Laughter, the best medicine

International Happiness Day

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

International Happiness Day Wednesday March 20, 2019

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Each day is a little life. Celebrate this International Day of Happiness at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and wrap yourself in the ever-unfolding happiness which Richard St. Barbe Baker himself speaks of. Jiggle with laughter as the joy permeates your whole being.

“I believe with Ruskin, that I must be just to the Earth beneath my feet, to the neighbour by my side and to the Light that comes from above and within that this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy from my having lived in it. “Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Our climate is so happy, that even in the worst months of the year, “calm mornings of sunshine visit us at times, appearing like glimpses of departed spring amid the wilderness of wet and windy days that lead to winter. It is pleasant, when these interludes of silver light occur, to stride into the woods and see how wonderful are all the colors of decay. Overhead, the elms and poplars hang their wealth of golden leaves.In the hedges pale snow berries and scarlet hips are wreathed with golden rod and here, like knots of rosy buds, on delicate frail twigs. No face welcomed us but the fine fantastic sprays of free and happy evergreen trees, waving one above another in their ancient home. Underneath lie fallen leaves, and the tall grass prairie rises to our knees as we thread the forest paths. Nature, though it be end autumn, is ever in her spring, where the moss-grown and decaying trees are not old, but seem to enjoy a perpetual youth; and blissful, innocent Nature, like a serene infant, is too happy to make a noise, except by a few tinkling, lisping birds and trickling rills?”

“Happy are they that findeth wisdom,
And the man that getteth understanding:
For the merchandise of it is better than silver,
And the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies:
And all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand,
And in her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.”~Proverbs of Solomon

“I am a part of all that I have seen.”—Alfred Lord Tennyson

Laughter, is truly, the best medicine.  Go out into nature, celebrate returning to your roots, and be happy, and healthy.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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.


“Be gentle – gentle – gentle with the tree,….Put your hands like this to bless it…I want you to feel your love going out from your fingertips to the …[tree], and, you know, this will help it grow, make it happy…We love to be blessed don’t we? And the trees love to be blessed. ..” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

“He that planteth a tree is a Servant of God
He provideth a Kindness, for many generations
and faces he hath not seen shall bless him.
Who so walketh in solitude, And inhabiteth the wood,
Choosing light, wave, rock and bird,
Before the money-loving herd,
Unto that forester· shall pass,
From these companions, power and grace.
Woodnotes,” Emerson

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Primatology and dogs

If Pets Had Thumbs

Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk

Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving and capable of pure love. Virtues that few people get through life without abandoning at least once. ~ M.K. Clinton

March 3, If Pets Had Thumbs Day

There are well and truly a few pets that do have thumbs which we will briefly look at first, then it will be fun to delve into scenarios if your pet dog had opposable thumbs.  But what is an opposable thumb?  Wikipedia quotes primatologists and hand research pioneers John and Prudence Napier who defined opposition as: “A movement by which the pulp surface of the thumb is placed squarely in contact with – or diametrically opposite to – the terminal pads of one or all of the remaining digits.”

Emily Carr 1871-1945, Canadian Artist and writer actually did have a pet with opposable thumbs. “Woo” was a Javanese Monkey who played alongside Carr’s pure bred Blueshire Old English Sheep Dogs. However Emily Carr was not the only pet owner to fall in love with a monkey, Justin Beiber, singer and performer for a short while owned a pet Capuchin Monkey, Mally. However as a rule, most pet owners do not own opossums, Koalas are a protected species, and orangutans, gorillas and other apes are usually only seen in nature or in a zoo, and not as a pet.

So, in exploring these primates, and other animals with opposable thumbs, it is now time to consider what your pet dog do if they had opposable thumbs.

  • They could play fetch with each other! With opposable thumbs your puppy could pick up a stick or ball and be able to move it around, perhaps learning a tossing or throwing motion.
  • They could pick up their meal as does a racoon, and eat it sitting on their haunches.
  • Having opposable thumbs, would mean that the puppies, upon sighting a bird or squirrel in a tree, would be able to climb trees as monkeys and apes can.
  • If your dog had opposable thumbs, they would be able to operate tools, much as a raccoon, can open a garbage can lid, or twist open a door handle easily. A raccoon has five fingers, and no thumb, but has learned how to grip and grasp items between both hands, enabling it to learn many tasks, and wash it food etc.  Your dog, also uses their paws to gain egress around a door or gate, hold their toy kong still, Etc. With opposable thumbs, this task would become much easier for your pet dog.
  • With opposable thumbs, the pack of dogs would be able to pick up sticks and stones and in addition to their teeth, would be better able to protect themselves and their pups.
  • Hanging and swinging could be achieved with opposable thumbs, so your dog, could have a great lark of a time creating all sorts of new activities in trees and along tree tops.  Combined with their usual stalking, leaping and pouncing being able to rise above, could result in some complex maneuvres.
  • At the moment, dogs can only groom themselves, and remove burrs and rose branches from their fur with their teeth or by licking themselves with their tongue or ask their humans to help them. With opposable thumbs, how much easier it would be for each individual dog to relieve the pain of snow, rocks from the soft pads of their paws, or to sit and help the dogs in their pack to remove a burr from their fur.
  • If your puppy had opposable thumbs, they could enter and leave their owners home with the door handle, and pet doors would become history.
  • The supper, steak, or pies left out on table or counter would be much much easier to get to with opposable thumbs, if that pooch had not undergone training yet.
  • Puppies now can pick up their leashes with their mouth to ask their owners for a walk, but with opposable thumbs, this task along with fetching newspapers and slippers becomes a lot easier.
  • If puppies and dogs had opposable thumbs, it would be easier for a dog to communicate that they have the urge to go outside if you lived in a home without a puppy door. Your puppy rather than gently laying their paw upon your hand or arm, the dog could actually hold your hand and urge you up for a walk, or to go outside.
  • With opposable thumbs, many, many more tricks could be taught to the dogs, and by the same token more training would be required, as they would be able to climb up and anywhere in the house or outside.
  • Emily Carr dressed her monkey “Woo” in a bright red dress, and out they went for a walk.  In short order Woo escaped up a tree, and divested herself of the dress on the peak of the same tree, and down Woo clambered.  In like fashion, if your pet dog did not like the booties, hat, sweater or jacket that their pet owner bundled them up in, with opposable thumbs, they could follow Woo’s lead, and removed any fashion accessory.  It wouldn’t take long to determine if your pet dog appreciated the booties to keep the snow out from the pads of their paws, or if your pet pooch felt the -40 Celsius weather, and appreciated their winter jacket, or if their original fur coat does the task of keeping them warm enough, thank you very much.
  • Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.~Orhan Pamuk

    How attuned you are to your dog, would make a large difference if your pet had opposable thumbs. Even without opposable thumbs, dogs learn to dance, twirl, and communicate with their paws with their humans, just imagine the communications and tricks if dogs had opposable thumbs.

    Intelligent dogs rarely want to please people whom they do not respect~ William R. Koehler

Without a doubt, your pet dog could make use of an opposable thumb, and the tricks they could learn would be so darned cute.  So these are just a few whimsical ideas to celebrate, “What if Pets Had Thumbs Day”, March 3″=. Next time you are out at the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and see the pooches running this way and that, imagine, if you will what these dogs would do if they had opposable thumbs.  What do you think your dog would be able to do?

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it
make some difference that you
have lived and lived well.
~Leo Rosten

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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.

For me, “Dog Days” symbolizes apocalyptic euphoria, chaotic freedom, and running really, really fast with your eyes closed.” Florence Welch

Simple things of life

“Walking the Dog Day.”

Friday, February 22, 2019 is officially “Walking the Dog Day.”  What a remarkable opportunity to pop out to the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and give your dog a bit of healthy exercise.  And amid the scenic tapestry of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, it is a great place for the pooch’s human to stretch their legs!

pup2
Off Leash Dog Walking
“‘In the midst of a puddly moor,’ says Emerson, ‘I am afraid to say how glad I am:’ which is a strong way of affirming the influence of the inner man as regards the enjoyment of external nature. And surely the inner man is a high factor in the effect. The magnificence of the world outside suffices not. Like light falling upon the polished plate of the photographer, the glory of Nature, to be felt, must descend upon a soul prepared to receive its image and superscription.”~John Tyndall
As Emerson states, it is a wonderful time of year to wear the rubber boots, Wellingtons or galoshes, and splash around a bit in the spring puddles, as the sun glitters amid the dancing tree reflections.

“No animal, not even the horse, has made itself so many friends as the dog. A whole library might be filled with stories about what dogs have done, and men could learn a great deal from the sufferings dogs have gone through for masters that they love.”

And as you consider taking part in “Walking the Dog Day” take a moment to check out the City of Saskatoon’s; Responsible Pet Ownership – Bite Prevention You Tube Video,  For “Walking the Dog Day” if you cannot make it to the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, check out the other City of Saskatoon Dog Parks.

“When you get a dog, you inherit the dog’s past and the wisdom of generations that the dog carries.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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.

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Spring is on the way!

Here is a little bit of spring!!!
You Tube video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the West Swale Wetlands

A bit of early morning birdwatching, with a few ducks and ducklings interspersed with blackbirds!

 

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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 believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Is spring here yet?

How to scientifically forecast the weather with a groundhog!

“Besides water, trees provide pure air. They are the great filtering machines for the human organism. They improve and transform the air in a way which is most favorable and most acceptable to the lungs of man.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Can you really scientifically forecast the weather with a groundhog???

Step One:
Where is a groundhog when you need them?

Groundhog (Marmota monax), has a plethora of names.  A groundhog can rightly be referred to as a woodchuck, or whistlepig, chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, digger and red monk and is a rodent of the squirrel family (Sciuridae) in a classification known as marmots. The groundhog is the largest squirrel found in its range, measuring in at 65 cm (16 to 26 in) long (which is inclusive of the 15 cm (6 in) tail) and weighing 2 to 4 kg (4 to 9 lb). In choice conditions, a groundhog may be as large as 80 cm (30 in) and 14 kg (31 lb). The groundhog can take to their burrow, climb a tree or swim away to flee from their predator. So how does a woodchuck compare to other common mammals in North America?

Groundhog - Marmota Monax Adapted from an image courtesy Cephas_CCxSA3-0
Groundhog – Marmota Monax Adapted from an image courtesy Cephas_CCxSA3-0

The American beaver (Castor canadensis) happens to be the largest rodent in North America weighing in at 11 to 32 kg (24 to 71 lb). The body from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail is 74 to 90 cm (29 to 35 inches) with the large flat tail adding another 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14) inches in length. Both Groundhogs and Beavers to get away from enemies and predators. The beaver’s entrance to the lodge or beaver dam is deep underwater as a defence against predators. The groundhog burrow opens up at the edge of a forest, near a tree or building.

American_Beaver Castor canadensis Adapted from image courtesy _Steve_CCxSA2-0
American_Beaver Castor canadensis Adapted from image courtesy Steve CCxSA2-0

Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), are about 41 to 64 cm (16 to 25 inches) in length, weighing in at .7 to 2 Kg (1.5 to 4 lbs). Muskrats love marshlands, and will make burrows or lodges out of cattails. In the water, they are distinguishable from the beaver as the muskrat tail will propel the rodent through the water by spinning around and around. The beaver’s tail lies flat behind them when swimming, or lowers in the water. The beaver’s tail is useful to sound a warning by lifting it up and slapping it down on the water surface making as large a noise and as big a splash as possible.

Muskrat Ondatra_zibethicus_Adapted from image courtesy AlexanderKlink_CCx4-0
Muskrat Ondatra_zibethicus_Adapted from image courtesy AlexanderKlink_CCx4-0

The badger’s name comes from the French word “becheur” which means digger.
Like the groundhog’s Latin name Marmota monax; Marmota meaning Mountain rodent, and monax meaning digger. Groundhogs do hibernate, but the American Badger (Taxidea taxus) enters into a torpor or deep sleep for perhaps up to three weeks. The American Badger is low to the ground measuring about 60 to 75 cm (24 to 30 inches) long with a weight of 7 kg (15 pounds). Badgers are belong to the family, Mustelidae and are mainly carnivorous. Badgers are not classified as rodents, but groundhogs, beavers, muskrats, and porcupines are rodents. And although one groundhog nickname is “thickwood badger”, the groundhog does not belong to the family Mustelidae, which only hosts the Muskrat, weasel, otter, ferret, and wolverine. Both groundhogs and badgers dig burrows, and have special adaptations for digging.

American Badger (Taxidea taxus) adapted from Image courtesy ODFW_CCxSA2-0
American Badger (Taxidea taxus) adapted from Image courtesy ODFW_CCxSA2-0

Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), are another commons North American rodent. the name from two Latin words porcus meaning pig, and spina, quill is very suitable. How does a porcupine compare in size to a groundhog? Well the porcupine has a round body 60 to 90 cm (2.0 to 3.0 ft), and the tail would add an extra 4.5 to 30 cm (5.7 to 11.8 in) in length. The stocky porcupine weighs in at 3.5 to 18 kg (7.7 to 39.7 lb though typically they are seen around 9 kg (20 lb). Porcupines don’t burrow like badgers, muskrats and groundhogs nor do they build burrows and dams like muskrats and beavers. Porcupines live in coniferous and mixed forests creating dens in hollow trees. Muskrats may be seen at dawn or dusk, and porcupines are mainly nocturnal, sleeping during the day up in trees. Where the badger is carnivorous, the groundhog, beaver and porcupine are herbivores. The muskrat is an omnivore, mostly eating plants and cattails, but will eat aquatic animals to supplement their diet. The porcupine and beaver will eat tree bark, twigs, roots and stems along with other vegetation, the groundhog, also called a woodchuck, does not chuck wood, or eat trees.

Porcupine, Erethizon_dorsatum_Adapted from image courtesy Danielle Langlois_CCx3-0
Porcupine, Erethizon_dorsatum_Adapted from image courtesy Danielle Langlois_CCx3-0

Where a group of beavers is called a “colony”, and several badgers together are called a “cette” not a herd, or flock. Now then, a group of muskrats could be called a “colony, horde, pack, plaque or swarm.” Very appropriately a group of porcupines is called a “prickle”! There have been some discussions about what a group of groundhogs is called whether it is a “madness of marmots” or a” college of groundhogs”.

Groundhog or Woodchuck (Marmota Monax) Range shown in orange.  Adapted from Image courtesy -Anreyostr-CCx2-5_3-0.jpg
Groundhog or Woodchuck (Marmota Monax) Range shown in orange. Adapted from Image courtesy -Anreyostr-CCx2-5_3-0.jpg

Using these essential elements as a foundation to find a groundhog, take your first steps to locate this most excellent weather forecaster. Groundhogs are usually found in areas where forest opens up into a field, road or marsh. So a groundhog has different habitats, eating habits, size and lifestyle from other large mammal rodents in Saskatchewan. Have you spied a groundhog in Saskatchewan? What about a groundhog in Saskatoon?

How Can a Groundhog Forecast the weather, Scientifically?

How can the groundhog be a “meteorologist” and predict the weather? Is it possible, or is it just a myth? Do not resist delving deep into this myth, it just may be grounded in truth and meteorological science!!!

Groundhog day is February 2, and it is rather an excellent bit of folklore about predicting spring. During the winter months, if the day is sunny the weather will be cold and brisk. It is during a sunny day when the groundhog may indeed see his shadow, and the stark chilliness of the day, may indeed entice the groundhog to turn tail and return to the warmth of his burrow. On the flip side of the coin, in the winter, if the day is cloudy, the weather is warmer from the cloud cover trapping in the heat from the earth. Therefore, on a cloudy day, the groundhog cannot see their shadow as there is no sun to create a shadow, the day is much warmer, and the groundhog may spend some time outside of his burrow suggesting that an early spring is around the corner.

So can this really be a way to forecast if spring will be coming soon, (because the groundhog did not see his shadow)?  Or can it foretell if spring will be yet another 6 weeks away because the groundhog did in fact see his shadow?

Don’t take my word for it, this is what meteorologist Nick Walker has to say about winter cloudy and sunny days; “Cloud cover on a winter night means you can expect warmer weather, because clouds prevent heat radiation that would lower the temperature on a clear night.” r So to further explain the difference between a cloudy day and a sunny day in the winter time. “If there are no fronts or precipitation nearby, the daily temperature cycle is primarily controlled by the radiation budget. This is a comparison between the incoming radiation from the sun (sunlight) and the terrestrial radiation given off by the earth’s surface (felt as heat.)”

Walker further expounds that “sunshine is only one thing that affects temperature, and in winter, it is far from being the main thing. … The cold air at Earth’s surface is very dense and heavy, so it’s hard for clouds to form in that cold sinking air. So sometimes in winter, skies are very clear and temperatures are very cold. Also, winter is the time of year that the angle of the sun, especially in the northern U.S. and Canada, is so low in the sky that there’s never enough direct sunlight to warm the Earth very much even at midday with clear skies. And if there’s snow on the ground, the snow reflects a lot of the sun’s energy away, preventing the ground from absorbing it. So temperatures end up cooler than if the ground were bare. Even if the ground absorbs some of the sun’s energy, the heat radiates back up into space with no clouds to keep it near the ground. So when you look outside and see sunshine, you cannot assume it’s going to be a warm day.”

Speaking of weather fronts and clouds, another interesting fact about how no shadow may forecast an early spring is that when there is “a low layer of uniform, dark grey cloud,” then the groundhog would not see their shadow. Furthermore, this solid mass of cloud blankets the sky, then “when it gives precipitation, it is in the form of continuous rain or snow. The cloud may be more than 15,000 feet thick. It is generally associated with warm fronts.”Pilot Friend

So there you have it, resistance is futile. This is how the groundhog myth or folklore actually works scientifically to predict the weather. The Groundhog Day story that if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter is actually based in science due to the effects of a clear sky with no clouds. And the folklore which exists on Groundhog day that if the groundhog does not see his shadow would mean that February 2 is a warmer day, and the cloud cover may have formed in conjunction with an incoming warm front.

“Besides water, trees provide pure air. They are the great filtering machines for the human organism. They improve and transform the air in a way which is most favorable and most acceptable to the lungs of man.”…~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Alongie, Jenise. Badger FActs. Animal Facts Encyclopedia. 2011-2017
American Badger. Wikipedia.

Badger Wikipedia.

Bradford, Alina. Facts about Muskrats. Live Science Contributor. Jan. 28, 2017.

Groundhog. Wikipedia.

How to Predict the Weather Without a Forecast

Meteorology – Clouds Pilot Friend.

Muskrats – Water loving Rats. Pictures and facts.

Names of Animal Groups

North American Beaver Wikipedia.

Walker, Nick. Winter and Cold Weather Previously Asked Questions. 2007 Small Gate Media.

North American Porcupine Wikpedia.

Odd names for groups of animals flash cards. Quizlet.

Porcupine. Wikipedia.

 

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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.

“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 believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

Winter Birds

Feed the Birds Day.
February 3

This day is celebrated when the winter is coldest, and the winter snow has set in to encourage feeding of birds outside. In these colder winter months, the birds are in need of energy, and food is scarce as cold weather progresses.

There are a few methods to feed birds, which is not too overwhelming.  One is feeding them from your hands, another is to plant suitable trees and shrubbery and finally set out a do it yourself feeder designed in a multitude of fashions, or store bought. How to choose the right kind of bird feeder is an important consideration for the types of birds in your habitat.

How do you know what are the types of birds in your particular neck of the woods? Checking out Habisask (Hunting, Angling and Biodiversity Information of Saskatchewan) is an online species mapping application showing historical data. Another resource is Saskatchewan E-bird, the E-bird hotspots map or check out common migratory patterns, and dates for typical observation times for species in your area.

If you set out a feeder in the winter months, it is imperative to check it regularly. The birds’ very survival rely on this source of food once they get used to it being there.

A very simple, and spontaneous bird feeder is to strew along the top of horizontal tree branches fruit, suet, wheat, corn, sunflowers, sand, grit or store bought bird food for wild birds.

Richard St. Barbe Baker founded the “Men of the Trees” international foundation which is now known as the International Tree Foundation has three tenets for followers;

  • protect the native forest
  • plant ten native trees each year
  • take care of trees everywhere

For those choosing to follow in the footsteps of Richard St. Barbe Baker, and plant trees, select for “Feed the Birds Day” those plants which will best supply the seeds and nutrients the local birds need. The Land Manager’s Guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan provides a template of birds and what types of food they require.

Another very important task to investigate is to search out anything in the wetlands or urban regional park which harm the bird’s environment. The landscape and the native flora can be harmed by chemicals spilled, oils, or any other wastes which don’t belong in a wetland and riparian forest ecosystem. By removing harmful contaminant, those birds feeding naturally in their native spaces are protected by your conservation efforts.

So, step up, and do your part during Feed the Birds Day this Februrary 3!  Attached are some links so this task is not overwhelming, but is enjoyable, and quite rewarding. Feed the birds not only today, but everyday, and get to know your feathered friends.

He that planteth a tree is a Servant of God
He provideth a Kindness, for many generations
and faces he hath not seen shall bless him.
Who so walketh in solitude, And inhabiteth the wood,

Choosing light, wave, rock and bird.

Before the money-loving herd.
Unto that forester- shall pass,
From these companions, power and grace.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Alger, Bonnie. Feed the Birds Day. Treehugger.

Banks, Shelley. Regina Backyard Birds: Finches, Sparrows, Siskins. Prairie Nature. April 2015.

Bird Feeding. Hinterland Who’s Who. HWW. Environment and Climate Change Canada & Canadian Wildlife Federation

Bird Watching in Saskatchewan Whatbird

Bradbury, Kate. Garden Birds and Feed the Birds Day. Wildlife Blog Gardener’s World.

Briere, Karen. Feeding Program helps birds endure tough winter. March 1994. Western Producer.

Bumstead, Pat. Its Feed the Birds Day Birds Calgary.

Byron, Greg. What should you put out to feed birds during the winter? Bird Canada. Jan 16, 2013

DIY Bird Feed. Living Naturally with Kids. Rainy Day Mum.

Feed the Birds Day Holiday Insights

Feed the Birds Day Video on The Guardian.

Feed the Birds Day. Gardeners Network.

Feeding Birds in Winter. Prairie Birder. November 9, 2012.

Flowers, Frankie. How to Attract Birds to your Garden in Winter. HOme and Garden. Canadian Living. 2017 TVA Group

How to Help Birds in Winter. How to Attract a Greater Variety of Foods. Wild Birds Unlimited. Saskatoon, SK.

How to choose the right kind of bird feeder. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. April 2009

Inviting Birds to your Garden. Landscapes Saskatchewan.

Land Manager’s Guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan. [with Key Identification Features, Species Range Maps, Identification Charts, and Bird Diet] Saskatchewan Watershed Authority. formerly Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation. ISBN 1-896-793-29-0. Regina. Saskatchewan.

Nature Counts. A Partner of Avian Knowledge Network. Bird Studies Canada.

Porter, Diane. Bird Feeding in the Winter Birdwatching.com

The RSPB Feed the Birds Day The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

RSPB Feed the Birds Day. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas. Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas. Bird Studies Canada, Saskatoon, SK

Saunders, Nick. Feeding the Wildlife at Pike Lake Saskatchewan Birds and Nature. November 2008

Your Winter Backyard Bird Guide Nature Conservancy of Canada.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“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.

“According to ancient mythology, trees were the first living things on earth. This is borne out by scientific reasoning which shows that it is through them that the air we breathe can give life to humanity. Through countless ages trees have been drawing carbonic acid gas from the atmosphere, absorbing and incorporating the carbon, assimilating it; then when they die, bequeathing to soil their carboniferous remains. The consequence has been that eventually the atmospheric oxygen was left sufficiently pure for the requirements of birds and mammals which have replaced the flying reptiles and monstrous amphibians that were able to endure the heavy air of primeval swamps and jungles.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

immense biological importance

“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. 1954

World Wetlands Day! February 2

February 2 heralds both the groundhog day and World Wetlands Day! World Wetlands Day was declared as February 2 by RAMSAR. “Canada is the only country in the world that has selected a wetland engineer as its national animal. We need to ensure that wetlands are better represented in the places we protect in the future. Wetlands are places of immense biological importance that also support our economy and well-being. “Kraus

The West Swale Wetlands in the City of Saskatoon are of extreme importance in mitigating drought in flood in the Municipal City of Saskatoon, neighbourhood of Montgomery Place, hamlet of Cedar Villa Estates and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344. “Wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. During the dry season, they release the water stored, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages.” Muskoka Watershed Council

The West Swale Wetlands are vitally important, as they are a main lowlands channel between the North Saskatchewan River through Rice Lake, the Afforestation Area formely known as George Genereux Park , the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Chappell Marsh Conservation Area having the confluence in the South Saskatchewan River at Maple Grove.

“Water is essential to life and socio-economic development.” Page v What is needed is an reliable water source with suitable water quality. “Riparian forest buffer systems (RFBS) are streamside ecosystems managed for the enhancement of water quality through control of nonpoint source pollution (NPS) and protection of the stream environment. The use of riparian management zones is relatively well established as a best management practice (BMP) for water quality improvement in forestry practices…Riparian ecosystems are connected to aquatic ecosystems through the hyporheic zone. (age 687 Lowrance

The Prairie Eco-zone locates bedrock aquifers laying beneath the basal aquitard of the Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks. “Aquifers (waterbearing zones) are defined as saturated geological units which have sufficient permeability to yield economic quantities of water to a water supply well. Aquitards are units which, though saturated, do not yield sufficient water to a water supply well.” Maathius Page 127. The aquifers are contained within Cretaceous shale. The Tyner Valley aquifer along with other buried valleys reside on top of the bedrock and are invaluable for groundwater supply.

The Judith River Formation formed in the Late Cretaceous is also called the Belly River formation. This formation has fine to medium grained sands, silts and clays deposited in a deltaic environment. The water supply of the Judith River is invaluable to agricultural, municipal and industrial users. “Potable water is only found in and above the Judith River formation since water in the older formations is too salty for human or animal consumption.” (Maathius page 127.) Surface precipitation flows from the surface of the land into the Judith River Formation, and from this aquifer the waters flow into the Tyner Valley aquifer. The Tyner Valley aquifer has its confluence with the Battleford Valley aquifer, which thence flows into the North Saskatchewan River. The Tyner Valley aquifer is a major pre-glacial chert and quarzite gravel aquifer overlain with sands from the Empress group. The Tyner Valley Aquifer is a major aquifer system. These bedrock aquifers are capable of producing more than 200 gallons per minute gpm) from an individual well.

In Saskatchewan years of drought and high water tables are cyclical. During years of drought, groundwater is looked upon to help sustain the water supply. “Movement within and recharge of the Judith River Aquifer is limited by the highly impermeable shale that lies above this aquifer. “~Prairie Provinces Water Board. Attention to the recharge of the aquifers enhances the best management policies. “The low hydraulic conductivity of thick till and bedrock aquitards limits the rechard to deeper aquifers.” Maathuis page v. Deep aquifers show increasing rechard through the months of October and March. A shallow or surficial aquifer will show an increase in water coinciding with spring meltwaters and summer rains.

“In Saskatchewan approximately 45% of the population relies on groundwater as a source of drinking water .” (page v) Additionally groundwater is also useful for agricultural irrigation, and industrial purposes.

The Meewasin Valley Authority explains that in regards to low lying areas such as a swale, they offer “high quality biodiversity, proximity to urban areas, economic benefits for recreation and education and a natural filter for our air and water. The swale contains wetlands that provide a means of flood control for the surrounding community.”

“Evidence shows that wetlands mitigate some natural disasters and lower the risks for people: first, by reducing the immediate physical impacts and second, by helping people survive and recover in the aftermath. “The Conversation The Meewasin Valley Authority manages the wetlands and afforested areas east of the wetlands located in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, along with the owners of the land, the City of Saskatoon. They have worked together in partnership honouring the 1972 city council acclamation to “preserve in perpetuity” the 660 acres of afforestation areas.

Alongside the dedication of the afforestation areas as parks in 1979, the City of Saskatoon implemented a Growth Management Strategy with objectives, goals and priorities …resulting in specific community plans, programs, policies and actions which will control and channel all development to satisfy special local community requirements. The absence of such plans …is usually followed by uncontrolled, unplanned, meaningless urban sprawl, unsightliness, rapid rises in real estate values, rampant speculation, and all the associated socio-economic ills which cause social unrest and dissatisfaction, physical decay and detioration of the urban fabric.File No. C. 17-10-1 This program has moved forward as Shaping Saskatoon and Saskatoon Speaks.

World Wetlands Day serves to raise public awareness and impress upon everyone the need and imperative for a healthy wetlands. “most of us are largely unaware of how wetlands safeguard us. In fact, we often see wetlands as wasteland; something to be filled in or converted to other uses. Scientists estimate that at least 64 per cent of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900.”Muskoka Watershed Council Things you can do for your wetlands!.

Following in the footsteps of the 2015 community clean up, three times in 2016 community volunteers rallied together to clean the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, situated in the low lying area of the West Swale. Not only did the riparian forests and ecosystem benefit from the clean up efforts, but so did the wetlands of the West Swale. “With 71 per cent of our planet covered in water, it makes sense to focus on the health of our waterways” on World Wetlands Day.Fong

Karla Guyn, CEO for Ducks Unlimited Canada, “Canada is home to 25 per cent of the world’s wetlands. This is both a privilege and responsibility. World Wetlands Day reminds all Canadians of the critical role they play in our lives and the need to conserve them.” Water Canada

What can you do personally?

  • Visit a wetlands
  • Find out more about our wetlands in Saskatoon – the West Swale Wetlands, the Northeast Swale, Richardson Ravine, Beaver Creek
  • Enter the photo competition
  • Take a walk with the birds in the West Swale Wetlands with a guide book in hand.
  • Initiate a volunteer clean up of the Afforestation Area formerly known as the George Genereux Park (in the west swale wetlands)
  • Contact your city or RM councillor, the RM of Corman Park 344, an environmental or green group, the city of Saskatoon and the MVA about the importance of wetlands.

“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. 1954

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Akatay, Jane. World Wetlands Day: a fragile habitat for Fethiye’s feathered friends. Fethitye times. February 2, 2017

Celebrating World Wetlands Day in Canada Water Canada.

Christiansen, E.A., W.A. Menseley and S.H. Whitaker. Groundwater in Southern Saskatchewan. Atlas of Saskatchewan. Editor K.I. Fung. Page 68. Modern Press. 1969.

Christiansen, E.A. and B.J. Schmid. Galcial geology of Southern Saskatchewan – University of Saskatchewan.

City of Saskatoon. Section C General Administration and Finance. Growth Management Strategy. File No. C. 17-10-1. January 2, 1979.

Dunn, Christian. World Wetlands Day Highlights Importance of Vital Habitats. February 2, 2017.

Exaggerating the value of wetlands for natural diasaster mitigation is a risky business. The Conversation.

Goal 2: Protect Interprovincial Groundwater Aquifers Prairie Provinces Water Board (PPWB)
Current Knowledge Saskatchewan Research Council. SRC Publication No. 11304-2E00. April 2000.

Fong, Jean. Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Asks Canadians to Do Their Part on Earth Day and Beyond Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
April 22/2015
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Guide for World Wetlands Day 2 February. Wetlands for Disaster Risk Prevention. From 2 February 2017 to 2 March 2017. young people between the ages of 18 – 25 years are invited to participate in a photo contest for a chance to win a free flight to visit a Wetland of International Importance!

It’s World Wetlands Day: Muskoka Watershed Council on the importance of wetlands for disaster risk reduction Muskoka Watershed Council. Doppler online.

Kraus, Dan. Opinion: Why Canada matters on World Wetlands Day. February 2, 2017

Kraus, Dan. Why Canada Matters on World Wetlands Day. Huffington Post. February 1, 2017

Layout 1 Meewasin Northeast Swale Brochure for Web. Meewasin Valley Authority.

The Northeast Swale Saskatoon’s Ancient River Channel

Lowrance, Richard et al. Water quality functions of Riparian Forest Buffers in Chesapeake Bay Watersheds. Springer-Verlag New York Inc. Environmental Management Vol 21. No. 5 pp 687-712.

Maathuis, Harm. Groundwater in Southern Saskatchewan. Atlas of Saskatchewan. Celebrating the Millennium Edition. Page 127-128. Editor Ka-iu Fung. 1999. University of Saskatchewan. ISBN 0-88880-387-7.

Maathuls, H. The quality of Natural Groundwaters in Saskatchewan. Prepared for Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.

Meewasin Northeast Swale Meewasin Valley Authority

Padbury, G.A., Donald F. Acton, Colette T. Stushnoff. Ecoregions of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Centre. Compiled by Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management
University of Regina Press, 1998
ISBN 0889770972, 9780889770973

People see wetlands as wasteland (February 2 is World Wetlands Day.) CanIndia News.

Photo Contest – World Wetlands Day – Wetlands help us cope with extreme weather events.

Violata, Annalyn. Wetlands helping reduce the risk of disasters. SBS Your Language.

Wetlands: Why we need to take care of them, what can we do? Zee Media Bureau. February 2, 2017

World Wetlands Day. TimeandDate.com

World Wetlands Day. – official site

World Wetlands Day on Facebook

World Wetlands Day on twitter

World Wetlands Day on Instagram:

World Wetlands Day RAMSAR

World Wetlands Day IWMI. International Water Management Institute.

World Wetlands Day. Wildlife Preservation Canada.

World Wetlands Day 2017: Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction. Around the World.

World Wetlands Day. Nature Conservancy Canada

World Wetlands Day. Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction UNESCO.

World Wetlands Day Wikipedia.

World Wetlands Day. Republic of South Africa. Department of Environmental Affairs 2017 .
Wetlands: Why we need to take care of them, what can we do? Zee Media Bureau. February 3, 2017

 

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

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“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 believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker