“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall all be saved.”
— Jane Goodall
Discover the heritage of Saskatoon’s Secret Forests converting and transforming to Saskatoon’s Hidden Gems. The Wildwoods of Saskatoon Monday October 24 at 7:00 pm Treasure Saskatoon’s ecoheritage. Come to Nature. Come to Life. . . bit.ly/3rk33pN Eventbrite Link
“As we progress into the twenty-first century, anyone who considers themselves a realist will have to make the environment a top priority.”
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The afforestation areas are an enigma. There are so many secrets to unravel!
Come to the film Wildwoods of Saskatoon where it will be revealed —the secret of their charm. What has been hiding? A deep dive tries to explain the individual and very special charm of this these particular forests—what I have ventured to call the secret of the afforestation areas — to be revealed.Sunday Sept 18 at 2:00pm. After all, it is not a deeply hidden secret, and has indeed been half guessed or hinted by various writers expounding upon the heritage and mystery of the afforestation areas. What secrets are hiding which come out in the film? The forests have held secrets, and now, the woodlands will have no secrets from the world, and the stories do not want to hide any longer.
To these and many more questions come to the Wildwoods of Saskatoon heritage documentary on Sunday Sept 18 at 2:00pm Register now
National Forest Week brings attention to our forests and trees from coast to coast across Canada. Our forests and trees provide habitats for wildlife, insects, polllinator species, birds and so much more! What is the ‘triple environmental emergency we are facing?
1. Loss of biodiversity 2. Climate change 3. Out of control pollution.
Out of control pollution. Our native biodiversity needs wild spaces, food and homes such as trees and forests provide in which to thrive. Forests, tree planting, and forest conservation initiatives are nature-based solutions towards climate action. Pollution, pesticides, herbicides are escalating the extinction events. Creating safe, organic forest spaces is a large step to halt and slow down the silent sixth mass extinction event of invertebrates, the planet’s bird food on wings. Ornithologists and botanists have noticed that the songbird, and raptor populations have declined by a staggering 48%. The monitored wildlife populations are reduced by a catastrophic 68%. A loss of forests and habitats have caused over 2/3 of our animal populations to totally disappear.
Richard St. Barbe Baker said it this way, “If a person loses one third of his or her skin, the person will die; if a tree loses a third of its bark, the tree will die, and if the world loses a third of its trees, the world will die. We live less that five minutes without air and the trees give us air we breathe. We live less than five days without water, and trees are absolutely essential in the water cycle. We live less than five weeks without food, and without the trees we could not grow food.” (Filson, Bruce K. October 7, 1982, Western People, p. 5)
Arbor Week is now over. The last event was today Sunday April 29- a B.I.N.G.O. The prize winners were a couple, John and Jodi.
These water-proof binoculars provided 12X power magnification with a 42mm objective lens and roof prism providing 114 meters / 374 feet / 1000 Yards are also fog-proof making them excellent bird or animal watching binoculars winter or summer in any outdoor environment. For the citizen scientist, the prize package included binoculars, neck strap, lens cover, carrying bag, user instructions, cleaning cloth and a smartphone adapter. The smart phone adapter was compatible with all brands of smart phones making it an ideal choice to capture the amazing long distance organism for iNaturalist to help with global conservation efforts.
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas are proud supporters of environmental education, and promote the use of documenting wildlife with the free iNaturalist app, and via eBird. These binoculars promoted and further encouraged these ideals. John and Jodi sound like they have an amazing environment at their home where they encourage native flora, enticing many kinds of birds and animals and along with this great biodiversity of nature at home they also frequent the afforestation areas.
Who is Jane Jacobs, and what does she have to do with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park in Saskatoon?
It’s a WILD Spring Thing! American Red Squirrel Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
On Sunday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. come and discover the wildwoods of Saskatoon at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
A WILD Spring Fling! Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Spring time
Come and Discover the Wildwoods of Saskatoon at George Genereux Urban Regional Park. Sat May 7 at 2:00 pm
“The aim of the Men of the Trees is briefly ‘ to develop a tree sense in every citizen, and to encourage all to plant, protect and love their native trees; for forestry is among the oldest and most honourable of the peaceful arts of men, and in its practice is unselfish and constructive service.’ ”
In the words of Henry van Dyke, America’s greatest tree poet,
He that planteth a tree is a servant of God;
He provideth a kindness for many generations
And faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.”
Richard St. Barbe Baker
Celebrate 50 years! Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park were planted to trees in 1972, 50 years ago. Come out and say Happy Birthday!
Saskatoon’s Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (325 acres) and George Genereux Urban Regional Park (148 acres) began as part of an ambitious, far-sighted afforestation greenbelt plan undertaken by the city in 1972. The plan proposed 3 categories: 1. Forest in perpetuity (660 acres), 2. Long-term planting (2200 acres), 3. Future public reserve areas (100 acres). The afforestation plan was linked with the Green Survival Program promoted by tree nurseries across North America at the time.
The 660 acres under the category “Forest in perpetuity” were planted in 1972 and 1973 on City-owned land that had been previously leased to farmers. The intent on inception was that these greenspaces become mature urban regional parks in future subdivisions when the city grew out in this direction.
Bare-root seedlings were obtained from the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration Tree Nursery at Indian Head, Saskatchewan. The species used were: American and Siberian elm, Manitoba maple, green ash, poplar, willow, caragana, Colorado spruce and Scotch pine.
The seedlings were planted with a tree planter in rows weaving in and out as much as 40 feet from the centre line. This produced a natural forest effect.
Now, coming on 50 years, the man-made forest provides a unique greenspace due in part to the boreal forest like feel produced by the succession to mature spruce and pine in many parts of the afforestation area. These species are continually expanding as their cones seed wider areas and successfully grow in. To find natural areas of spruce and pine one has to travel about 100 km NE of Saskatoon where the transition to the boreal forest zone begins.
Unfortunately, the full afforestation plan was never completed and these two areas remained neglected until Saskatoon’s rapid growth spurt began in 2008. The area where these parks exist is now part of a larger sector plan still in the works.
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas (Friends) , a non-profit charity, was established to advocate for the protection and enhancement of these laboratories of ecological succession with their unique biodiversity.
A 100 k grant from the Department of the Environment (“Environment and Climate Change Canada” or “ECCC”) is allowing the Friends to install protective barriers in areas where illegal vehicle entry has occurred and also to place signage. The Friends are also promoting educational environmental protection, climate action and wellness nature-based activities in these greenspaces.
Two heritage documentaries are being produced which will have an international reach. The first will celebrate the extraordinary humanitarian legacy of the forester Richard St. Barbe Baker, who has been called the first global conservationist. His lifelong work to protect forests, including the Redwood forests in California, and promote tree planting for habitat restoration, including research for and promotion of plans to reclaim the Sahara Desert is legendary. He had a deep understanding of forest ecology and was a climate change activist beginning in the 1930s. He was bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University of Saskatchewan in 1971 by John Diefenbaker. The International Tree Foundation inaugurated by Baker in 1922 is commemorating its centenary in 2022.
The second heritage documentary film is focused on the 50th anniversary of the original planting (1972-2022) and the visionary ideals of the City of Saskatoon in initiating this project. During this era of climate change, it is valuable to highlight the paramount importance of nature based solutions to climate change, such as afforestation.
These films and associated celebrations will draw public attention to these local semi-wilderness habitats which are still relatively unknown. Public awareness about Saskatoon’s man-made forest is especially important at this moment when extensive discussions are taking place to make decisions on the management of parks and ecosystems in Saskatoon. These forests tie in well with Saskatoon’s strategic goals of environmental leadership and quality of life.
Please Come to the Wildwoods of Saskatoon.
The 326 acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in the City of Saskatoon at GPS 52.1006191,-106.753599 [off of Cedar Villa Road – Tsp Rd 362A]
The afforestation areas were started as city tree nurseries under the banner of the Green Survival Program. The Green Survival Programwas concerned about ecology abuse, and pollution, providing planting, and greening up the planet, with a motto, “It’s up to you!”
What is nephelococcygia?
The Trembling Aspen is also referred to as the Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx) Autumn colour of foliage CC3.0 Stan Shebs
Clouds in the sky
While practicing the art of self-isolation, and social distancing for COVID-19, take in the art of nephelococcygia. Nephelococcygia is simply laying back for the pleasure of seeking and finding shapes in clouds.
Can you draw, or paint the shapes which you find? When you do create a picture, would anyone ever believe, that really the clouds looked like that on that day?
Did you know that Air pollution drops as countries shut down amid spread of COVID-19 and India’s coronavirus lockdown is having a dramatic impact on pollution? Just as all the COVID-19 protocols meant that people stepped up and practiced various measures for their own personal safety, and the collective safety of friends and families, so too, it is important to save the habitats around the world from sky – and air pollution. What measures can you take to make sure that your grandchildren will be able to practice nephelococcygia? Where can you lower your carbon footprint? Can you change vehicles? Can you change the way your home or business sets its carbon footprint? Contemplate how to keep your air and sky pollution low with the same earnestness and passion devoted to COVID-19. Can you plant a tree? Actually can you plant a forest? What an amazing method forests and trees are to help reduce the carbon footprint around the world.