Man of Trees winter trail network

How can we encourage more people to get outside, get active and get together over the winter months in Saskatoon?~Eric Westberg COS

In 2015, members of the Fatlanders FatTire Brigade (FFTB) discover the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area and start to use existing trails for winter recreational snow biking. Through January to March 2016 the (FFTB) groom trails using showshoes to gauge the effectiveness of this method of making trails. The FFTB is quite enthusiastic, and wish to pursue a formal trail network in this flat land area. Several bicycle enthusiasts prefer these trails over and above the technical trails in existence along the riverbank.

FFTB submits proposal to the City of Saskatoon (COS) Open Spaces Consultants for discussion of a “Man of Trees“ winter trail network. It is noticed by the FFTB that the City of Saskatoon initiates a Winter City Strategies Initiative for the City of Saskatoon. The City of Saskatoon is currently in growing Winter City YXE and they are in the planning and development stage “to make winter in our city great!” Jeff Hehn, ambassador for the FFTB, brings to the city the FFTB proposal to embrace a winter strategy that could increase outdoor winter recreation.

The FFTB proposal suggests that the groomed winter trail network would encourage fat biking, cross-country skiing, skijourning, snow shoeing, horse back riding, winter hiking, and sliding snowshoeing recreational activities.

The “Man of the Trees” trail network, is stated to have the potential to improve winter tourism amenities for the City of Saskatoon in this proposal. An emerging recreational activity known as fat biking is on the rise. Fat bikes are specialized for winter biking and riding upon snow. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, slide snowshoeing, skijoring, hiking, and horseback riding all benefit from the grooming of a winter trail network.

As part of this winter tail network, it is imperative that motorized vehicles do not have egress to the park, as vehicles undo the work done by those actively engaged in grooming the paths. The FFTB have been in this way: actively engaged as stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area while at the same time advocating for the winter trail network.

Further to the newly installed barriers, the FFTB continue to raise money for the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)” to fully support the erection of gates and barriers at any areas where vehicles may enter the afforestation area. With motorized vehicles, thus restricted, there is no doubt that it is very much easier to create trails to fat bicycle in the afforestation area, and keep them well groomed.

If you are ever out in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and wonder about the newly created trails they have been the passion of Jeff Hehn and the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade.  Consider this, is the man of the trails network an an outlier in regards to the environment issues being an observation point that is distant from other environmental observations  Or is the man of the trails network a means to observe and appreciate the flora and fauna with a healthy respect for their habitat and provides a means of proceeding with respect through the afforestation area with the least amount of impact on the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat.

Meetings have resulted in a sharing of  information and an increase of awareness between the viewpoints of  these diverse stakeholders, who share the mutual goals and desires in regards to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area to mitigate illegal trespass and the appreciation and respect of the afforestation area.

It is fantastic that the City of Saskatoon recognizes and supports two initiatives for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area; the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and 380,000 by 2035.  It is truly an honour to know that the City of Saskatoon takes the biodiversity of this ecological area seriously.  The various stakeholders have been in contact with the City along the way regarding both the environment as well as the FatLanders Fattire Brigade pitched the Winter Trail Network – a Winter City YXE proposal.  As the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is across Cedar Villa road from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, it is fitting and fantastic that the herds of deer, waterfowl, small mammals and amphibians are considered alongside the wetlands, native and modified woodlands and grasslands when creating human plans and recreation activities in the home and habitat of the native wildlife.

Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational capacities the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Without trails, humans just cannot interact with nature, however with too many trails and other forms of human intervention, nature just simply cannot interact with humans.  The wise deliberation on the ecological footprint is a wonderful recommendation at the outset of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area human development process at a time when the human footprint in the afforestation area increases exponentially.  With forethought now as to wise and considerate placement of trails and human activities in a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, it just may be that humans and nature can peacefully co-exist now and in the future.  Wouldn’t it be a fantastic experience as it is today, that in 2035 as well, when the city reaches a population of 380,000 grandchildren and great grandchildren can see waterfowl, deer, amphibians and other wildlife within the city limits at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area without the only urban recourse of going to a zoo?  Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here, zoos are fantastic, however, don’t you agree it is a treasure to have a preserved afforestation area affording a natural environment for human activities alongside the urban zoo.  Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational opportunities within a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

…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

Sidenote:
As Richard St. Barbe Baker had once the nick name “Man of the Trees” this trail network, is thus named by the FFTB. The multi-use trail network is of course open and available to those who are not men.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Giles, David. City of Saskatoon offering free winter activities Global News.


Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that
New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture
CBC news January 2017

Things to do in Winter in Saskatoon. Tourism Saskatoon

WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy City of Saskatoon

Winte City Strategy Breakfast March 15, 2017

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
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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

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