How? Recreation in harmony with wildlife.

Is it possible and How?

“Every trail can’t be all things to all people but all trails can play beneficial roles. Trails play roles in the economy, play roles in the environment and perhaps most importantly, play roles in our health.*” Trails have the capacity to provide connectivity, economic benefits, education potential, environmental interpretation, health, heritage, and recreation. Trails can also focus on just interpretive trails. Trails may be made solely for recreation without awareness of the environment. Those people focusing on the lack of Vitamin “N” in the urban population, may construct trails for education and health, and not focus on a wide variety of recreation. Then there are those trails which with planning and foresight have the capacity to combine many features for an audience of skiiers, classrooms of snowshoers, groups of fat bicycle riders, and nature enthusiasts who come to the forest to band birds. Trails invite people and increase the human footprint. Is it at all possible for trails to provide health benefits of recreation and to conserve the footprint of birds and wildlife at the same time?

Trails can be constructed to encircle biospheres, and trails can loop around and create length for an exercise workout. Ecosystems in the afforestation area vary widely. Prairie gives way to permanent class IV wetlands, in turn cycles to Aspen Parkland bluffs, which at the next turn reveals implanted and afforested trees. Native grasslands mix with modified grasslands. Native trees combine with afforested mature tree plantings. Shallow temporary floodplains flow with intermittent streams between marsh areas.

Abandoned roadways in the afforestation area formerly allowed motorized vehicle travel east and west. Newly created trails create greenways through the forest biome itself.

“‘Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind’ helps trail planners and builders balance the benefits of creating trails with being stewards of nature and wildlife habitat.” How does one make a bicycle path appropriate for a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat? What are some guidelines for being aware of wildlife, aquatic areas, and environmental impacts and consequences? Can trails be designed in the winter months without an awareness of the spring, summer and fall biosphere? How can trails enrich greenways, and the wildlife, while still providing a recreational experience? Are there impacts of trails on the nesting site of deer families, and fawns? What is the view from the bird’s nest with an increase of trail users in a forest?

Is it possible that a greenway concept or trail design, that the flora and fauna of wetlands and woodlands can thrive alongside people in nature? What types of design considerations and awareness of the biodiversity are required? Trail and corridor planning has the capacity to provide ecologically sustainable trails for a city urban footprint. Trails can protect environmental resources, if the natural eco-system is e

valuated, and considered.

However, that being said, trails can focus only on recreational aspects, and those benefits. Trails can be indeed fantastic ways to enjoy winter recreation. Once built, the same trails over the spring, summer and fall months, have opened up the wildlife habitat to people. There is no doubt about it, the winter recreation trails don’t disappear along with the snow melt.

Do these trails bring people into the environment with minimal environmental impact? What happens on a winter trail in the summer?  Do the trails provide the tourist with the capacity for educational, scenic or interpretive opportunity year round? Can all vegetation be linked with a greenway corridor, or are there species which do not thrive around a trail? Similarly what species of animals will make homes, reproduce, and live in the same habitat as trails? Can this be accomplished, or does it become an either or? Is it a choice to choose between trails and a variety of fauna, or can they exist together? Do trails include the biosphere of flora and fauna species and therefore enhance the environment?

How do challenging bicycling and hiking trails compare to a shorter interpretive or nature trail? Is the area only large enough for recreational trails, and the park should only be open in the winter, and close up for the other seasons? Can recreational winter trails, afford environmentally friendly trails during other seasons?

Trails dig deep into a woodland, when a trail transects through a forest what are the impacts on the woodland animals, and birds? Do botanists work alongside trail planners to know which areas are sensitive and which would thrive with trails?

Trails are amazing things, a well-designed trail has minimal devastation to the vegetation, are easy to hike, bicycle, ski and snowshoe.  However it may possibly be that protecting the vegetation, is not the sole responsibility when trail planning when providing a minimum impact onto an eco-system. Again, trails are truly amazing things, providing people with an opportunity to bicycle in nature, hike, showshoe, ski, or band birds. Alongside the vegetation, good trail planning will consider the seasons and the urban footprint all year round. If a winter ski trail is created in one area of a biome, will this impact where a deer gives birth to a fawn in the spring? When a winter trail loops through a forest, will that have a ripple effect on species of birds nesting over the summer?

Eco-tourism is wonderful. A healthy and active outdoor lifestyle is absolutely marvelous. Having the capacity to celebrate a semi-wilderness habitat in the city is remarkable. What is the way to make these concepts mutally inclusive? How can winter trail networks live in harmony with semi-wilderness wildlife habitats? This question begs the need to know what wildlife habitats exist, which species live where. Where do the nature enthusiasts band their birds? Where do the deers nest their fawns? If these questions are answered, the biosphere, is truly enhanced with trails, and the next generation of skiiers, snowshoers, hikers, and bicyclers will also be handed a glimpse of a deer, and the grandchildren of the bird-banders, will also be able to band birds alongside the same trails.  Wouldn’t that be fantastic if many generations of recreational enthusiasts, could have a grand time celebrating winter, and that their great grandchildren may also see a deer in a city forest?  Is it possible and how can it be accomplished? The question now is how?

BIBLIOGRAPHY
* Benefits of Trails Hike Ontario.

Trails, Bike and Hike: Inpsiring a Healthy Environment Upper Thams River Conservation Authority. Parks Recreation and Natural Areas.

National Trails Training Partnership Wildlife and environment impacts and benefits of Trails and Greenways.

Benefits of Trails | Rails to Trails

Enhancing the Environment with Trails and Greenways. Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Trails in Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

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

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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White stripes and spots ~ Spring arrives

“In the wealth of the woods since the world began
The trees have offered their gifts to man.”~Henry Van Dyke

“From Our Hearts With Our Hands For The Earth All The World Together”

~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The fawn trembled on legs so new and untried

A tiny fawn no more than two hours old, sighed;

awakening to the world with  wide-eyed wonder.

Opening, grasping the golden light
Which weaves its way through caragana leaves
To my heart’s delight

Soft as a cloud, the fawn surrendered to the new day.

The fawn trembled on legs so new and untried,

Soon to gracefully arrive, noble astride

The ablest spirits fleet of foot. stay then away.

White stripes and spots mark the young of all white-tailed deer

press closer to its mother, abating all fear

If innocency herself should write,

Soft orange-brown coats spotted with white,

The fawn’s  story would  unfold

soft and sweet to behold

Is ever there an emblem of innocence so appropriate as a fawn

That my love has dawned and rose again,

There was no doubt about it, the transcendent charms

They were pretty creatures, these baby deer, gentle and meek.

A touch so keen, to wake such love of life

As stirs the frail and careful being, who here,

full of grace and timidity and cast around with beauty.

And come around  those innocent great brown eyes.

the slender legs, the swinging stride

Was nought but graceful beauty personified.

In this state of innocency did I but see

Some gracious thought may be;

the fawn and doe, enveloped in care and tenderness

to follow  only the prompting of innocent nature

playful and innocent, and tenderness  which bound all hearts.

Oh the love that knows no end; with drops of dew,

The weary heart’s faithful friend.

Teach me more clearly of Thy life and love anew.

The Baby Deer.  A Fawn so dear.

“In the wealth of the woods since the world began
The trees have offered their gifts to man.”~Henry Van Dyke

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.
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

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Dream lofty dreams

Trees worked for millions of years to make it possible for man to come on this planet.

When speaking of the trees planted in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and those wooded areas with native growth, which tree is the loftiest of them all?

  • American Elm Ulmus americana a deciduous tree 20-25 meter (66 – 82 feet) tall.Green Ash Fraxinux pennsyvica a deciduous tree 12 m (39 feet) tall.
  • Balsam Poplar (Black Poplar) Populus Balsamifera deciduous tree reaching on occasion 25 m tall however usually 10-15 meters (33 – 39 feet).
  • Trembling Aspen Populus tremuloides a native deciduous tree usually 20 meters tall, but can reach 30 meters (98 feet) in height.
  • Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila. A deciduous tree. 10-20 meters (33 – 66 feet) in height.
  • Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L. coniferous tree up to 35 meters (115 feet) in height, though an exception may reach higher than 45 meters (148 feet).
  • Blue spruce, (green spruce, white spruce, Colorado spruce, or Colorado blue spruce), Picea pungens is a columnar evergreen conifer which may grow 23 meters (75 feet) in its native habitat, however when planted it usually grows to about 15 meters (49 feet) tall.
  • RSBBAA0050

At the moment the Balsam Poplar seems to be the tree reaching lofty heights at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Though statistically, the Scots pine can extend higher in its reach, the Scots pine is a slower growing tree than the Balsam Poplar. With the canopy of the Balsam poplar, this tree also has an impressive, and grand stature in this urban regional park with its extraordinary canopy of leaves. Towering above the caragana, snowberry bushes, and roes, the Balsam Poplar is a grand sight with its yellow leaves in the autumn. The Balsam poplar attracts moose, deer,and other ungulates, and it is true that the Richard St. Barbe Baker has become a nurturing environment for White tail deer and Mule deer. Bees also hover to the Balsam poplar using the resin obtained from the buds to waterproof their hives. The eco-system at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, is an amazing aspen parkland system set into the West Swale with picturesque wetlands. The planted trees of the afforestation area, and the geological features of the west Swale combine to prevent the surrounding city of Saskatoon and RM of Corman Park 344 land areas from excessive flooding during years and seasons with high water tables.

white-tailed-deer-934512

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. ~ James Allen

Trees worked for millions of years to make it possible for man to come on this planet. Yet man, who owns his presence on this Earth to trees, has been cutting, burning, greedily and recklessly. He has turned the forest into desert, until today we are faced not only with a timber famine, but with a food famine. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

IMG_7515

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′
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