard our plea for help and came out to enlist at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean Up.
Many hands make light work or as the Saskatchewan provincial motto goes… Multis e Gentibus Vires “Strength from Many Peoples”
Richard St. Barbe Baker founded the International “Men of the Trees” Foundation who adopted as their motto the African word Twahamwe, meaning “pull together”.
So it was ever so great to have the little known Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up event ~ the Clean, Green Community Scene ~ announced on public radio, to let Saskatoon and nearby residents in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344 know of this great urban regional park ~ The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It is with heartfelt enthusiasm that residents of Saskatoon, Canada and the United States rallied around behind the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and helped clean up the West Swale Wetlands and the associated riparian forest and afforested woodlands. Our hats off to all the volunteers who attended the 2016 clean up!
“To be in a better position to help them I studied their language, their folklore and tribal customs, and was initiated into their secret society, an ancient institution which safeguarded the history of the past which was handed down by word of mouth through its members.
Soon I came to understand and love these people and wanted to be of service to them. They called me “Bwana M‘Kubwa,” meaning “Big Master,” but I said, “I am your M‘tumwe” (slave).” Richard St. Barbe Baker
The 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean Up announced, gratefully on the radio by the Saskatoon Media Group! 98 Cool FM, CJWW 600 Saskatchewan’s most listened to station, 92.9 The Bull Saskatoon or Saskatoon’s internet radio station Cool Classic Radio. 2016
Mallard Ducks. West Swale Wetlands (Chappel Marsh) Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, SK, CA
Tires discarded at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and removed, and taken in for recycling, a charge to the volunteers of over $350.00
West Swale and the Riparian Woodlands Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, SK, CA BMX bicycle Jump Park Tower
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
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!
What was Richard St. Barbe Baker’s mission, that he imparted to the Watu Wa Miti, the very first forest scouts or forest guides? To protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.
“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker
“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.