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?

* 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:

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





1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***


Shaping Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Saskatoon is changing. It’s how we manage change that is important.

As plans were being made to organise the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up, the City of Saskatoon Shaping Saskatoon concept made a huge impact.

Online, the City of Saskatoon Communication Division invites feedback from the residents of Saskatoon in order that the various and several departments may make informed and wise decisions in management and design of civic services.

What is Shaping Saskatoon all about? This is where projects and discussions undertaken by the City of Saskatoon are presented for feedback from the public. “The more public input we receive the better Shaping Saskatoon can become.”~source

Projects such as the Active Transportation Plan are outlined online. The City of Saskatoon has designed unique surveys. Ongoing discussions on a wide variety of subjects come online.

The very marvelous thing is that to get involved in shaping Saskatoon, as a citizen of this fair city, there is also an invitation to email communication division and share your feedback; “Better services start with you.”source

Please take time to view the Saskatoon Speaks You Tube video inviting you to make comments about what is important to you as the City of Saskatoon grows to 1/2 million by the year 2023.

Over the next few days, the results of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up will come online – how many kilograms of trash removed, how many tires were removed, were there any needles found, what else was uncovered during the clean up, what was the most interesting thing found during the clean up, what were the numbers of volunteers engaged in the clean up, and where did the volunteers come from?

A number of community associations in the south west area of the city of Saskatoon were contacted to help get the word out about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up, in addition to environmental green groups. Youth groups and churches were contacted who kindly placed the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up in their newsletters and mentioned the clean up at their meetings. Sports and bicycle groups were engaged in the planning process.

What were the results of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? What was discovered and found out about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and what will follow the clean up effort which began with the set up at 6:30 a.m., volunteers arrived at 8:00 a.m. and the clean up effort lasted until the tires were deposited for recycling at 5:30 p.m. with the last of the volunteers arriving home around 6:30 p.m. to unload the tents, banners, signs, and tables sitting down for supper at 7:00 p.m. It was a day in which the weather cooperated, and there was not a stitch of rain. Please stay posted as to what happened during this 13 hour day, and what is planned next for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

After months of planning, which began in May of 2016, to remove the trash from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area On July 9, 2016 to celebrate the well established trees and forest of this urban regional park area what will happen next?. Following months of organising to restore the West Swale wetlands, what will be the follow up?  With community engagement and feedback from community associations, hamlet residents, bicycle enthusiasts, environmental green groups for the clean up of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, what will be the results?  Upon discovering that the riparian forest and West Swale wetlands are home to the uncommon Mountain Bluebird, to find out that the wetlands are a unique habitat for the Ruddy Duck, after sighting flocks of Sandhill Cranes which quite often have flying alongside them the Whooping Crane, what are the plans for this one of a kind wildlife habitat corridor?

“Saskatoon is changing. It’s how we manage change that is important.”
Source Growing Forward

“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.” ~ 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
Web page:
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 MVA 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker