“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.”
Many towns, cities and communities are taking part in Arbor Week celebrations to appreciate trees and their many benefits.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.
“Celebrate by taking a walk in the park, head out to a local forest or just notice the trees in your community and even on the street that you live on,” Saskatchewan Minister of the Environment Vicki Gauthier said. “Just have some appreciation for all the hard work that they are doing for us.”
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date! Canada Helps
Bloom where you are planted. Afforested in 1972, the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas have become home to native plants of Saskatchewan. The forest provides a unique biome, and soil for even the rarest of species.
Small Yellow Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium parviflorum Courtesy James St. John cc2-0
Rose in the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Right now, write down 20 things you are grateful for in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park.
What are five ways the afforestation areas can help you find health and happiness?
How old are the old-growth areas of the afforestation areas? How many trembling aspen bluffs are there? Are there other trees which were not afforested?
“There is no mystery about the succession of forest-growths, nothing in Nature is more plain and simple. We cannot but admire her wisdom, economy and justness, compensating in another direction for any disadvantage a species may have to labor under. Every kind of tree has an interesting history in itself. Seeds with a hard shell, or with a pulpy and resinous covering, which retards their germination, are often saved from becoming extinct by these means.” Mr. Robert Douglas, horticulturalist and forestry consultant.
To celebrate Arbor Day this Friday May 22, 2020 virtually, Coloring Page 2, a pdf file for free download. (preview first) In this free coloring page, there is also a puzzle. Can you find the two birds in the tree? When you are out walking can you find the birds in the trees, and spot the woodpeckers?
Starting Sunday May 17 and continuing on until Sunday May 24, is arbor week. Richard St. Barbe Baker..said to a lady once who wanted to plant a tree in his honour, “Madam, don’t plant a tree, plant a wood.” And here, in Saskatoon, we have planted an afforestation area named in honour of Richard St. Barbe Baker, biologist and botanist, environmental activist and author.
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog
Trembling Aspen grove Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands , Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
“Landscape painting is the thoughtful and passionate representation of the physical conditions appointed for human existence. It imitates the aspects, and records the phenomena, of the visible things which are dangerous or beneficial to men; and displays the human methods of dealing with these, and of enjoying them or suffering from them, which are either exemplary or deserving of sympathetic contemplation.~John Ruskin”
A new story unfolds. At the meeting of Wednesday evening March 29, a group of interested stakeholders and stewards came together to discuss the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It was appreciated that new faces were brought into the mix, and a new development unravelled.
Amid the conversation, a new strategy came forward by the councillor for Ward 2, Hilary Gough. This topic was to network and tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at the citizen level. Getting the story out there looks to embrace the single key concept which came forward time and time again during the meeting from all users and all stakeholders; the need to respect the Afforestation Area.
Just as a painter, needs must, as they paint the landscape, choose; so too must a story teller choose. The painter can either show that which is dangerous to man, and relates the story of those suffering from that phenomena, or the painter shows that which is beneficial to man, and the painting’s story is told of people benefiting or taking enjoyment from the painting’s narrative.
As the several groups and people go forward from the meeting of Wednesday night, which story will they paint as they tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? Will all the individual painters network the tale which shows respect for the afforestation area? Pause a moment, consider truly, what words you choose to paint the picture you personally desire which show simply and easily this; a healthy respect of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Pass this story forward.
As the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area reach out to those experienced in that art of “painting a picture”, it is amazing what is learned in the process. Study the City urban planning department plans, brochures and websites of the City of Saskatoon, Ducks Unlimited and the MVA where thoughtful planners examine the situation from many angles, and far reaching visions. Soon it is seen that a common theme comes forward. Lean towards that which is positive. Lean towards that which respects the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, mitigate that which does not show respect.
The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and a whopping 380,000 by 2035. Cities of this size have growing pains, and things may get complicated if there is no philosophy and no idea of where they are going.
There are undoubtedly challenges and opportunities along the path of getting to where we want to be. However where there are thoughtful planners who give time and consideration to a variety of aspects which are therefore seen on the brochures, facebook pages, websites and media conferences, everyone catches the spirit of where the planners are going and it is uplifting. Readers feel good about the very words presented .
The meeting was an opportunity to hear the old story, the one that is being left behind. The old story shows no respect for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The meeting was an opportunity to replace problems with what feels good and what feels right. The various individuals present at the meeting spoke to methodologies and plans as to how to best respect the afforestation area in their group collective philosophies and desires as well as in their personal individual hopes and dreams.
By the simple act of respect, it is exhilarating to be in the afforestation area and look for positive aspects which fulfill everyone’s concepts of how best to respect the afforestation area. It is wonderful to make peace with opportunities for a thriving and healthy afforestation experience.
The City of Saskatoon report for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from The Community Services Department supported a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”
To turn back time to 1991, this very goal was conceptualized in a plan from the MVA to create wildlife habitat, complement and enhance the riverbank setting, and increase ecological diversity. A selection of flora species are selected and planted in patterns indigenous to the prairie/parkland eco-zone compatable with soil, drainage and topographic characteristics. Create a legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker. The concept promotes all non-motorized activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, horseback riding, nature appreciation, environmental and outdoor education alongside scientific research [to paraphrase the plan].
Everyone plays a part in identifying a vision for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The vision provides the direction of growth and engagement by current and future visitors and users of the afforestation area. Everyone in the meeting was of a consensus that it is time to let go of the old drama which showed a lack of respect, and when at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area let go of the old story.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is not a baseball diamond nor basketball court with clearly defined painted lines and usage ~ the afforestation area is complicated. The afforestation area embraces a framework of diverse users who incorporate new and exciting methods to appreciate and respect the afforestation area. Side by side recreation groups sat beside planners, sat beside environmental and conservation groups, sat beside community associations, sat beside off leash recreation area users, and together everyone agreed and spoke in peace and harmony of the mutual desire to respect the afforestation area.
Creating a plan for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area identifies land use, servicing, transportation, alongside a visionary identification of possible uses while embracing the vision of Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, and A.E. Ligtemoet, Saskatoon parks department. The afforestation area was conceptualized to enhance the City of Saskatoon as a green city. The parks department acted to preserve the afforestation area in perpetuity. Embracing a respect for the afforestation area fulfills both these early movements.
As users and stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, it is imperative to recognize our philosophy on a personal individual level. Lean towards that which is positive to embrace the respect of the afforestation area. A general meeting consensus was that it is truly time to make peace with where we are collectively and tell the new story, and find ways to leave the old story behind.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is being cared for by the MVA Stewards of the South Saskatchewan River Valley. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is in the hands of urban city planners who also follow appropriate and correct processes to cover a wide gamut and variety of contingencies and identify a direction. Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting to hear the City of Saskatoon vision from Hilary Gough, Councillor of Ward 2, and together, now we can all rest in the knowledge that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and South West Sector future growth and plans will, indeed, respect the afforestation area.
PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou contest very near to us through thy Trees.
From them we have beauty, wisdom, love,
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
the food we eat and the strength.
Help us, Oh God!
to give our best to life
and leave the world
a little more beautiful and worthy
of having lived in it.
Prosper thou our planting
and establish thy kingdom of love
and understanding on the Earth.
Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker
It is not a farce.…”To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” ~Terry Tempest Williams