Why We Love Forests (and You Should Too!)

What are a few of the benefits of afforestation areas?

Trees provide semi-wilderness wildlife habitats.   The very nature of the afforestation area helps wildlife and ecosystems to thrive and flourish. The mix of native and exotic trees provide animal homes and sanctuaries as well as food sources.

The afforestation areas play a huge role in mitigating the greenhouse effect.  Forests are carbon sinks, as they absorb Carbon Dioxide from the air, and replenish life giving oxygen.

Afforestation areas create a healthy environment in an urban environment.  City people can reconnect with nature and the outdoors, themselves becoming healthier and happier.  The entire city society benefits from this nature interconnectivity. Richard St. Barbe Baker spoke of spiritual renewal.  Urban city folks such as the Fatlanders Fat Tire Brigade can bicycle or off leash dog walkers can meander on trails enjoying recreational, tourism and educational activities.  Saskatoon Nature Society members ring birds and monitor bird counts, citizen scientists contribute to e-bird  and  i-naturalist Photographers capture the natural beauty and esthetics of the area.

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Afforestation areas do protect land from soil erosion and flooding.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park are two of three afforestation areas in Saskatoon.  These two are located on the south west peri-urban area of the city and are in the West Swale locale.  The West Swale is subject to flooding and holding permanent and temporary wetlands as the Swale is a “low lying” area created from a major Pleistocene floodway channel. The West Swale is a striking geomorphological feature as it provides the historical evolution of the enormous events which happened during the culminating era of proglacial lakes and spillways which formed in central Saskatchewan.  A truly remarkable period in geological history.

Forests provide crucial services for human well-being and economic development. They provide food, freshwater and fuel, support soil formation, regulate floods, climate and diseases, and can fill educational, medicinal, aesthetic and spiritual needs. They stabilize ecosystems, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and supply other goods and services that drive sustainable growth. Yet, forests are under stress from overexploitation, pollution, population pressure and the expansion and intensification of agricultural practices. With the additional impacts of climate change, forests are further threatened, and these adverse events may further impact land quality – leading to biodiversity loss, food insecurity, increased pests, reduced availability of clean water and increased vulnerability to environmental changes.” Luc Bas, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) European Regional Office Director.

 

For more information:

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park with map

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area with map

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

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′
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority at 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 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 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

 

“Our woods and forests, the indispensable lure of our earth organism, are falling into a murderous dance of death
“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.” –Richard St. Barbe-Baker

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Afforestation

Download the Field Guide to the Ecosites of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Forests

What an amazing treasure written by M.S. McLaughlan, R.A. Wright and R.D. Jiricka for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment to provide ecosystem classification and ecological interpretations.

“Ecosystem management is place-based and the boundaries of
the place of concern must be clearly and formally defined.”

“A good understanding of a site’s ecological conditions, the relationship amongst different sites, and the response of those sites to disturbance and time is an important aspect of resource management.” source

So what exactly is an afforestation area?  As is the case with the afforestation areas existing at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the “George Genereux” Urban Regional park?

“Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees (forestation) in an area where there was no previous tree cover.  Many government and non-governmental organizations directly engage in programs of afforestation to create forests, increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, and help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity.”

“Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products.”

“A similar concept, afforestation, another type of forestation, refers to the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forests that may have existed long ago but were deforested or otherwise removed at some point in the past or lacked it naturally (e.g., natural grasslands). Sometimes the term “re-afforestation” is used to distinguish between the original forest cover and the later re-growth of forest to an area. Special tools, e.g. tree planting bars, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster.”

“Deforestation, clearance, or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use.”  “Deforestation imbalances the balance of natural climate which lead to the global warming by increasing the CO2 and decreasing the O2 percentage all across the world.”

“Outside of combat, war efforts had other ecological impacts.  European wheat demand in World War I led to the plowing up of about 6 million hectares of grasslands on the American High Plains and in Canada’s Prairie Provinces.  This helped prepare the way for the dust bowl of the 1930s.  The British War effort in World War II consumed about half of Britain’s forests.  …Frantic drives to raise production of food, fuel, minerals, and other resources led to sharp ecological disruptions in every combatant nation, as did crash road- and railroad- building efforts.” J.R. McNeill; Ideas Matter: A Political History of the Twentieth Century Environment.

“The Last Best West” was the campaign was operated by the Minister of the Interior Clifford Sifton, appointed by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier to oversee settlement of the west.  “Between 1891 and 1914, more than three million people came to Canada, largely from continental Europe, following the path of the newly constructed continental railway.” During this settlement period under the Dominion Lands Act, how many acres were deforested across Saskatchewan?

How many trees deforested during the homestead and immigration area were re-forested?  How many trees deforested to grow Wheat crops for the war effort were re-forested?  Current practices enumerate reforestation methods used in contemporary times, however when Richard St. Barbe Baker worked in the logging camp near Big River, what were the reforestation practices of that era?  Have these trees been re-forested?  Besides carbon sequestration, and the life giving properties of trees, is not history, also, another good reason for creating more afforestation areas?

“The use of afforestation as strategy of conservation of forest biomes is seen as a menace to the conservation of natural grassland and savanna biomes, as the ideal would be the reforestation of areas where forest occurs naturally.”  The trees afforested in Saskatoon were drought resistant species, inclusive of native tree plantings, as well as introduced trees.  With the evolution of the eco-system since 1972 when the afforestation areas were started as tree nurseries, the natural biome of the Saskatoon Plain region in the Moist Mixed Grassland Eco-region is re-asserting itself.

In 1972, Manchurian Elm, and American Elm were afforested, along with hardy drought resistant tree species such as Colorado Blue Spruce, Balsam-poplar, Scotch Pine, and Caragana. If Green Ash, Manitoba Maple or Willow were planted, there was not a large survival rate of these in the afforestation area. Native prairie Trembling Aspen Groves, roses, buffaloberry, and snowberry are mixed within the afforested woodlands.

The City of Saskatoon is fortunate in being a river city, encompassing the South Saskatchewan River.

“Each of the forest type and wetland keys associated with the ecozones uses three primary features to distinguish the most likely ecosite: 1) abiotic condition (e.g. , moisture regime), 2) plant species present on the site, and 3) cover values associated with the plant species. The abiotic condition assessment identified in the keys is primarily used to distinguish between wetland and terrestrial conditions. It relies on the identification of:
  • Depth of organic material,
  • Depth to water table,
  • Permanently frozen condition, and
  • Moisture regime.” source

 

Aspen Parkland  makes up the natural vegetation around Saskatoon sccording to J. Thorpe (Atlas of Saskatchewan Millenium Edition).  The Aspen Parkland features a gradation between grasslands and wooded landscapes.  The predominant woodlands feature Trembling Aspen stands with “Snowberry (Synphoricarpos spp.), rose (Rosa spp), saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia), chokecherry (Prunus virginia) and a variety of Herbs” Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) are interspersed with “eastern” hardwoods, green ash, Manitoba Maple, American Elm, and plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides var. occidentalis).

Saskatoon belongs to the Moist Mixed Grassland Eco-region most specifically, the Saskatoon Plain.  The afforestation areas reside within the West Swale, a wetlands area and a part of the South Saskatchewan River watershed.  The north end of Chappell Marsh, a permanent wetlands, is an invaluable habitat for waterfowl.

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: ***

Professor Laurence Roche

“Never before in the history of man has forestry, both in the developed and developing worlds, attracted so much public attention. Environmental degradation and the decline of forests in industrial countries, the continued destruction of forests in developing countries, and evidence of global climate change have all combined to raise the awareness of politicians, planners, and the media to the vital importance of forests in the well-being of nations, and to the knowledge that in our time, the remnants of natural forest ecosystems, with their great diversity of habitats, are in danger of destruction. “~Laurence Roche[7]

plant-in-person-globe-hand

Professor Laurence Roche, B. Agr., M.A., M.F., Ph.D. [October 20, 1927-November 23, 1999] had never met the world renowned silviculturist Richard St. Barbe Baker, however Roche was an avid reader of the books published by Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D, O.B.E. F.A.I.L., For. Dip. Cantab.,  It was these books, that convinced Laurence Roche to persue a lifetime career in forestry.

Professor Roche born in Wexford, Ireland, had eight siblings. His cousin was the novelist John Banville, and besides devouring works by Baker and novels by Thomas Merton theologian and mystic, Roche was widely read. Considering the same trajectory as Richard St. Barbe Baker, Roche contemplated entering a school of Divinity to become a priest, however Baker’s works inspired Roche to leap feet first, and pursue forestry at Trinity College, Dublin receiving his B.A., B. Agr. [Forestry] in 1960. Roche followed up with a traveling scholarship completing his Masters in Science [1962] and Doctorate from the University of British Columbia [1966].

Roche received postings in both Canada for the Canadian Forest Service and Professor of Forestry and Head, Department of Forestry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria Roche embraced a global view following in the footsteps of Richard St. Barbe Baker. Roche advocated that forests were not isolated economic resources for immediate gain. Tropical forests needed to be viewed and assessed in an ecological and social context, and educated African forestry corps to take a lead in safeguarding their forests.

Working alongside John Bene in 1975, they recommended and established programmes on agrisilviculture in developing countries leading to more efficient land use, programmes to improve the lot of rural forest dwellers, by addressing hunger, shelter and degradation of the environment. John Bene, an indefatiguable Canadian forester and inspiring visionary, initiated priorities on tropical forestry research and lead the way to establish the International Centre for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF) [now known as the Nairobi-based World Agroforestry Centre] in 1977.

“The relationship of populations to their ecosystems is the forest geneticist’s central area of inquiry, and, if he is to gain a fairly complete understanding of these relationships, he must regard the intricate patterns of evolution and coevolution. Therefore, forest genetics engages in ecosystems biology, or, more narrowly, in population biology. ..The environmental conditions that permit a population to survive permanently, and with which this population interacts, today are usually designated as its “ecological niche.” ~Laurence Roche [10]

world-kids-Roche recognized that “almost all tree species studied to date exhibit habitat-correlated, genetically based variation. When the species is distributed over a wide range of environments, variation within a species is often very great. It is this variation, referred to as the genetic resources of the species, which is the basis of evolutionary development, and the starting point for selection and breeding programmes. Such programmes are virtually non-existant for tropical trees. ~ Laurence Roche.[3]”

Following his work with IDRC advisor Bene, to integrate forestry, and agriculture with animal husbandry to optimize tropical forest land use, Roche accepted a position as Professor Department of Forestry and Wood Science, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd.

Roche was the founding father of the “Journal of Forest Ecology and Management,” a peer reviewed periodical focusing on the forest ecology interaction with forest management, alongside innovation and research in the fields of biological, ecological and social issues in regards to the management and conservation of natural forests and their biosphere. Forest Ecology and Management is committed to open access bringing forward new ideas and approaches to forest management, and forest ecology.

The spirit and zeal of Professor Roche continued following his retirement. Though settling down in Madaboy, Murroe, Co. Limerick, Ireland, Roche continued to advocate for the tropical forest, making frequent journeys. Roche also provided counsel to the Food and Agricultural Organisation headquartered in Rome. According to Trevor West, Roche was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole [The Order of Agricultural Merit] in 1991, and was elected an honorary fellow of Trinity College Dublin [TCD] in 1993.

“I had news that an ecological survey was being undertaken in the Sahara, to the North of the Gold Coast, and I learnt that the local tribesmen had been forced by increased desertification to retreat to a small patch of land, the last remaining patch of forest in the area.  There was desert behind them for a thousand miles, and desert to either side of them for a thousand miles, the chiefs had forbidden marriage and the women refused to bear children because the end of the forest was in sight….I was determined that the Kenyans should never have to suffer such an appalling social and ecological disaster.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Forest Ecology and Management  Science to Sustain the World’s Forests Editors-in-Chief: Mark Adams, Dan Binkley, Todd S. Fredericksen, Jean-Paul Laclau, Harri Mäkinen, Cindy E. Prescott, Yowhan Son

2. Major figure in Third World Forestry Sat. Dec. 4, 1999. The Irish Times.

3. Roche, Laurence. Conserving Endangered Tree Species. The Road to Extinction: Problems of Categorizing the Status of Taxa Threatened with Extinction : Proceedings of a Symposium Held by the Species Survival Commission, Madrid, 7 and 9 November 1984
IUCN conservation library International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Editors Richard Fitter, Maisie Fitter Contributors International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Species Survival Commission, United Nations Environment Programme  Edition illustrated. Publisher IUCN, 1987. ISBN 2880329299, 9782880329297

4. Roche, Laurence. Neglected value of green city lungs New Scientist. 8 Sep 1977. Vol. 75, No. 1068. ISSN 0262-4079

5. Roche, Laurence. Report on trhree weeks consultancy in Forest Genetics Resources Conservation, Brazil. Consultant Final Report IICA/Embrapa-Procensul II Publisher Bib. Orton IICA / CATIE. JUne 254-July 14, 1987.

6. Roche, L. Gene Resource Conservation International Union of Forestry Research Organisations (IUFRO) Working Party S2.02.2 L. Roche. Head Department of Forestry University of Ibada, Nigeria.

7. Roche, Laurence “The Profession of Forestry Now and in the Year 2000.” The Commonwealth Forestry Review, vol. 71, no. 1, 1992, pp. 13–19. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/42608498.

8. Roche, Laurence The Professional Forester and the Farmer: One Man’s Experience.” The International Forestry Review, vol. 1, no. 2, 1999, pp. 112–114. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/42609155.

9. Roche, Laurence The Silvicultural Significance of Geographic Variation in the White Engelmann Spruce Complex in British Columbia
The Forestry Chronicle, 1970, 46(2): 116-125, https://doi.org/10.5558/tfc46116-2

10. Stern, Dr. Klaus and Laurence Roche. Genetics of Forest Ecosystems
Volume 6 of Ecological Studies
Edition illustrated. Publisher Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. ISBN 3642655173, 9783642655173. Page 1 and 3.

11. West, Trevor. Roche, Laurence . Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge University Press.

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  😉

MVA Leadership Role

National Non-Profit Day
August 17, 2017

What becomes possible because of the work of the non-profit organisation ~ the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA)?

West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling
West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling

Are you aware of the impact that the MVA has on Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, and worldwide?

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize. Thich Nhat Hanh

On Thursday August 17, 2017, pause and take some time to learn more about the MVA. The MVA provides stewardship along the South Saskatchewan River.

“When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Richard Moriyama, architect and planner, of the 100 Year Conceptual Master Plan of the South Saskatchewan River Environment in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park and the City of Saskatoon, stated that the “first elements of that concept are a unique land and a unique people. The objective is balance. The umbrella idea, the broad concept, is health…the continuing health of the river and all its connected parts  creek, coulee, ravine, slough, aquifer, land and air.”

“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.” Queen Victoria

“Meewasin is recognized world-wide for its leadership in conserving the natural resources of the 6,700 hectares of the Meewasin Valley.”source

If you go out and partake of activities at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area, the South Saskatchewan River Meewasin Trail, the Meewasin Northeast Swale, the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, Cranberry Flats Conservation Area, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the associated afforestation areas in the West Swale, you are appreciating the efforts of the Meewasin Valley Authority.

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” Kristin Armstrong

Though times have been hard, and the budget restraints imposed upon the MVA have seen a cutting of programs, it is only the interpretive centre which closed. The MVA staff and directors are still hard at work conserving sensitive environmental sites, preserving water quality in the South Saskatchewan River, linking and balancing human activity, recreation and enjoyment with a healthy eco-system.

“Take your mind off the problems for a moment, and focus on the positive possibilities. Consider how very much you are able to do.” Ralph Marston

If you like what you see, and have enjoyed the breathtaking aesthetics inherent in the river valley, consider making a donation to the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA Trust Fund). Your donations will help to protect and monitor the West Swale wetlands affording a safe environment for the endangered Northern Leopard Frog. The West Swale is a unique wetlands system, following the pleistocene Yorath Island Spillway from the North Saskatchewan River valley to the South Saskatchewan River valley confluence. iThe afforestation area provides the growing city of Saskatoon the opportunity to walk in a mixed woodlands featuring deciduous and evergreen trees. Mixed forests are generally found at higher elevations, and in a parkland ecoregion, the afforestation area provides a unique setting. The afforestation area encompasses native prairie wild life, native flowers and a plethora of waterfowl and amphibians. The Saskatoon Nature Society has been actively engaged in ringing and  studying birds in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and has included the site in their new book Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon“. The West Swale and the associated afforestation areas embrace both multifacted nature viewing opportunities, as well as an amazing geological adventure into time.

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”― Tim Fargo

Find out more about the Meewasin Valley Authority. Take some time and explore the “George Genereux” afforestation area, Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area, the southwest off leash recreation area, and the woodlands east of the off leash dog park this summer, then you will realize how your donation to the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA Trust Fund) can truly make a difference!

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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

Images of St. Barbe, credit
University of Saskatchewan,
University Archives & Special Collections,
Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

What is an afforestation area?

From water and earth we came, and the future of mankind on this planet will be determined by respectful or disrespectful treatment of these basic elements. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The present is full of opportunity. Never before in the history of the planet has mankind been given the privileges and opportunities that are at his disposal today. A great light has been raised and is penetrating the darkness of the world, but alas, too many with dust blinded eyes have yet to catch the vision. Some of us have. That is our privilege and our responsibility. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

What is an afforestation area?  Afforestation is the planting of trees upon land which have not contained trees previously.

Reforestation, on the other hand, is the reforestation of an existing forest which has been depleted usually because of deforestation.

Deforestation is the removal of a forest to make use of the land as farms, ranches, or neighbourhoods.

So in the case of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the Afforestation Area Formerly known as George Genereux Park, the lands were part of  the aspen parkland biome. Aspen parkland refers to a very large area of transitional biome between prairie and boreal forest.  Aspen parkland consists of groves of aspen poplars and spruce interspersed with areas of prairie grasslands, also intersected by large stream and river valleys lined with aspen-spruce forests and dense shrubbery. This is the largest boreal-grassland transition zone in the world and is a zone of constant competition and tension as prairie and woodlands struggle to overtake each other within the parkland.

Because of afforestation, the area possesses a miraculous, and fully established mixed wood forest featuring both deciduous and evergreen trees.  It is common in the Saskatchewan eco-system to not behold a mixed forest of this stature unless one is north of the tree line or at Cypress Hills park, as both these areas are at a higher elevation.  To have a mature mixed forest with gorgeous canopy, full understorey, rich and vibrant semi-wilderness wildlife habitat corridor along with wetlands inclusive of Chappell Marsh with emergent fauna  is a true blessing and good fortune within the boundary limits of the City of Saskatoon.  This is a tribute to the City of Saskatoon parks department and the great insight of a great man, named Bert Wellman Saskatoon Director of Planning and Development who had a vision for a green belt to embrace and grace Saskatoon.

From water and earth we came, and the future of mankind on this planet will be determined by respectful or disrespectful treatment of these basic elements. ~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

Facebook: Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

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

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Do one thing!

“When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer have perished.”~~ Theodore Roosevelt

Do one thing!

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020

“Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.”
~~Wordsworth

What is educating yourself in biodiversity good for? To ruminate on such knowledge fosters the power of careful observation and clear expression. Is it only to find the name and order of a plant, but its structure, its habits, its life in short, as untouched by mankind? Know now that Nature, herself, is the best text-book. What can be told upon observation of the most obvious things seen locally, the things which can be seen and handled, and experimented upon naturally, without artificial aids?  This is to develop the inherent pleasure in the the recognition of the things seen day to day ~ on a first name basis.

What else there is there in the world besides plants? Are there not three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral? Within these kingdoms are classifications; organic and inorganic. An organ (Εργον, meaning work) is any part that does a special work, as the leaves, the stem of a plant, and the eye, the ear of animals. An organism is a living being made up of such organs. The inorganic world contains the mineral kingdom; the organic world includes the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

That being said, there is no real division between animals and plants. Perhaps it is easy to say that plants are fixed to one place, while animals can move about; that plants have no will or consciousness, and that animals have. These answers are true when we compare the higher animals with plants, but the differences become lost as we descend in the scale and approach the border land where botanist and zoologist meet on a common ground. Sea-anemones are fixed to the rock on which they grow, while some of the lower plants are able to move from place to place, and it is hardly safe to affirm that a jelly-fish is more conscious of its actions than is a Sensitive Plant, the leaves of which close when the stem is touched.

Life alone brings forth life, and we are as far as ever from understanding its nature. Around our little island of knowledge, built up through the centuries by the labor of countless workers, stretches the infinite ocean of the unknown.
Are you on a first name basis with nature?  Being on a first name basis means knowing them very well; being good friends….

For this great friend of mankind, for your friend Mother Nature, for the afforestation area ~ do one thing! Do one thing today! What is it you wish to do to preserve biodiversity? (click here for suggestions)

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“I became intoxicated with the beauty all around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all….I had entered the temple of the woods.~~ “Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer have perished.”~~ Theodore Roosevelt

Each species on our planet plays a role in the healthy functioning of natural ecosystems, on which humans depend.~~ William H. Schlesinger

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

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

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

Call to Action!

pray to God that I remain to be just to the earth under my feet, to my neighbour, and my inner conscience”. Richard St. Barbe Baker

Call to Action!
United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020

“Ask any Canadian kid to name the world’s most endangered ecosystem, and chances are you’ll hear one of the following answers: 1) rainforests; 2) coral reefs; 3) leave me alone.by Dan Kraus” However, the answer, from The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, declared temperate grasslands as the world’s most endangered ecosystem. Bob Peart Saskatchewan in the middle of Canada’s plains, is the home of the temperate grasslands.

What is biodiversity anyways?  “Bio” is a prefix meaning life as in plants and animals or flora and fauna. Diversity means a variety. Biodiversity, therefore is a mix of flora and fauna which includes species diversity, ecosystem diversity, and genetic diversity, and their interrelationship with each other as they don’t live in a vacuum.

Right now is the Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020. What are you doing to preserve Saskatchewan’ temperate grasslands, the world’s most endangered ecoystem? How are you caring for Canada’s Biodiversity? What can you do?

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is unique with riparian afforested mixed woodlands, native aspen bluffs, the Chappell marsh wetlands eco-system, and tall grass prairie ~ an amazing semi-wilderness wildlife habitat rich in biodiversity within the City of Saskatoon. And check out the neighbouring afforestation area formerly named George Genereux Park, and its bio-diversity.

1./  “Biodiversity education begins with learning. Discover the names of the trees, birds, native plants and insects that share” the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area.1

2./ “Once you know a little more, get out and experience the wonders of life’s diversity. Visit a local park. Take an afternoon hike through the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. 2

3./ “Do Something: Finally, get involved! Make changes to your lifestyle which reduce your impact on the planet, or become a ‘citizen scientist’ and join others in contributing to our collective understanding of the world around us!” Included in the bibliography are a plethora of sites ~ a literal swarm of activities to get youth involved as a parent or a teacher, or perhaps you are  a kid or citizen scientist interested in saving the world around you.

Have you ever hugged a tree?
Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know
that it is not only that
you have hugged the tree
but that the tree also responds,
the tree also hugs you.
– Osho

BIBLIOGRAPHY: What can you do? Here are a few ideas….
Biodiversity. Environment. Government of Saskatchewan.

Biodiversity. 1996-2017 National Geographic Society.

Bug Blitz. A biodiversity workshop for kinds (Australia) Bugs aren’t for squishing, bugs are for appreciating. Love thy bug! Facebook page.

Biodiversity for kids NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Biodiversity in Saskatchewan. | What you can do Saskatchewan EcoNetwork.

Canada Youth Action Guide for Agenda 21 designed for young people, parents and educators. Carla Doucet, National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, and Student focus groups across Canada.

Children and Youth. Global Youth Biodiversity Network, Youth, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals, Join the Green Wave One School, One Tree, One Gift to Nature! CBD Secretariat Convention on Biological Diversity.

Earth Rangers Saskatchewan initiatives. “Earth Rangers is a registered Canadian charity whose mission is to educate kids about the importance of biodiversity and empower them to protect animals and their habitat. ”

EcoLeague } Sustainability Classroom Resources at Resources for ReThinking Our Canada Project. 2017 Learning for a Sustainable Future. LSF

Ecology for Kids. Summer kids Camps. ” Kids will visit scientists, study rocks, fossils, plants, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and Saskatchewan Endangered Species, and then undertake environmentally friendly projects to help them! ” University of Saskatchewan.

Homes on the Range: Conservation in Working Prairie Landscapes. Prairie Conservation and
Endangered Species Conference and Workshop 2007.

Kids Activities. “Water Watchdog Activities! Water Watchdog Origami Activity. Water Watchdog Word Find. Water Footprint, Water Detective. Play Catchment Detox! ScienceSeekers: Wetlands. Wetlands Activity! Biodiversity: A Data Discovery Game.” Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Kids Right To Know. One planet for all All for one planet. Environment Canada.

Gone Wild for Wildlife: Learning more about preserving Saskatchewan biodiversity | Gone Wild for Wildlife The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Global News.

Just for kids Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre.

KAWS Animal Rescue. Because Kritters are Worth Saving!

Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources through the Green Classroom. Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

Macdonald, Cam. Where do you want to go birding in Saskatchewan today?
Mitchell, Kathi. Biodiversity for Kids Mrs. Mitchell’s Virtual School

Morrisey, Beth MLIS Biodiversity and Nature. Quizzes, puzzles, and activities. Ecofriendly Kids

Nature at work. Why Biodiversity is important to you. Environment Canada. Government of Canada.

Northeast Swale Northeast Swale Watchers

Peart, Bob. Life in a Working Landscape: Towards a Conservation Strategy for the World’s Temperate Grasslands. 2008 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared temperate grasslands as the world’s most endangered ecosystem. A Record of The World Temperate Grasslands Conservation Initiative Workshop Hohhot, China – June 28 & 29, 2008 August 2008.

On the Prairie – Games 2017 by the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan.

Preserving Rare ecosystems and biodiversity in Canada. | Saskatchewan’s Underappreciated Trails Nature Canada.

Protecting Biodiversity. Endangered Species Legislation. Wildlife and Habitat. Issues. David Suzuki Organization.

Resources for Educators “Wetland Centres of Excellence. Project Webfoot. Earn Wetland Hero Status. Duck Detectives.” Ducks Unlimited.

Resources. School Ground Greening resources, Teacher’s Corner, Community greening resources, food growing resources, native plant database. Evergreen Canada.

Robin, Michael. Responsible pet ownership crucial to saving salamander and newt biodiversity “The fate of the world’s richest biodiversity of salamanders and newts is in the hands of pet owners across North America, said Natacha Hogan, an environmental toxicologist specializing in amphibians at the University of Saskatchewan. ” May 30, 2016. University of Saskatchewan.

Sage Grouse Initiative SGI Wildlife Conservation Through Sustainable Ranching. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) initiative.

Saskatoon Nature Society Kids in Nature Grant Program

Saskatoon Zoo Society. | Young Naturalists. Events for kids.

Saskatchewan’s Ecoregions Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre

What is Biodiversity? Helping Biodiversity in your Own Backyard ~ create a Certified Wildlife Habitat! National Wildlife Federation.
What is biodiversity? Education and Awareness | What can you do? Biodiv Canada. The Canadian
Biodiversity Strategy. Government of Canada.

Dan Kraus, Dan. Why Canada’s Prairies are the world’s most endangered ecosystem. Land Lines The Nature Conservancy of Canada. October 24, 2016

Why is biodiversity so important Ted Ed 2011-2017 The Kid Should See This

Wild About Saskatoon Spring festival

Q: How is a dog and an ornithologist alike?
A: One wags a tail and the other tags a Gadwall (Waterfowl or Duck).

I pray to God that I remain to be just to the earth under my feet, to my neighbour, and my inner conscience”. 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

Q: How did the herpetologist know he would be married soon? A: He caught the garter snake.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***