Honouring Courage and Passion of St Barbe

It is up to us too, to carry on the fight – as tirelessly as he did in the past; to assure that his vision is realised and that his ideas live forever

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“Of the earth’s thirty billion acres, already nine billion acres are desert. And if a man loses a third of his skin, he dies; plastic surgeons say “He’s had it.” And if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it dies. And if the earth loses one-third of its green mantle of trees, it will die. The water table will sink beyond recall and life on this planet will become impossible. It’s being skinned alive today. . .”  Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D., O.B.E.
Photo credit: University of Saskatchewan
University Archives and Special Collections
Richard St. Barbe Baker Fonds, MG 71

“The world is so full of care and sorrow that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another to discover the bright crystals of delight hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks” ~ Helen Keller quotes

What was the task which befell St. Barbe? “Baker believed in the value of planting trees.” ~Mike Was this task was it irksome to Baker? What did he feel as he wrote over 23 books promoting the value of trees? Following his task alone with passion guided him on his solitary journey. Why did he do it?

In 1924, St. Barbe established the international organisation ~ Men of the Trees ~ (now called the International Tree Foundation ITF. This was followed by the international group: Children of the Green Earth and the Green Front Action Group.

“…I seemed to have entered the fairyland of my dreams. I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost…buoyed up with an almost ethereal feeling of well-being, as if I had been detached from earth. I became intoxicated with the beauty around me, immersed in the joyousness and exaltation of feeling part of it all… Rays of light pierced the canopy of the forest… I had entered the temple of the woods. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid… The overpowering beauty of it all entered my very being. At that moment my heart brimmed over with a sense of unspeakable thankfulness which has followed me through the years since that woodland rebirth.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The International Tree Foundation set out three tasks for the forest scouts (originally called Watu wa Miti meaning Men of the Trees:
1./ To plant ten trees each year
2./ To do a good deed ever day
3./ To take care of trees everywhere

Were these tasks irksome to the forest scouts? They recognized the importance and value of the forest, and their tasks. Tree planting ceremonies, greenhouses,and deeds which saved life and property grew from this humble beginning.

During the 1930s, St. Barbe met with President Roosevelt and they started the Civil Conservation Corp to save the California Redwoods. St. Barbe then formulated three new tasks. They were;
“1./ To save the trees for posterity.
2./ To provide a magnificent backdrop where young people could meet and marvel at the beauty of the Redwoods and the planet
3./ To inspire young people to work together to hand over this legacy to future generations.

“Of course it is difficult to agree that the death of St Barbe counts for nothing. He was a unique figure whom we shall never replace. Nevertheless I feel sure that in death, as in life, he will continue to teach and to inspire us. It is up to us, his disciples and his friends, to celebrate the life and work of Richard St. Barbe Baker. It is up to us too, to carry on the fight – as tirelessly as he did in the past; to assure that his vision is realised and that his ideas live forever.” ~Goldsmith

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Goldsmith, Edward. Richard St. Barbe Baker. July 1, 1982.

Mike B is for Richard St. Barbe Baker: A Life Planting Trees May 21st in Choosing To Build A Positive Planet.The Postive Encourager.

Man of the Trees A legacy that Keeps Growing

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 OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, SK, CA. 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker

St Barbe Quote Cryptogram

“The world’s a puzzle; no need to make sense out of it.” – Socrates”

Richard St. Barbe Baker Quotation
Richard St. Barbe Baker Quotation

Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) quotationBaker port001 copy

Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D., O.B.E.
University of Saskatchewan
University Archives and Special Collections
Richard St. Barbe Baker Fonds, MG 71Contact StBarbeBaker@yahoo.com

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 OLRA
Contact the MVA 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker

On the west side of Saskatoon a portion of the 660 acres preserved in perpetuity in 1972 are located at:

  1. Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (City of Saskatoon Urban Regional Park) Parts Section 22 and SW 23 township 36 range 6 west of the third meridian. (East of the CN overpass on SK Highway 7) SE 22 & SW 23-36-6 W3 under MVA conservation management.
  2. Un-named City of Saskatoon Afforestation Area. Part south of CN Chappell yards SE section 23-36-6-W3 preserved as afforestation area in perpetuity, under MVA conservation management- west of SW OLRA and east of COC.
  3. In 1960, part of NE 21-36-6 W3 (West of the CN overpass on SK Highway 7) was purchased by the City, planted in 1972, preserved as an afforestation area. Named in 1978-1979 George Genereux Park (Urban Regional Park), this namesake was removed at this afforestation area for use at a different city pocket park.

On the east side of the South Saskatchewan River another of the afforestation areas is located south of Diefenbaker Park, and just west of the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club.

Dutch Elm Disease

If you defoliate a large elm and put the leaves together edge to edge, they would cover ten acres. So naturally, the first tree to suffer from air pollution was the elm and, of course, when an elm is suffering from fatigue it is subject to attack by disease: the elm bark beetle, the carrier of the elm fungus, comes along and the tree succumbs.

What do you know about Dutch Elm Disease?

Elms are under risk of Dutch Elm Disease. In 1972 both Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila and American Elm Ulmus americana, were two species of tree “afforested.” To protect the afforestation area, it is vital not to bring Elm cut wood, leaves, or Elm compost into the afforestation area.

To find out more about Dutch Elm Disease there is great information at SOS Elms Coalition, a grassroot organisation formed to care for the health of Saskatchewan’s community tree populations, in particular the threat of Dutch Elm Disease.”

To learn about active projects SOS Elms is engaging upon on visit Facebook SOS Elms

Sara Williams, Saskatoon horticulturist, writes about the new SOS Elms Saskatoon Tree Tour booklet

The City of Saskatoon also provides invaluable information about Elm and at Tree pests and diseases.

The MVA and SOS Elms also work together in management of Elms around Saskatoon. “Thanks to the MVA, the elms and other mature trees between the Gathercole land and the river have received quality treatment, including some high-tech structures to protect tree roots from the grading and bank reinforcement work. ”

Any Elm brought into the Afforestation area must follow the protocols set by the City of Saskatoon, the MVA and SOS Elms. Elm from locations outside the Afforestation area must not be allowed to enter. Please help to keep vigilant, and protect the forest.

In this country, what percentage of the land area do you think should be re-afforested?

The minimum for safety is one third of the total land area. I think what is happening to the elms must be alerting the whole country to the necessity of trees, of the need for more trees. The elm has the largest leaf surface of any tree in Britain. If you defoliate a large elm and put the leaves together edge to edge, they would cover ten acres. So naturally, the first tree to suffer from air pollution was the elm and, of course, when an elm is suffering from fatigue it is subject to attack by disease: the elm bark beetle, the carrier of the elm fungus, comes along and the tree succumbs.

I look at it this way. If a person is living a normal life and not abusing themselves – not smoking too much, not eating too much, not drinking too much – but living normally and eating the right food – they will be fit and well. It is only when they start abusing themselves that they are prone to attack by disease. It is the same with trees.

The next tree to go (the next tree with the largest leaf surface after the elm) is probably the beech: after that the sycamore: and so on. Finally it will be Man’s turn. We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of trees and as far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more trees – to plant for our lives. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker Quotation

Richard St. Barbe Baker answers the first question above

Clean UP October 29 10 a.m.-12

Let us heal the naked scars in the earth and erstore her green mantle. Let us set our Earth family in order.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Are you available for a quick clean up on Saturday Oct. 29, 2016 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon? The area to be done is the smaller forest between the South West off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center (bus barns) on Cedar Villa Road ~ (so the forest east of the dog park)

The fantastic thing is that there are some Vehicle Restriction Barriers erected now to mitigate access by those who may dump trash into the urban forest!

But just as a farmer who fences off a property to keep coyotes or skunks out, when the fence is finished up, it is defeating the purpose if the fence contains the coyote or skunk within it. So at the afforestation area, a little clean up is needed for what was missed on July 9, and if you are around to help, it would be enormously appreciated!

And then a wonderful example can be set of a spectacular urban forest to enjoy with vehicle barriers up for a safe and scenic walk, bicycle ride, jog or stroll in the woods.

Thank you so kindly for any help on Saturday October 29, 2016 you are able to lend to the effort

 Travel Directions
Where is the afforestation area? with maps

Let us heal the naked scars in the earth and restore her green mantle.  Let us set our Earth family in order.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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 OLRA
Contact the MVA 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)” .
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Wonderland in the early morning

A marsh…It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog

After a walk through the Richard St. Babe Baker Afforestation Area we reach the shore of the West Swale Wetlands and look over the calm waters just awakening into life, and out across the marsh hidden by the blanket of fog rolling in from the morning dew.

Did you ever stand on the edge of such a wonderland in the early morning, when the prairie sky comes low to nurture the waterfowl, dabbling ducks, and marsh ducks nestling in the lowlands at your feet?

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the fog
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the fog

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the fog
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the fog

The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, — so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. ~Henry David Thoreau

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog

“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 witin that this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy form my having lived in it. “Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Caring for a tree is caring of your soul.

The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest.

Woodlands Protection Installed.

Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the SW off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center
Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the South west off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center

The trees in the afforestation area are being cared for! A simply fantastic development has occurred ~ the City of Saskatoon urban forest located between the Civic Operations Center (Bus Barns Construction site) and the South West off leash recreation area has motorized vehicle restrictions installed in the form of Jersey Barriers and locked gates.

What an amazing way to preserve and conserve the natural wildlife habitat corridor. What a wonderful way to inspire ethics and encourage others to tread lightly in the underbrush encourage the growth and development of the Colorado Blue Spruce saplings. This development encourages visitors to the afforestation area to be respectful of the treasure of this urban forest nestled in the City of Saskatoon. It is with pride that visitors can come to the City of Saskatoon afforestation area to behold the wonders of birds and the natural world.

Entering a protected afforestation area, the healthy biodiversity, hundreds of different and separate grasses and wildflower amid the shrubs and trees comprise the ecosystem. An ecosystem like no other in this Aspen Parkland of Saskatchewan. Within the city of Saskatoon, a wondrous delight to behold a mixed forest of Trembling Aspen Populus tremuloides, American Elm Ulmus americana, Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens, Scotch Pine Pinus sylvestris L, Willow Salix, Black Balsam Poplar Populus balsamifera, Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus, Honeysuckle Lonicera, Canada Buffaloberry Shepherdia canadensis growing in harmony and thriving. In Saskatchewan, native evergreens require a much higher elevation, so in the majority of open spaces and eco-zones in the Aspen Parkland, there are not the evergreens. The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) absolutely needs the woodlands to nest and roost set beside the wetlands for foraging. The evergreen pine needles are used to line the nests, which can start out 20 inches (50.8 cm) in diameter in the woodlands.

Depending upon the environmental condition, the flora and fauna varies in their display. It suffices to say the afforestation area west of the Civic Operations Center, east of the South West off leash recreation area with such vehicle barriers, and path use to mitigate the human eco-footprint will encourage this afforestation area to be a healthy and thriving eco-system.

Bylaw No. 7767 The Recreation Facilities and Parks Usage Bylaw, 1998 Codified to Bylaw 9377 May 24, 2016. This bylaw covers snowmobiles, city maintenance vehicles, and vehicles within city parks.

Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the SW off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center
Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the SW off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center

“Their life is mysterious, it is like a forest; from far off it seems a unity, it can be comprehended, described, but closer it begins to separate, to break into light and shadow, the density blinds one. Within there is no form, only prodigious detail that reaches everywhere: exotic sounds, spills of sunlight, foliage, fallen trees, small beasts that flee at the sound of a twig-snap, insects, silence, flowers.

And all of this, dependent, closely woven, all of it is deceiving. There are really two kinds of life. There is, as Viri says, the one people believe you are living, and there is the other. It is this other which causes the trouble, this other we long to see.”
― James Salter, Light Years

Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the SW off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center
Vehicle Restriction Barriers at the Afforestation Area between the SW off leash recreation area and the Civic Operations Center

“A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest

“Caring a tree is caring of your soul.”

“Planting a tree is the easiest way to align yourself with the cosmic rhythm.”

― Amit Ray, Yoga The Science of Well-Being

Who Speaks for the Heron?

A universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life .

Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias

The Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias, a wondrous marvel to behold, and yet did you know it is rated as “uncommon” albeit with a very large range.  In the West Swale wetlands and Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in Saskatoon, quite a remarkable phenomenon has occurred.  Generally speaking one heron will not take habitat where there are other herons, and yet here there is the Great Blue Heron in the same West Swale wetlands as the Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ) ~ the Black-Crowned Night-Heron is introduced  in  The Outlook for Wildlife.

Never was there a greater difference in herons as you observe them in the West Swale wetlands.  the Great Blue Heron, tall and elegant has a height of 42 – 52 inches  (105-130 cm)  standing fully grown.  So here  is this heron on long legs with long long neck reaching 4 feet high.  The Black Crowned Night Heron,  is 23 – 28 inches (58-70)  cm with short yellow-green legs, and not only is he smaller, but this heron also sets down hunched or hunkered down, as if to shorten his 2 foot stature.

But could there be a better locale than the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area for these two disparate herons?  Both require woodlands, the trees for roosting in.  The Great Blue Heron nests within the branches of trees, and yet if one was to see a Great Blue Heron, it would likely be when they are standing still, patiently fishing concealing themselves within the rushes, sedges and cattails of the marsh shorelines.  This behavior is also seen in the Black-crowned Night-Heron who also nests and roosts in trees, and if one was to keep their eyes wide open at dusk, and set very quietly it may be possible to sight or perhaps even to hear a Black-crowned Night-heron flying out from the forest to forage at the water’s edge, as they feed nocturnally.

There is also known another species, the Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), however the range of this smaller heron 24 inches (60 cm) does not extend as far as central Saskatchewan.

Seeing a large bird in flight, and wondering if it is a crane or a heron, it is good to note that the heron will fly with its head tucked back, extending the chest forward.  The cranes, such as the Sandhill Crane (Gus canadensis) with a similar size 40-48 inches (100-120 cm) will fly with its neck stretched out and elegant. The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is also about the same size, 50 inches (125 cm) however there are not nearly as many of these amazing white birds to be seen, though they are bounding back from the brink of extinction.  Watch carefully flight of Sandhill Cranes overhead, as a solitary endangered Whooping Crane may flock with the Sandhills.  There are only around 200 Whooping Cranes left, however due to conservation efforts and public awareness of their plight, their numbers are slowly climbing.

The Sandhill Crane is also a long legged long necked grey bird, but differs from a Great Blue Heron as the Sandhill will have a bald red crown atop its head, and the Great Blue Heron will have a very dark to black coloured  plume of feathers extending out at the back of his head rather like a backwards baseball cap.  The Sandhill Cranes often frequent the fields and meadows in and around the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area seeking food in the autumn months during the migratory season.

What can you do for the “uncommon” Great Blue Heron and “endangered” Whooping Crane to protect and aid in conservation?  How can you reduce the decline, and eliminate some of the threats posed for the Great Blue Heron and the Whooping Crane

?  How can you celebrate the centennial of the migratory bird convention?

  1. First of all become a citizen scientist, and participate in a bird survey.  Expand your knowledge on conservation efforts.  Learn bird songs, and bird calls.  Discover how to identify birds.
  2. Secondly, protect the habitat, find out how you can volunteer, support conservation groups and become involved.
  3. It is important, thirdly, to reduce hazards, become actively engaged marking your own house and business windows, stop using pesticides which eradicate the forage of the birds, and reduce pollution in the environment by participating in clean ups and calling Saskatchewan environment TIPPS line to report environment violations and polluters.
  4. Let others know about what you have learned about birds and their habitats and how to protect them.  Share and expand the knowledge you have learned with others.  Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (second Saturday in May), The United Nations General Assembly World Wildlife Day on March 3, National Tree Day September 21.
  5. Find local, provincial, federal and international agencies and associations who are native prairie stewards, those that conserve native prairie, those who may restore native prairie, green groups for wildlife and habitat management, environmental organisations who may seek to manage water, wetlands and riparian management.
  6. Make a personal commitment to maintain, conserve and restore a piece of native prairie.Determine what actions you can realistically make to achieve your goals, then monitor and evaluate your progress.  As you establish your values as a wildlife habitat and native prairie steward,  preserve and respect archeological and historical resources.

“Birds contribute to our pleasure and standard of living.  But they are also sensitive indicators of the environment, a sort of “ecological litmus test.”~Roger Tory Peterson. Peterson p.432

“This , then, is the task: nothing less than reclaiming water as a commons for the Earth, and all people that must be wisely and sustainably shared and managed if we are to survive.” ~Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 175

“Canadians Love Our Water Heritage. This may be true in our imaginations and in our literature. But is seems not to be in reality, for if we loved our great water heritage, we would take better care of it.” Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 181.

“Canada – and we as citizens – must act now if we are to carve out a coherent set of rules governing our water resources. Our country is in urgent need of a national water policy and strategy to protects its water, ecologically and jurisdictionally. To be effective, this policy must be developed among all of the different levels of government ~ federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal.” Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 206

“The rule of no realm is mine…But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task,…if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in the days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you now know? ~ J.R. R. Tolkein Barlow.Page x

“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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Barlow, Maud. Blue Covenant. The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water. Is Canada’s Water for Sale? McClelland and Steward Ltd. Toronto, ON. 2007.ISBN 978-0-7710-1072-9

Moen, Jim. Managing Your Native Prairie Parcels Your Guide to Caring for Native Prairie in Saskatchewan. 1998. Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation. Regina, Sk ISBN 1-896 793-19-3.

Peterson, Roger Tory. Western Birds. 1990. Houghton Mifflin Company Massachusetts. ISBN 0-395-51749-4 ISBN 0-395-51424-X pbk.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Chanticleer Press, Inc. New York. 2003. isbn 0-679-45121-8.