The Ultimate Treehouse

Greenscape or Greyscape?

Vertical Forest

“Would you rather see trees or more glass and steel? A building that tries to mitigate its impact on the urban climate, or one that contributes to the heat-island effect? A tower that’s a beacon for migrating birds and butterflies, or that further disrupts their flight? That absorbs carbon dioxide, or doesn’t?”(Source)

Bosco Verticale towers in Milan, Italy
Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) Source: Nguyen Tan Tin

 

Don’t these Residential towers take the concept of a green wall or ecowall to the skies?

So recently discussing the nestling of naturalized settings in an urban setting such as the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park of the city of Saskatoon a question came up regarding the long range planning of areas in the city. The question was; what exactly is a vertical forest?  This is a follow up to What is a Vertical Forest? – this article provides various sources of vertical forests!!!

What about a vertical forest, 27 storeys high! Vertical forests are amazing systems “combatting the heat island effect of the city and creating a way-finding post for birds, insects and pollinators struggling to locate the urban green spaces that are increasingly hemmed in by human-made structures.”(Source)

“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker My Life My Trees

“As cities continue to grapple with air pollution, housing shortages, and climate change, these vertical forests could very well be the residential typology we need for the future. And you can certainly expect to see more of them.”(Source)

“The vertical vegetation produces oxygen, provides habitats for bird and insect life and reduces air pollution: Studies have shown that one tree reduces dust in its vicinity by 7–24%.”(Source)

University of Ottawa Social Sciences Building courtesy Jon Kolbert
University of Ottawa Social Sciences Building courtesy Jon Kolbert

“Pathways and ponds will blend seamlessly into the surrounding business district as a way to complement the existing green spaces …Curving balconies will resemble traditional Asian rice terraces, which are often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world.”(Source)

“The vegetal system of the Vertical Forest aids in the construction of a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen.”(Source)

“The 23 different tree varieties will produce around 132 pounds (60kg) of oxygen every day”(Source)

“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker

“Like most ideas in design it is more metaphorical. Trees on a building while borrowing from the idea of a forest are a long way from having the true ecological structure of a forest. But the objective is to increase biomass, biodiversity and canopy cover.”(Source)

Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana Mexico Courtesy ThelmadatterUniversidad.del.Claustro.de.Sor.Juana.Mexico.Thelmadatter
Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana Mexico Courtesy Thelmadatter

“Vertical Forest is a model for a sustainable residential building, a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory. It is a model of vertical densification of nature within the city that operates in relation to policies for reforestation and naturalization of large urban and metropolitan borders. (Source)

In a vertical forest ” plants will consume 50 tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of kicking about 10 cars off the road annually.”(Source)

“Viewers around the world were left breath-taken …The vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide share in the day and come alive with displays of light and sound at night, and they provide a home to an array of different animals.”(Source)

musée du quai Branly Paris Courtesy Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
musée du quai Branly  Paris Courtesy Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

“But what if we could live in a vertical forest, lush and boiling over with foliage? As humans, we benefit from vegetative, green environments both physically and psychologically. A plethora of studies have explored the benefits of having indoor plants found that people who spend time caring for nature are more likely to care for others. There’s even a restorative treatment called Forest Therapy that involves spending time in wooded areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.”(Source)

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. Richard St. Barbe Baker

What can cities and developers learn from naturalized areas?  How can urban spaces develop around natural green spaces?  Can cities increase the greenscape over the grey landscape?  What do you think of Vertical Forests?

Bibliography

A Hedera green façade – Energy performance and saving under different maritime-temperate, winter weather conditions
A Guide to Green Roofs, Walls and Façades
Build Sask Green
Evaluating the Effects of Façade Greening on Human Bioclimate in a Complex Urban Environment
Experimental study of the urban microclimate mitigation potential of green roofs and green walls in street canyons.
Green roofs Land Stewardship Centre
Green Roofs: Good for the Economy and the Environment Ecofriendly Sask
Growing Green Guide
Life Cycle Costs of Green Roofs
Living Walls
The Animal Biodiversity of Green Walls in the Urban Environment
Whole life costing: Green roofs

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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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)”. Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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YXE Green Strategy

The city of Saskatoon cares about the environment.  The YXEGreenStrategy began in the spring of 2018 allocating the City’s existing green spaces into a baseline inventory.  Read the report conclusion from the previous public engagement meeting.

A Green Strategy public meeting came together to develop Saskatoon’s Natural Area Standards; such as considering new neighbourhoodspark development, specifications as well as to update the Urban Forestry Management Plan, naturalized area policies (protected lands and wetlands policy), and to update the City of Saskatoon Official Community Plan (Community Plans & Strategies)

The City of Saskatoon Environmental Initiatives are many and diverse, the YXEGreenStrategy is one of them.  Of course the YXEGreenStrategy encompasses the
South Saskatchewan River watershed – source water protection plan, environmental grant, soil handling strategy, various community environmental programs, the rainfall report, and the northeast swale.

City planners, and civil engineers have it made when it comes to grey landscapes such as city infrastructure which includes both hard and soft infrastructure concerns. Hard infrastructure refers to the physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industry. This includes roads, bridges, railways, etc. Soft infrastructure refers to all the institutions that maintain the economic, health, social, and cultural standards of a country.  This includes educational programs, parks and recreational facilities, law enforcement agencies, and emergency services.  There are many manuals, and textbooks for the long range planners and engineer regarding city size and density and the recipe for how, when and where to create roads, parks, bridges follow contemporary patterns in planning.

When city planners have to incorporate municipal and naturalized reserves into the greenscape, this becomes challenging.  The laws and guidelines put forward by Canada Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Minister of the Environment are followed by developers and city planners.  Saskatchewan’s provincial Ministry of the Environment is the next level of protection becoming more local in scope.  Then, of course are YXEGreenStrategy policies and procedures.

Can a forest, a wetlands, a natural grasslands, a ravine, a swale, be placed into a formula to determine when to bull doze the trees, when to fill in the wetlands, or when to place development upon a natural grasslands area.  Can general formulas and procedures be written for nature the same way that the length and width of road on primary and secondary access fit into a manual?

How have other cities managed?  For a short example in Canada;

City of Regina Open Space Manual

City of Edmonton The Way We Green: Environmental Strategic Plan

City of Vancouver Greenest City Action Plan

City of New Westminister Environmental Strategy and Action Plan (ESAP)

If you wish to learn more about the City of Saskatoon green strategy, you may subscribe for updates

How does this YXEGreenStrategy  affect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional park?

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is listed in the City of Saskatoon Green Infrastructure Network baseline inventory, however George Genereux Urban Regional Park has been abandoned, neglected, and unlisted.

So, therefore, as a report card, to date the YXEGreenStrategy is only 1/2 successful, and only 1/2 committed.

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′
Addresses:
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: StBarbeBaker
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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉
.

Afforestation; City Honoured as Pioneer

It is wonderful to be part of the City of Saskatoon, a city that at once is a pioneer in the world afforestation efforts. Saskatoon, was way ahead of the times in 1972.  The parks department showed incredible foresight by implementing this “Green Survival” programme as it was called in its inception.

 

“We’ve got to realize we live in a biosphere.  When the trees go, the people go.  It’s a question of survival now.  We’ve got to plant trees within the  next 10 years to save our lives.  We’ve been eating into our forest cover faster in the last 50 years than ever.  If we want to enter the new century with forests, we will have to start planting trees for our lives now.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker reported by Zeina Cleigh.  Tribune Staff Writer.

‘Afforestation’ is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees (forestation) in an area where there was no previous tree cover.

‘Deforestation’ which means cutting of forests or trees.

‘Reforestation’ is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation.

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area was planted by the City of Saskatoon parks department in 1972.  The three afforestation areas, 660 acres, were preserved in perpetuity that same year by City Council.

Wayne Buckle, a tree planter in that year, says ” I have always enjoyed travelling over the train overpass on Highway 7 to watch my forest grow – that’s probably the best vantage point to view it” ~ Leslee Newman

Paul Hanley also wrote the best selling book Eleven speaking the time when the planet reaches Eleven billion people ~ echoing the following sentiments of Richard St. Barbe Baker.  What are the choices facing this  generation for the future survival of our planet?

A few of the many and several articles written about afforestation and the benefits to the planet are; Afforestation and Reforestation for Climate Change   and Climate change mitigation through afforestation / reforestation These, of course, are just two of over 1,510,000 scientific articles on the importance and value of afforestation to mitigate climate change.

Will the human race fail, fizzle, give out, go out, peter out, run out, break, break down, collapse, conk (out), crash, cut out, die, expire, stall, stop, run down, wane?

It is up to you, personally, to help your grandchildren and all of  humanity to hold out, hold up, keep up, last, prevail, bear up, carry on, cope, endure, fare, get along, get by, get on, go, hang in, make out, manage, persevere, abide, continue, draw out, hang on, hold on, linger, persist, remain, run on.

What can you do?

  1. Plant a tree, nay plant ten trees a year as requested by St. Barbe.
  2. Support afforestation efforts around the world.
  3. Care for trees everywhere.
  4. Do a good deed.
  5. Read Eleven, and the need to become a Sylvan economy as requested by St. Barbe

It is wonderful to be part of the City of Saskatoon, a city that at once is a pioneer in the world afforestation efforts. Saskatoon, was way ahead of the times in 1972.  The parks department showed incredible foresight by implementing this “Green Survival” programme as it was called in its inception.

Paul Hanley, a personal friend of St. Barbe, a freelance writer, and environmentalist,  has written a biography on this internationally known forester, Richard St. Barbe Baker.  Contact Paul Hanley for more information about this book in order to learn more about the afforestation area namesake, 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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

Herptology; What is a herptologist?

What a question in the middle of winter, however as spring approaches ~ “Where are the frogs?” is a most excellent query!!!

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan.  With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species.  One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.  Did you know that April is Frog month? Celebrate Frog Month with your family!  Find out how to become an amateur herpetologist this April!

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where  a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time.  But where are the temporary wetlands located?  This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs.  This area for the lands east of  Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map.  The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather.  During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe  Baker Afforestation Area.  However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern.  As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017.  The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area.  The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist,  volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude.  This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area.  Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park.  In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones.  And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return.  🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival.  An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development.  Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables.  The years 2013, and 2014, saw very,  very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding.  Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards.  The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.”   “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017)  Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017)  “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015)  Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else  in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009.  Whereas, the flood years are reported  as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010.  (Garnet, 2012)
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather.  CBC News.

Chan, Emily.  Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops.  Ctv News.  July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy.   Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News.  Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press.  June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar.  From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies.  May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz.  Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan.  Centre for Hydrology Report #1.  Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News.  May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News.  June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja.  Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal.  July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies.  Government of Canada.  Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 “We forget that we owe our existence to  the presence of Trees.   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 Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Where are the frogs?

What a question in the middle of winter ~ “Where are the frogs?” indeed.

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan. With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species. One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada.

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time. But where are the temporary wetlands located? This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs. This area for the lands east of Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map. The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather. During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern. As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017. The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

 

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area. The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist, volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude. This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area. Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park. In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones. And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return. 🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival. An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development. Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables. The years 2013, and 2014, saw very, very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding. Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards. The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.” “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017) Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017) “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015) Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009. Whereas, the flood years are reported as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010. (Garnet, 2012)
Taiwan is privileged with the humid and rainy habitats favorable for frogs, and the profuse rain providing the frogs a long reproduction stage makes Taiwan one of the best places for frog-watching.”{Government of Taiwan}  And it follows, that in Saskatchewan, the frogs, also fare better during the years the province cycles into a year with a high water table, rain and humidity.  Just as the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) is native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions, the marsh marigold does not raise its yellow head in the years of drought, nor do the Northern Leopard Frogs sing merrily in the wetlands.  In the case of frogs, and marsh marigolds, both flora and fauna await seasons of moisture, and hunker down when drought and desert-like conditions appear.
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather. CBC News.

Chan, Emily. Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops. Ctv News. July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy. Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News. Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press. June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar. From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies. May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz. Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan. Centre for Hydrology Report #1. Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News. May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News. June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja. Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal. July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies. Government of Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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

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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)”. Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. 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 Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Climate Change and Afforestation

Climate change is being tackled by reducing the use of fossil fuels, limiting and reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to mitigate atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Changing to clean, renewable energy sources does indeed, reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Reducing emissions is just one side of the equation. Why do climate change discussions focus on reducing CO2 emissions, and not the carbon harvest effected by trees?

This report looks at the method of alleviating climate change by increasing carbon sequestration. Tree planting is an option as afforested lands can sequester between 2.2 and 9.5 metric tons of CO2 per year!Gorte

“The dynamics can be understood using a bathtub analogy in which the water level represents the stock of atmospheric CO 2. Like any stock, atmospheric CO2 rises only when the inflow to the tub (emissions, E ) exceeds the outflow (net removal, R ), is unchanging only when inflow equals outflow ( E = R ) and falls only when outflow exceeds inflow ( R > E ).”Sterman Reducing E Emissions or “the inflow into the bath tub” is truly important to affect climate change as can be seen from the “bath tub analogy.” Yet, it is vitally important to consider the “outflow out of the tub” or R, the net removal, which is expressed in the quantity of trees, forests, oceans, wetlands, marshes which act to absorb atmospheric carbon.

“Trees help by removing (sequestering) CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis to form carbohydrates that are used in plant structure/function and return oxygen back into the atmosphere as a byproduct. Roughly half of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2. Therefore, trees act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect”UFN

“Afforestation, reforestation and other forms of conservational forestry methods are often thought to be used for stopping the effects of climate change by reducing atmospheric carbon.”Pomerantz

“The Kyoto Accord on climate change requires developed countries to achieve C02-emissions reduction targets, but permits them to charge uptake of carbon (C) in terrestrial (primarily forest) ecosystems against emissions. Countries such as Canada hope to employ massive afforestation programs to achieve Kyoto targets.”van Kooten

“The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change commits Canada to reducing its CO2 emissions to levels that are 6% below those in 1990. In addition to reducing industrial emissions, biologically-based carbon sinks can used to meet this target.”Johnston

“The Kyoto Protocol is an international environmental treaty and requires ratified countries to commit themselves to an appropriate reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), which contributes to global warming and potentially impacts human society in many ways. In contrast to reduce GHG by industrial sectors, afforestation on fallow farm land has obviously become an important alternative method to expand the potential pool of carbon stock in terrestrial ecosystems.”Lin

” Carbon sequestration is one of many benefits of planting trees on land that has not been forested in a long time. Others include ecosystem health, economic health, and ultimately human health”Bird

As a result, an answer is found for how is it possible to better climate change locally?

” We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees.   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 Trees for Our Lives. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Bird, Neil D. and Eric Boysen. The Carbon Sequestration Potential from Afforestation in Ontario Climate Change. Research Information Note. Note Number 5. 2007

Dabas, Manoj and Shubhra Bhatla. Carbon Sequestration through Afforestation: Role of Tropical Industrial Plantations. Vol. 25, No. 5 (Aug., 1996), pp. 327-330 Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Stable URL

Gorte, Ross W. U.S. Tree Planting for Carbon Sequestration. Specialist in Natural Resources Policy. Congressional Research Service. 7-5700. R40562/ May 4, 2009

Johnston, M., S. Kulshreshtha, and T. Baumgartner. The potential for carbon sequestration through afforestation in Saskatchewan: An ecological-economic analysis. Forest Ecosystems Branch. Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management. Prince Albert, SK. Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Forest Ecosystems Branch, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, Regina, SK.

Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC. IPCC, 2000 – Robert T. Watson, Ian R. Noble, Bert Bolin, N. H. Ravindranath, David J. Verardo and David J. Dokken (Eds.)
Cambridge University Press, UK. pp 375
Available from Cambridge University Press, The Edinburgh Building Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU ENGLAND
Summary for Policymakers. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. pp20.
Available from IPCC Secretariat in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian. The Nobel Foundation.

Lin, Chinsu and Chun-Hsiung Lin. Comparison of carbon sequestration potential in agricultural and afforestation farming systems National Chiayi University. Department of Forestry and Natural Resourcs. Taiwan. Scientia Agricola. Print version ISSN 0103-9016. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) vol.70 no.2 Piracicaba Mar./Apr. 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162013000200006

Ni, Yuanming et al. The Global potential for carbon capture and storage from forestry. Carbon Balance Management. 2016. Dec. 11 : 3 2016 Feb 6. doi: 10.1186/s13021-016-0044-y.

Pomerantz, Celeste and Jason Donev Afforestation. Energy Education. University of Calgary.

Schopfhauser, Wolfgang. Chapter 3 Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Mitigation through Forestry and Wood Industry. 3.1 World Forests: The Area for Afforestation and their Potential for Fossil Carbon Sequestration and Substitution. Confederation of European Paper Industries. Belgium.

Sigurdsson, Bjarni D. and Arnor Snorrason. Carbon sequestration by afforestatin and revegetation as a measn of limiting net-CO2 emissions in Iceland. Biotechnol. Agron. Soc. Environ. 200 4(4), 303-307.

Sterman, John D. and Linda Booth Sweeney. Understanding public complacency about climate change: adults mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter. Climatic Change (2007) 80:213-238 doi 10.1007/s 10584-006-91074-5. January 9, 2007. Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 2007.

Trees Improve Air Quality Urban Forestry Network (UFN).

van Kooten, G. Corenelius, et al. Economics of afforestation for carbon sequestration in western Canada. The Forestry Chronicle. Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada.

Williams, Jeremy,et al Tree Canada Afforestation and Reforestation Protocol. Version 2.0. April 2015. Tree Canada.

“When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear”.~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
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker
Pinterest richardstbarbeb

A Walk on the Wild Side

Pleistocene megafauna

Treatment of Climate Change is much expanded as a result of recent research at the local university and we learn fascinating details of the many fluctuations from Pleistocene times to the present day warming trend.E.R. Ward Neale

Much debate has surrounded the late Pleistocene extinction of large animals. In North America, most extinctions took place within a narrow time interval, between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago…. The wave of extinctions coincided with rapid climatic changes at the end of the last glaciation. Climatic changes led to major alterations in vegetation cover on which herbivores depended, which precipitated an ecological crisis for large land animals.James S. Aber

Can you imagine walking in the footsteps of the great Giant Beaver, the Mastodon, or the American Cheetah?  12,700 years ago, 90 genera of mammals weighing over 44 kilograms 100 pounds) became extinct.

Was glacial Lake Agassiz home to the nine foot long sabertooth salmon? Would giant tortoises be walking the beaches of Glacial Lake Saskatoon I alongside the spectacular armadillo and the giant armadillo-like Glyptotherium?

Looking out over the Glacial Lakes, would giant beavers be building dams along side the glacier ice dams? Giant tortoises weighing 417 kg (919 lb) and reaching a length of 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in). Whereas Giant Beavers, Castoroides, would a length between 1.9 m (6.2 ft), and 2.2 m (7.2 ft) had a weight of 90 kg (198 lb) to 125 kg (276 lb).

When you are out in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, are you walking in the footsteps of the giant sloths and short-faced bears weighing 900 kg (1 short ton). Would you meet up with the American lions (1.6–2.5 m long (5 ft 3 in–8 ft 2 in)), dire wolves, “American cheetahs” (Miracinonyx -weighing 70 kg (150 lb)) or with saber-toothed cats like Smilodon and the scimitar cat, Homotherium? The saber toothed cat, Smilodon populator, is thought to weigh up to 400 kg (880 lb).

Can you just see the camelid animals such as two species of now extinct llamas and Camelops. And what of the other mammals, two species of bison; stag-moose; the shrub-ox and Harlan’s muskox; the 14 species of pronghorn (of which 13 are now extinct); horses; mammoths and mastodons.

Native horses and camels galloped across the plains of North America. Great teratorn birds with 25-foot wingspans stalked prey.David Polly

When you look up during your time travel excursion to the Pleistocene era, there would be birds such as giant condors and other teratorns soaring in the air overhead. One of these birds, Aiolornis incredibilis (formerly Teratornis incredibilis), of the teratorn family, was the largest known North American capable of flying possessing a wingspan of up to about 5 m (16 ft) and weighing in at 23 kg (51 lb).

Before the Quaternary extinction event there were tapirs; peccaries (Including the long nosed and flat-headed peccaries) and saiga added to the mix.

Walking in the footsteps of the Pleistocene megafauna is quite an adventure! When you are out at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or when you are around and about the afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, both created by the Pleistocene spillway flooding, consider also the Pleistocene mammals that wandered North America, the mastodons, giant condors and sabre toothed cats.

Ongoing analysis will no doubt have a focus on elucidating the successive train of events to better understand the geological conditions of the West Swale.  Philosophers and geologists are tantalized seeking their PhD theses uncovering and hypothesizing upon the wealth of information archived in the West Swale and South Saskatchewan River valley.

The West Swale  reconstruction of the most recent glacial retreat zipped through the Pleistocene geology, leaving us to wonder at the spectacular megafauna of the Pleistocene.  Why are there no longer any Giant Condors, or Mastodons roaming the prairies?  Why did the native North American horses and camels disappear?

Peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding.
– Albert Einstein

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
Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker
Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people
who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all.
– Dale Carnegie