“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
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.
For more information:
P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map
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!
|Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $20.00 CAD -monthly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD
What was Richard St. Barbe Baker’s mission, that he imparted to the Watu Wa Miti, the very first forest scouts or forest guides? To protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.
“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