The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest will be shown at the Remai Modern on July 22 and is now on YouTube. This premiere live event will feature “Global Crusader and Changemaker”by Robert White who personally new Richard St. Barbe Baker.
This is part of #HistoricPlacesDays with a theme, every place has a story.
Every historic site has not just one, but many, stories. This live event is about telling the untold and forgotten stories of people who used to related to this historic site. The theme encourages you to share the alternative perspectives and points of view of your historic site. No story it too big or small.
In addition to these two divisions, there is additionally the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan which have set up provincial projects as well. So this means that you can actually use iNaturalist anywhere in the province and still be counted in. Here is a handy link to the Saskatoon and Area BioDiverCity Challenge
On the south west of the City of Saskatoon is an urban regional park named George Genereux Park at 147.8 acres in size. It is on the west side of Saskatchewan Highway 7 (the Pike Lake Highway.) The Saskatoon border loops around the quarter section. As shown on the map below, the afforestation area is a park surrounded by the neighbouring agricultural lands of the RM of Corman Park 344.
Many people from Saskatoon, the RM of Corman Park, and tourists have not known that this forest tucked beside the CNR overpass is really an urban regional park to enjoy nature, go for walks, watch birds, engage in health and wellness by bicycle, hiking and cross country skiing. Many classroom activities are planned for George Genereux Park as it truly is an amazing place for place-based learning nature field trips.
This park is an amazing mixed woodlands, a laboratory in ecological succession, and as such has many attributes of a boreal forest ecotone merging with the moist mixed grasslands. Many people local to this area enjoy this urban regional park as they don’t have to drive north of the provincial tree line to immerse in a delightful forest experience with changing microecosystems of evergreens, deciduous trees and meadows.
Back in 1972, when this tree nursery was created, the tree planters could randomly select from a wide variety of hardy drought-resistant saplings. This results in a unique experience. As you walk, one area of the parkspace will be quite distinct and individual from another region. Tt is fascinating to see how the existing aspen bluffs, and prairie animals have adapted to the trees planted in 1972. There are species at risk in the afforestation areas commonly found in a boreal forest ecosystem at a higher elevation, but rare on the prairies.
The trees selected for planting, were planted in a weaving pattern and not north-south and east-west in rows. This weaving pattern gives the park a naturalized appearance. The original intention was that the forests would become urban regional parks for Saskatoon and area to enjoy when the city grew out this way, which is happening now with the P4G and Blairmore Sector plans. The greenspaces started out a tree nurseries to transplant trees into city parks, and now, 50 years later, the trees are too large to transplant.
Here is a summer breeding bird checklist for the park space. Members of the Saskatoon Nature Society have been ringing (banding) birds at George Genereux Park for a number of years.
Please enjoy these urban regional parks located on the west side of Saskatoon! Richard St. Barbe Baker has the Chappell Marsh wetlands located within it, and to the south of Cedar Villa Road (Tsp Rd 362A) is the other side of the wetlands at Chappell Marsh Conservation Area owned by Ducks Unlimited in the RM of Corman Park. Both the afforestation areas are in the peri-urban region of the City of Saskatoon, and the greenspaces are enjoyed by health and wellness enthusiasts, dog walkers, and nature lovers. You are invited and welcomed to come out and explore these Undiscovered Forests of Saskatoon! The afforestation areas are amazing in all seasons. What will you discover?
Stay tuned for Sept 19-26 2021 National Forest Week events, the Nov 6 2021 Celebration honouring Richard St. Barbe Baker and the anniversary when he was bestowed the honourary Doctorate of Laws from the U of S for extraordinary humanitarian service, and the 2022 Birthday Party planned for the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas.
With all this snow it is really beginning to feel a lot like Christmas as we are out walking in a Winter Wonderland.
Send a Christmas Card from one of the cards from the charity “Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.” Send e-cards with a donation of the cost of cards. It’s easier, and helps our charity. Try it out, no sign-up required.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3!
Choose your picture
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Support the charity with your Christmas card – choose your own amount