Urban Forestry Offices of Canadian Civic Governments~ Saskatoon ~”
Trees play a significant role in our quality of life and provide a positive effect by beautifying our city for residents and tourists to enjoy. All trees that grow in Saskatoon are part of the urban forest including trees on both private and public property.” Canadian Forests
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Forest
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The citizens who live in Saskatoon have a keen and vibrant interest in Saskatoon’s urban forest! The City of Saskatoon has a legacy of honouring forests. This year for the 2017 National Forest Week, September 24th to 30th, the theme is Canada’s Forests: Our Stories, Our Future Celebrating Canada’s Forests! What are some of the City of Saskatoon’s forest stories?
- The SOS Elms Coalition has published two City of Saskatoon tree tour booklets, one in 2004 and an update in 2015
- The Sutherland Forest Nursery Station supplied about 150 million trees across Saskatchewan to homesteaders in the early twentieth century. This nursery has become the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park in 1968 and is today honoured as a National Historic site.
- Saskatoon also is host to an “Enchanted Forest” The Enchanted Forest glowing is a time when the visitors to the Enchanted Forest become tender and enamoured with love and kindred spirit. It is a celebration of the holiday season embracing the very idea of loving others, embracing childhood memories and becoming as a child enraptured in delight again.
- The Patterson’s Garden Arboretum is honoured by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), is part of Canada’s Garden Route and is treasured in Saskatoon’s Register of Historic Places and is a priority of the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC)
- The Fred Mitchell Memorial Gardens is another gem of Saskatoon, a forest, placed by City of Saskatoon residents on Saskatoon’s Register of Historic Places.
- Saskatoon’s Memorial Avenue was begun by the Saskatoon branch of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire that who stated that:“A tree is a living memorial often more enduring than marble or bronze; a tree is a thing of beauty and of inspiration — a living token of the wonder and glory of nature– a symbol of service– for the life of a tree is a life of service, even the end of life is not the end of a tree’s service; to the contrary, the end of a life opens new fields of service which add immeasurably to our civilization, our culture, and our happiness; therefore, is not a tree a fitting symbol for those valiant men who gave their lives for the service of their country and who died that humanity might continue to live in civilization, in culture, and in happiness?”
- The Meewasin Memorial Forest within the Gabriel Dumont Park is a living tribute to bring comfort to the family, and honour of a dearly departed loved one. Richard St. Barbe Baker, himself had spoken to his close friends of wishes to be fulfilled on his passing. One wish was that a large tree would grace his burial site. When Baker ~ the founder of the International Tree Foundation (Men of the Trees Organization) died on 9 June 1982 during his visit to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he planted his last tree on the grounds of the University of Saskatchewan where he was one of the first students. Baker is, indeed, buried near at a site with two large spruce trees in Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon. *Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life. ~John Muir
- The Meewasin Valley Authority, as well, has initiated the “Plant a Tree” Program. “Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker Not only did Baker plant a tree in a public ceremony before his passing by some estimates, organizations Richard St. Barbe Baker founded or assisted have been responsible for planting at least 26 trillion trees, internationally. One of the organistions is the International Tree Foundation which began in Kenya with the first Watu wa Miti, or Men of the Trees. These forest scouts promised that they would indeed protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.
This preceding listing of eight stories honouring the forests and trees of Saskatoon is by no means complete, thee is a resplendent River Valley along the South Saskatchewan River, and the city of Saskatoon is bedecked with an urban forest of boulevards, parks, named heritage parks, municipal reserves and green spaces.
Amongst the honour of forests and green spaces is the story of two more forests the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the adjoining afforestation area “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park in the City of Saskatoon
1960 the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park and a third afforestation area lands were bought
1972 sees drought resistant trees, Scotch Pine, Caragana, Elm, Balsam Poplar, Colorado Blue Spruce planted in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the”George Genereux” Urban Regional Park and the third afforestation area. In total 355 acres of afforestation areas were planted that year. In 1973, 355 additional acres are planted. Originally 2,300 acres were envisioned.
1972, A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent sets before council that these first 660 acres of afforestation areas be kept in perpetuity.Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the adjoining afforestation area “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park are part of these first 660 acres along with a third afforestation area on the other side of the river south of Gabriel Dumont Park, and in 1972 west of the golf course.
1978 Oct 19 Name “Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area” brought forward to city council; Dec 28, 1978 proposed that the area become a park; Jan 2, 1979, this is recommended by council. The name George Genereux is also brought forward.
1985 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is dedicated June 15
…today it is the duty of every thinking being to live, and to serve not only his own day and generation, but also generations unborn by helping to restore and maintain the green glory of the forests of the earth.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker
Do you know of another Saskatoon forest which is special to you, and bears a particular story. Please take time to share your story as well as the stories listed above. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have 150 Forest Stories of Saskatoon in honour of Canada’s 150 birthday?
Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.
For more information:
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′
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
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 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)”. Please and thank you!