What a great time of year to go out and about as spring is in the air, and the birds are migrating into the willows, and the meadow grass is sweet.
Did you know that….
“iNaturalist is a social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications. As of February 2021, iNaturalist users had contributed approximately 66 million observations of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms worldwide, and around 130,000 users were active in the previous 30 days.
iNaturalist describes itself as “an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature”, with its primary goal being to connect people to nature. Although it is not a science project itself, iNaturalist is a platform for science and conservation efforts, providing valuable open data to research projects, land managers, other organizations, and the public. It is the primary application for crowd-sourced biodiversity data in places such as Mexico, southern Africa, and Australia,and the project has been called “a standard-bearer for natural history mobile applications.””[source]
It will be a pleasure to meet you, and the willows would love to meet you. There are no river willows in George Genereux park, they are full sized tree willows.
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!
“The City Nature Challenge was founded by Alison Young and Rebecca Johnson of the California Academy of Sciences and Lila Higgins of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The first challenge was in the spring of 2016 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Participants documented over 20,000 observations with the iNaturalist platform. In 2017, the challenge expanded to 16 cities across the United States and participants collected over 125,000 observations of wildlife in 5 days.In 2018, the challenge expanded to 68 cities across the world.In four days, over 441,000 observations of more than 18,000 species were observed, and over 17,000 people participated. The 2019 challenge more than doubled in scale, with almost a million observations of over 31,000 species observed by around 35,000 people.
Taking the competition beyond its US roots, the 2019 event was a much more international affair, with the winning city for observations and species coming from Africa (Cape Town), and three South American (La Paz, Tena and Quito) and two Asian areas (Hong Kong and Klang Valley) ranking in the top ten for number of observations.
In 2020, the organizers removed the competition aspect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, “To ensure the safety and health of all participants, this year’s CNC is no longer a competition. Instead, we want to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community, and celebrate the healing power of nature as people document their local biodiversity to the best of their ability.” Fewer observations were documented in 2020 than the prior year, though more species were found and more cities and people participated.
2021 saw record high numbers in every category, but as in the previous year, no winning cities were announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”[source]
So this is Saskatoon’s very, very first year to be involved with the City Nature Challenge. Regina had their City Nature Challenge inauguration last year. They did amazing! Last year, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Nature Regina, Friends of Wascana Marsh, Nature Saskatchewan and the Nature Conservancy of Canada all came together in partnership to host the event in the Regina Area. They made 1,265 observations with a base of 293 species, 231 Identifiers assisted and 84 Observers scanned the green areas of Regina for what could be seen in the early spring. They found some pretty amazing observations for sure! This year, sound recordings of nature as well as observations can be included.
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!
CNC YXE DNU participant / collaborator / organiser meetings held the second Tuesday of the month via zoom email for your zoom link firstname.lastname@example.org From there we can arrange to host iNaturalist introductory webinars for observers and identifiers or bio-blitz hints and tips.
Help put the City of Saskatoon and area on the world nature scene! Using iNaturalist take photos of plants, animals, insects and mushrooms between April 29 – May 2, 2022! Saskatoon will compete for the title of the most Biodiverse City. We need your help. YouTube Video about getting involved
From May 3-May 8 identify what was found in Saskatoon Taking part is easy!
Whether you’re an avid naturalist or a dog walker, everyone can participate: it’s easy, fun, and will encourage you to get outdoors.
Started in 2016 for the first-ever Citizen Science Day, the citizen science teams at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences dreamed up the City Nature Challenge as a fun way to capitalize on their home cities’ friendly rivalry and hold a citizen science event around urban biodiversity. The first City Nature Challenge was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity. Over 20,000 observations were made by more than 1000 people in a one-week period, cataloging approximately 1600 species in each location, including new records for both areas. During the 2016 CNC, the organizers heard so much excitement and interest from people in other cities that they decided that they couldn’t keep to the fun just to themselves. In 2017 the City Nature Challenge went national, and in 2018, the CNC became an international event!
Saskatoon is now registered for the very first time ever to participate in the 2022 event – so we really need your help to highlight the City of Saskatoon area!
CNC YXE is run completely by volunteer organizers. If you’re part of a local stewardship or municipal group and would like to contribute to the promotion of the event, offer your skillsets, or make a donation to this city project please contact email@example.com to learn more.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is sharing 50 actions for 50 years, which is a great way to help protect the environment, indeed.
We are committed to helping people here become a citizen scientist to help protect nature which is one of the 50 actions listed. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. are meeting every Sunday at Two to discover nature with iNaturalist on our smart phones. We invite you to help find the project which helps you protect nature.
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date! Canada Helps
““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
Richard St. Barbe Baker
“The continuing challenge of restoration. …”reconstruction,” ”restocking,” and “rebuilding,” of “doctoring sick land.”…Habitat restoration is both desirable and feasible. -Aldo Leopold ed. Joy B. Zedler Author
On June 5, the clean green community scene volunteer clean up of George Genereux Park takes place in Saskatoon.
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. are very appreciative of the support and help offered by Ivan and Ila’s No Frills Store in Westage Plaza for the June 5 clean up. They went above and beyond in the fall of 2020, and now volunteers are coming out on Saturday June 5 – very likely for the last time for a major huge afforestation area clean up, and again, Ivan and Ila’s No Frills Store in Westage Plaza is providing support. Refreshments for volunteers is so greatly appreciated, and will go a long way for the well being of all the volunteers who will keep hydrated and sustained with individual snacks.
Support such is this by Ivan and Ila’s No Frills Store in Westage Plaza is vital, very much acknowledged and appreciated by the volunteers who all came out on Saturday June 5 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Users to the George Genereux Urban Regional Park include families, dog walkers, citizen scientists doing bio-blitzes, walkers, bird-bander, cyclists who all enjoy the mixed man-made forest on the prairies. In the fall of 2020 there was Sep 19 2020 kg 9270 pounds and on Oct 20 2016 1500kg or 3,307 pounds of trash removed. Even though volunteers worked tirelessly, there were still trash piles left at the end of the two cleanups. George Genereux Urban Regional Park becomes 50 years old in 2022 and this is the first environmental protection event and trash clean up afforded this urban regional park, so that is why there is another volunteer clean up is needed on June 5, 2021.
All this will create a much safer environment for the general public and for the health of the environment. Is that not what June 5, day is all about?
June 5 is….. the first day of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
June 5 is….. International Trails Day.
June 5 is….. World Environment Day.
June 5 is….. Clean Green Community Scene.
Thank you and gratitude is are extended to Ivan and Ila and Ivan and Ila’s No Frills Store in Westage Plaza which is located at 2410 22nd St W at the corner of Avenue W North and 22nd St W. And Ivan and Ila helped to act locally and think globally on World Environment Day. Isn’t it ever so wonderful to have safe urban regional parks, safe wildlife habitats and to also keep the volunteers safe and hydrated?
As William Shakespeare says, “I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.” –
Prickly Rose (Rosa Acicularlis Lindl.) the Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana) and Wood’s Rose, or Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii) are perhaps easiest to identify in mid-June when the pink blooms appear. These blooms last perhaps two weeks, giving way to the fruit or the red or reddish-orange rose hips, which again make this bush easy to identify. Whereas, all rose bushes have thorns, the Prickly Rose is abundant with weak thorns.
Rose in the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Native Rose Bush blooming in June
Prickly Rose (Rosa Acicularlis Lindl.) the Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana) and Wood’s Rose, or Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii) all grow well across Saskatchewan, in the quaking aspen parkland, and also the grasslands as well as the northern boreal forests. This bush is often found where the soil has been made acidic due to the contributions of spruce or pine, and will grow in forests comprised of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), and cottonwood (Populous spp.) all of these trees making up both the afforestation areas – Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park forest communities.
The rose bush, will make its appearance in places where rodents or other animals disturb the soil, loosening up the soil which then receives the rose seed (achene) in an area conducive to growth. Or, in fact, these animals may also be disturbing the rhizomatous roots which are laying below the soil. Adventitious buds form on roots near the ground surface, on damaged stems (as on the stumps of cut rose shrubs), or on old roots. These roots develop into above-ground stems and leaves. A form of budding called suckering is the reproduction or regeneration of a plant by shoots that arise from an existing root system. The rose bushes do not tolerate a closed forest canopy as they are only moderately shade tolerant.
What is the difference between scientists?
A botanist is an expert in or student of the scientific study of plants, based on the Greek root botanikos, from botanē meaning plant, and -logy from French -logie or from Greek / medieval Latin -logia meaning the study or interest in a subject. A biologist is a scientist who focuses on living organisms, including plants and animals from Greek bios ‘life’ + -logy. A naturalist, on the other hand, is a person who studies or is an expert in natural history, especially a zoologist or botanist. Historically, if one lived back in the late 14th century, the Middle English word for a “natural philosopher or scientist” was naturien instead of naturalist.
PlantWatch The PlantWatch program enables citizen scientists to get involved by recording flowering times for selected plant species and reporting these dates to researchers, who work to identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. By reporting on the PlantWatch species found in your community, you can help researchers discover how common plants are responding to climate change and track where changes are taking place in Canada, and at what rate.
Project BudBurst Project BudBurst is an app to receive data on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers Project BudBurst also offers climate change and phenology materials and tools
LeafSnap The user of the LeafSnap App needs to extract the leaf and place it in a white background and then take a picture through the app to get the leaf identified automatically.
Reporting your findings on facebook, or social media, and using the hashtags #ScienceAroundMe., #RichardStBarbeBakerAfforestationArea, #GeorgeGenereuxUrbanRegionalPark, #Saskatoon, #YXEGreenStrategy are some excellent ways to track the eco-system out at the afforestation areas.
What is taxonomy?
Botanists refer to a taxonomic key produced by a taxonomist when speaking in reports, publications or at conferences about plants.
“Nature produces individuals, and nothing more. She produces them in such countless numbers that we are compelled to sort them into kinds in order that we may be able to carry them in our minds. This sorting is classification—taxonomy.” ~C.E. Bessey Though Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) may be regarded as the first ever naturalist, Theophrastus (371–287 B.C.), his pupil, is recognised as the father of Botany. However, the starting point for modern botanical nomenclature is Linnaeus’ Species Plantarum of 1753 which featured a key event as Linnaeus adopted the system of using binomial names for plant species. Binomial nomenclature is a two-naming system featuring the first part of the name – the generic name– identifying the genus to which the plant or organism belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – continues on to identify the species. The classification of something, living things or organisms is the science called taxonomy. Ataxonomist groups organisms into categories. A plant taxonomist may study the origins, and the relationships between different types of roses. Taxonomists may come up with their own system of plant taxonomy or “taxonomic system
Figure 1 Complete the Taxonomic Ranks for the Saskatchewan Wild Rose Method 1 Use the given relationships below used by botanists Method 2 Create your own Taxonomy Chart, Taxonomic Section titles, and plant names.
In Saskatchewan roses have the same taxonomy through to the genus “Rosa.” Of all the taxonomic classifications, the clade ‘Rosids’ is the most challenging taxonomic category to describe.
Kingdom: Plantae. Plantae means plants, featuring multi-cellular living things with predominantly photosynthetic cells.
Clade: Angiosperms. Angiosperms are plants with fruit. Angiosperms are land plants which produce seeds within an enclosure such as a fruiting body. Angiosperms is derived from the Greek words angeion (“case” or “casing”) and sperma (“seed”).
Clade: Eudicot. Eudicots have two seed leaves which provide nutrients to the embroyo from the Greek words eu, well or good, dio two, and kotylidon seedlobe. Eudicot as a reference first proposed that there is a pair of leaves, or cotyledons, in the embryo of the seed. Currently the classification refers to angiosperms which are not monocots.
Order: Rosales. Those rosids which are nitrogen fixing or those plants which belong to the nitrogen fixing order are given the name Rosales.
Family: Rosaceae. The subfamily of rosaceae is Rosoideae, those plants with rose hips. Rosoideae which are those genera bearing aggregate fruits that are made up of small achenes or drupelets, and often the fleshy part of the fruit is the receptacle or the stalk bearing the carpels (female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, a stigma, and usually a style). In taxonomy, that which separates the family Rosaceae from the order Rosales is that the plant ovaries and achenes (seeds) are hidden inside the round hypanthium.
Species:R. Acicularlis Lindl., R. arkansana, R. woodsii
Figure 2 From the information above fill out the Biological classification Chart. What happened? Have there been changes in the Linnaean system? Why? For extra points, how many different kingdoms are there?
In the USDA classification
Kingdom Plantae refers to plants.
Sub-Kingdom Tracheobionta are vascular plants with lignified plant tissues (called vessels or trachea) for moving water and minerals around the plant.
Super-division Spermatophyta are seed plants. Seed plants are divided into two groups Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.
Division Magnoliophyta are flowering plants. Plants in Magnoliophyta were formerly classified as angiosperms.
Order Rosales feature nitrogen fixing flowers with four or five petals and the blossoms are flat or cup-shaped. They also have fleshy fruit.
Activities and questions
Design, construct and evaluate the effectiveness of a taxonomic classification technique that demonstrates the scientific principles underlying the identification of plants and how to differentiate one plant from another.
Evaluate, compare (find the similarities) and contrast (find the differences) to weigh the effectiveness of more than one of the previously devised botanical classifications. Debate the issue with supporting arguments pro and con.
What type of background in the physical sciences would a botanist or a taxonomist require?
Are there any biologists, or naturalists in Saskatchewan?
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
“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.
“In the stillness of the mighty woods, man is made aware of the divine”
Richard St Barbe Baker