True Heroes of the Afforestation Area

What are you doing this April 22, Earth Day?

In life there is a continuous succession of first impressions and adventures.

Why do we smile when a child puts on a man’s hat? The usual reply to such questions is, that laughter results from a perception of incongruity.

It is truly incongruous indeed that the afforestation area is besought with illegal trespass, however this is no laughing matter. No chuckle comes forward, only dismay, bewilderment, and nay even disgust that a forest should receive the dumping of trash, and environmental polluting.

However, to the rescue comes the RM of Corman Park 344 establishing posts, locks and chains to mitigate illegal trespass to the southern perimeter. Adjoining the RM are the Fat bike fatlanders brigade with their own volunteer labour securing the east side of the afforestation area near the Civic Operations Centre (City of Saskatoon bus barns) with a bollards, gate and “gently used” Jersey Barriers. The City of Saskatoon joins the ranks with their attention to the stakeholder’s interests, the additional “gently used” Jersey Barriers, the existing no dumping/no trespassing signs and the orange vehicle barriers.

This is not the least, the Saskatoon City Police, Warman RCMP force and the Corman Park Police Service have all offered support services to the citizen stakeholders. The Saskatoon Fire Department efficiently contained the grass fire of 2016, a great relief before it became a forest fire.  Everyone is doing the best that they possibly can.

Additionally Saskatoon groups, individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests have rallied to support the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership” at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in so many ways.  It is with great appreciation the volunteers offering their time at the community and Meewasin & Affinity Credit Union Clean-Up Campaign clean ups , the citizen neighbourhood watch stewards, the donations in kind in support of the clean up, and the financial donations which have been received towards the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund

So, “What are you doing this Earth day, April 22?”, is asked again. Hopefully it is getting out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, celebrating our amazing world, and reveling in the joy that so many residents in the city of Saskatoon embrace the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area. It is an area large enough to embrace the ideals summarized as a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

Come out this spring, and celebrate the work done by diverse groups and residents in this afforestation area preserved in perpetuity! Look forward to seeing you, indeed. It is great to see so many different expressions to respect this semi-wilderness habitat corridor nestled in the West Swale wetlands.  For it is  joy seeing the coming forward  of the  City of Saskatoon citizens in regards to the afforestation area.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is held in the hearts of so many, and it may  truly and well be preserved for many generations to come.  Don’t you agree that in this there is, indeed, laughter and celebration for Earth Day!

“How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!” wrote Carlyle.

Thank you!

PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou comest 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.

~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

Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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

Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade

In Appreciation of Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade

Thanks to a Fatbike FatLander Brigade club member 14 “gently used” concrete jersey barriers were donated to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. These Jersey Barriers complement those Jersey Barriers set into place by the City of Saskatoon.

Besides securing these fourteen Jersey Barriers, Jeff Hehn, ambassador Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, and the cyclists, have further come up with initiatives to mitigate illegal trespass. The FatLanders club raised money for the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)” out of which they purchased some posts [bollards] for the north east point of the SW off leash recreation area, as well as gate and locks and installed them on the east side of the afforestation area at the TransGas road near the Civic Operations Centre (COC bus barns) (Trans Gas road) and about 7 hour of volunteer labor to install. Such is the kindness and the thoughtfulness of Fatbike FatLander Brigade club, in their support of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

As mentioned the FFTB are stewards acting in a protective service capacity educating the afforestation area community on security and safety and providing monitoring for a safe and secure afforestation area.

Thank to the Fatbike FatLander Brigade club for being Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and for keeping the love of the forest within each soul.

Further to this, Jeff Hehn, and the members of the FatLander Fatbike Brigade create trails. The new trails offer a multi-use <a href="
Man of Trees winter trail network.“>Winter City recreation experience in the afforestation area without ruts. There is no denial that Jeff Hehn and the FFBB have placed a 110% effort to make the “Man of Trees“ winter trail network in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and in the unnamed afforestation area east of the south west off leash recreation area.

Maxie’s Excavating | Road Construction, Railway Construction, Aggregate Supply, Industrial Site Grading in Saskatoon, SK kindly proferred the service of transportation of the “gently used” Jersey Barriers procured by the FFBB in the afforestation area as noted here. The community associations in the south west area of the city of Saskatoon among which are Montgomery Place, Cedar Villa Esates, and many more, environmnental and bicycle groups along with stewards and concerned citizens have come together in response to improving their community. If you have any great stories about using the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or if you come across a unique afforestation area feature please send these ancedotes in to be posted online!

“The fate of an individual or a nation will always be determined by the degree of his or its harmony with the forces and laws of Nature and the universe. Man is not alone in the universe but is surrounded by sources of power, harmony and knowledge. The fullness of life depends upon man’s harmony with the totality of the natural cosmic laws. Our individual evolution is a job that has to be carried on day by day by each individual himself. It is a livelong task.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

“If a man loses one-third of his skin he dies; if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it too dies. If the Earth is a ‘sentient being’, would it not be reasonable to expect that if it loses one-third of its trees and vegetable covering, it will also die? 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 the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.

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

Cost of Barriers

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

Securing the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from Illegitmate Access approved at the City Council meeting Aug 18, 2016

“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”

The Standing policy committee on planning, development, and community services on July 18, 2016 met and advised that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Measures to Mitigate Unlawful Dumping and Trespassing July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report should be received as information by the General Manager, Community Services Development. The report of the General Manager, Community Services Department, dated July 18, 2016, was recommended to go before City Council August 18, 2016, for information. At this meeting, Councillor Hill, Councillor Davies, Councillor Jeffries, Councillor Paulsen and His Worship the Mayor all voted in favour.

The committee also heard from Julia Adamson, Robert White, and Jeff Hehn in July of 2016.  Robert White, who personally knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, and is a member of SOS Elms Coalition spoke about the great humanitarian, and forester, Richard St. Barbe Baker the namesake of the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Robert White spoke “to the importance of the preservation of the area and expressed support
for some type of barriers to protect the area.”

The July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report examined measures to mitigate trespassing of motorized vehicles, and to prevent illegal dumping of refuse in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA). The committee examined the conditions of trash built up in the afforestation area, and realized that there are no funded City service levels for the RSBBAA as this area is not within the parks and open space inventory, and parks does not have maintenance over the area, as it belongs to Land Branch.

It was in the writing of this report, that the Community Services Department  discovered that the afforestation area east of the Southwest Off Leash Recreation Area ~ that region on part of the south east quarter of section 23, township 23 range 36 west of the third meridian~ was not legally within the legal land description during the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area naming process undertaken in 1978-1979.

There were three options proposed:

    1. Option 1 Frontage Fencing which includes installing page wire fencing on only areas adjacent to roadways or “frontage” areas with an approximate cost of $45,206. This sum includes the clean up tipping fee estimate of $13,500, so the actual fence comes to $44,806. If chain link fencing were employed for the frontage areas, then the cost would be $197,000.
    2. Option 2 Perimeter Fencing utilizing page wire fencing around the complete afforestation area would run around $147,000, which includes the tipping fees as well. If the perimeter were surrounded with chain link, the cost rises to $949,000.
    3. The third and final option examined was bollard and gate installation. This proposal showed an estimated cost of $30,500 (inclusive of the $13,500 tipping fee)

The recommendation favoured the third option realizing that the bollards and gates would perhaps result in vehicles going around these barriers if they were determined to enter the afforestation area without respect to these clearly defined property limits.

Other stewards to consult during the process and development are TransGAS, SaskPower and in later light another stakeholder is CN.

The report stated that “there are no policy, environmental, privacy, or CPTED implications or considerations at this time.”

As the south west sector planning continues over the next few years this will be re-examined and a more permanent solution may perhaps be conceptualized.

The full council meeting report of August 18, 2016 is available at City of Saskatoon website or at the City of Saskatoon Archives.

The above is a para-phrasing of the report written by Monica Hunt, Landscape Architect, Open Space Design.
Reviewed by Darren Crilly, Director of Parks.
Approved by Randy Grauer, General Manager, Community Services Department.

As the North East Swale watchers formed as an informal grouping to protect the north east swale, so do the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area come together to protect the riparian woodland, marsh wetlands, and the semi-wilderness habitat.

At community meet ups and clean up events, the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area sees representatives who care for the afforestation area from Ducks Unlimited, SOS Elms Coalition, Saskatoon Nature Society, Member of Parliament Sheri Benson, Standing councilor for Ward 2, The Saskatoon Baha’i Community, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Cedar Villa Estates, Rural Municipality of Corman Park, North East Swale Watchers, West Swale watchers, Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the SW off leash recreation area city liason, Meewasin Valley Authority, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Casual Off leash dog walkers, Jane’s Walk, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Nature Saskatchewan, several and many community associations in the south west of Saskatoon such as…Mount Royal Community Association, Montgomery Park Community Association, Parkridge Community Association, Dundonald Community Association, King George Community Association, Holiday Park Community Association, Fairhaven Community Association.

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 extending from the Civic Operations Centre (bus barns) and is the afforested woodlands area near Saskatchewan Highway 7 as accessed by Cedar Villa Road for either the west or east parking areas.
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

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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2016 Trash Clean Up Summary

..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

How does one follow up on the work extended by volunteers at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area?  Where does one begin?

What a toll all this litter had on the afforestation area.  From the waiver signed and lanyards distributed, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean Up organisers know that there were at least 66 individuals out at the clean up, some arriving at 8:00 a.m. rhe CISV youth group “Peace Bus” volunteers arriving at about 10:00 a.m., and others along with 15 members of the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade arriving at 1:00 p.m.    Some volunteers were out working all day ~ It made for a 13 hour day for many of the volunteers.~ such as Renny W. Grilz, .Resource Management Officer Meewasin Valley Authority , Regan Olson Environmental Protection Officer City of Saskatoon, Ross Harwood President of Cedar Villa Estates, Douglas Adamson, Julia Adamson, Mathew Dutnall,  Ann Dutnall,  working east tent, Beth Romano who worked in the west ten, and the fellow from Loraas didn’t just drive the Loraas truck, but got his hands dirty and was in with all of the volunteers cleaning up trash.  So to all the volunteers from the community associations, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Rural Municipality of Corman Park hamlet residents, environmental groups, church groups, businesses who participated during Canada’s Corporate Clean up Week, a resounding thank you and round of applause and appreciation. There were about 13 Elders and Mormon Missionaries from the Saskatoon, and Winnipeg Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter Day Saints out helping for the entire day as well, so much appreciated.  The Multi Faith Youth Groups were contacted by Robert White of SOS Elms, himself a Baha’i as was Richard St. Barbe Baker, and his contribution in this regards is so appreciated.  Paul Hanley, previous environmental reporter for the Star Phoenix, and Baha’i president Saskatoon, were also out for the majority of the day, and were very impressed with the efforts to conserve, preserve and restore the afforestation which was named in the honour of Richard St. Barbe Baker as can be seen from their face book postings.  So all in all, the trash clean up could be considered an amazing success, morning and afternoon crews toiled away at the far west end between the prairie potholes of the West Swale wetlands and SK Hwy 7 (Pike Lake Highway),.  Afternoon crews worked at finishing up the most excellent 2015 spring clean up  the east end (between COC and SW OLRA) and removing the dishwasher, household trash, chesterfield, shingles, composting bags &c .

The pre-inspection sites marked on the maps were  attended to as well as many of the several smaller trash sites as well.  Very little of the larger piles of trash remain, however  there may still be some smaller items hidden behind leaves and tall grass, but the huge quantity of construction materials, tires, oil, &c have been removed, the listing which follows on subsequent web pages shows the report of items removed from the afforestation area.  Several volunteer groups compiled data on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup data sheets, photographs showed several items, pre-inspection tours marked sites of shingles, appliances, household trash, clothing, tires, toys, doors, etc. to give this idea of items at the RSBBAA clean up.  A truly sad state of affairs that those people chose to use an urban regional park to dump children’s train tracks, toys, clothing, shoes, hats, blankets, pillows rather than call a recycling facility or association such as Communty Living, Value Village, Salvation Army, Canadian Diabetes Foundation so that the children’s toys, clothing, safety gates, lawnmowers could be re-used by someone who would have need of these items.

Again thank you for bags from the MVA we actually used approximately 350 bags which was mind blowing considering that a lot of the garbage was not baggable i.e. shingles, appliances, chesterfields, fences, decks, 200 gallon water containers, pails of tar &c

Thank you to the City of Saskatoon for arranging the Loraas bins, and the attendant driver, and for waiving the tipping fees, and staying on site to help safely dispose of oil, tar, litter, and recycle tires and help with the actual clean up itself, as Regan Olson from the city did truly “get his hands dirty” with the clean up, Hats off to him.  Thank you to all the City of Saskatoon staff in assisting the organising of the clean up from allocations, to the folks working in the City Solicitor office, at Land Branch, City Planning Department, Parks Department, Public Utilities, all the assistance was invaluable and treasured so much for the enormous help offered towards the afforestation area clean up.

Thank you to Ross Harwood, President of the Cedar Villa Estates Hamlet resident association.  The hauling of shingles especially would have been near impossible without his tractor and low trailer arrangement, and his dedication to staying the whole day.  Ross in fact pre-built a box from wood pallets to help haul shingles and wood construction materials  without getting a tire puncture.  Thank you also to Jeff Hehn, who also built a second box from wood pallets, so two boxes could be rotated at the many and several shingle sites, concrete sites, brick, and construction material sites throughout the forest, which was estimated to be about  12 roof loads of shingles at the very minimum counting those on both east and west sides of the afforestation areas.

The tragic realization that construction or contractor professionals were using the afforestation area as dumping ground was horrifying, as the large cans of tar attest to, these large cans are not residential use roofing tar. The tragedy that hotels used the site for a land fill was received with sad ears, which the hotel grade counter tops bear witness to.

The very heartbreaking scene arriving at a clearing filled with female douches and condoms, measured the pain of young women forced into the sex trade against their will, and desperately trying to avoid the diseases and risk of pregnancy through desperate measures such as douching was extremely painful.  It was heartbreaking to realize that women and girls  were being brought to the very outskirts of the city where they could not reach out for help in a populated area in awkward and potentially dangerous situations.  The arrival of prostitution to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, mandates the immediate erection of vehicle barriers to the urban regional park, not only to protect the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, but also to protect the defenseless women and girls carried away out of the residential neighborhood areas of the city.  This must stop immediately, indeed.

The amount of needles found at the afforestation area, and the speech given by Jacqui Barclay,  Street Health Program,Population and Public Health, Saskatoon Health Region.and the risk of Hepatitis, and diseases to walkers and users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is also distressing, and shocking. Not only is needle use dangerous for those who come across needles in an urban regional park, but it is also calamitous for any who originally are using needles for illicit drug use.  These needles probably arrived from a trash dumping, perhaps a `slum landlord seeking to clean an apartment, and disposing of the trash illegally in the forest. This site is marked with bright red contractors tape so it is clearly visible in case any were missed. Community programming must intervene in our fair city to mitigate such tragic circumstances, and the toll on human life from illegal drug use, truly horrifying and ruinous. Further, imagine being out in the RSBBAA and falling in the winter time on a beautiful hoar frost day, when the trees are glorious in their winter array, and falling on a needle covered by a blanket of white snow, and contacting a tragic disease which will affect you for the rest of your life.  Whether or not the needles arrived from users in the afforestation area, or from a slum landlord cleaning out an apartment and dumping the trash at the afforestation area, the fact remains, that needles found in an urban regional park is not the standard for this amazing City of Saskatoon and its green space norms, thank goodness.  Something most definitely must be done, to make sure that no further needles are found to protect any users, be they the young youth making use of the BMX jump park, or Fat bikers in the prime of their life, or any other users, naturalists, walkers, skiiers, snowshoers, who may wish to enjoy the wildlife habitat corridor.  These folks do not and cannot come across needles in any area of the urban regional park.  And what is to say of animals finding, stepping on this human trash of needles, who is going to speak up for the jack rabbits, squirrels, and moles when they get injury?  This is another imperative need to get vehicles restricted to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, now with temporary barricades, until permanent fencing can be installed.  The time is now!  Before people, animals, and the flora of the afforestation area are further devastated.  With increased use of the RSBBAA, such illegal activities will decrease, diminish and eventually desist.

With more eyes on the forest, more protection can be maintained, but help is definitely needed.  With funding raised by the Stewards, to bring an initial impetus, surely something can be initiated and installed with the funds deposited at the MVA in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund.  The cost of the clean up was enormous in tipping fees, Loraas fees, tire recycling, tragedy to humans in regards to prostitution and needles, wetlands and riparian treeland zone pollution and volunteer man hours.  This cost is too high to bear in future years.  We must protect those who cannot protect themselves!

The afforestation area is very beautiful with fully grown 44 year old trees, and native flora coming in as trembling aspen bluffs and snowberry bushes to supplement the Black Balsamic Poplars, Blue Colorado Spruce, Elms, Scotch Pines, Caraganas which make the site ever so spell – binding, riveting and beautiful.  The uncommon Mountain Bluebird makes its home in the Green Ash, the Ruddy Duck is unique to the West Swale wetlands, and is a treasure among the fauna, Pelicans at the West Swale wetlands, and flocks of Sandhill Cranes who oft times migrate along with the occasional endangered  Whooping Crane alongside who make their homes in the Riparian forest of the Richard St. Barbe Baker  Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands.  Mule deer, White tail deer, Jack Rabbit, Porcupine, Skunks, Squirrels, and many other animals pf the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and as the honourable Councillor Pat Lorje said, this is their home too.

The monies raised in the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund will offset the cost of tire recycling 85 tires at $4 a tires is $374 after taxes, and thank you to A-1 Tires for taking care of this. Any remaining funds in the trust fund can go towards vehicles barriers and signs.  Even just a metal sign similar to the SW OLRA bylaw signs, with the name of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area would go a long way to show ownership of the land.  But first come motorized vehicle barricades for sure as prevention against illegal activities at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Thank you to the FatBike Fatlanders groups and the MVA for proferring additional trucks and low flat bed trailers. Jeff Hehn, ambassador for the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade mentioned that there were 15 members of the fatlanders with 5 trucks and a trailer including a truck donated for the afternoon by the Bike Doctor.  What an amazing rallying forward to support the clean up efforts.  The size of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is about 2 miles by an irregular 1/2 mile, which is a huge distance to traverse carrying loaded bags, appliances, bricks, concrete foundation blocks, motor engines, and so the clean up needed to be done with motorized help for sure.

Thank you to Verity Moore-Wright, Pat Lorje, Jacqui Barclay, Julia Adamson,  Jeff Hehn for saying a few words to start the morning and afternoon shifts.  This motivated our volunteers who so very kindly turned out on Saturday July 9, and also kept them safe while out in the forest.

Thank you to our Saskatoon Singing Circle, an affiliate of the Sacred Web Singers who serenaded our group with tree songs as a tribute to the standing nation, all the trees of the afforestation area, a tradition which is often seen at the Prince Edward island clean ups, and a group of Saskatoon women came here to the St. Barbe forest as well.  It was absolutely thrilling to be invited to sing along with them.

Thank you to Ann Dutnall, and Beth Romano, who with injuries that they had sustained, still wished to be involved in the clean up, and so they manned the two tents, one at the east and one at the west end of the afforestation area, allowing volunteers respite from the sun, a chance to re-fill their  water bottles with juice or water, let the volunteers grab a granola bar for sustenance, and receive any first aid supplies, or wash hands from a particular messy encounter with used diapers, oil, tar and weathered trash which had been on site for years.  The tents marked with Sk Energy banners also allowed volunteers to sign waivers at the beginning of the day and collect a Sask Energy lanyard, and return to the tent at the close of their shift for a certificate, a package of Richard St. Barbe Baker tree seeds, and a prize donated by many amazing corporations who did their part during Canada’s corporate clean up week.

Thank you to those businesses and corporations and benefactors who helped to sponsor the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, they included Sask Energy, EcoFriendly Sask, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Tommy Guns Original Barbershop, The Real Canadian Superstore, Fit 4 Less, Cowtown Pets Saskatoon Everything Pets, Motion Fitness, A&W Restaurants, Panago’s Pizza, Verity Moore Wright of the Meewasin Valley Authority, the honourable Pat Lorje Councillor of Ward 2, Julia Adamson, Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt.

Thank you to our volunteers, our oldest volunteer was  83 years old, Blake Adamson, and the youngest was a daughter of a Cedar Villa Resident about 8 years old as far as can be determined.

Thank you to Global Saskatoon TV news who aired the event on Saturday July 9, 2016 at 6 pm and 10 pm  Thanks to the radio stations who announced the “Clean Green Community Scene” Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation  Area clean up on Friday July 8 throughout the day on 98 Cool FM, CJWW 600, 92.9 The Bull Saskatoon, and Cool Classic Radio, what an immense help that was!

There were volunteers who arrived from Winnipeg, Utah, Philadelphia, British Columbia [and Victoria] – (different volunteers), Quebec, Toronto, Halifax as well as Saskatoon.  So to come from all over North American, find the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and love trees and the environment so much, that on their time away from home, they came to clean up in Saskatoon is very heart warming indeed, what a way to spend their holidays and travel time, and it is greatly appreciated.

During the organising campaign, thee was support from many schools, churches and community associations south of 33 street and west of Idywld Drive who placed the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in their newsletters, and mentioned the clean up at their meetings.  It is with huge gratitude, that these community were involved in efforts to preserve and protect the environment.  Of note, were the many Saskatoon environmental societies and green groups who have been supportive of the efforts of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  It is truly an honour to know that the ecology, and green areas of Saskatoon are in such diverse and wonderfully caring hands of individuals in these organisations.

Thank you so much for everyone’s time, commitment and love for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Please help us to acknowledge you, if your group came out, and we have missed it on our web pages, please email us   We are very sorry for any oversight, it is not intentional.

Due to the high number of tonnage of trash removed, the high cost of recyling tires, the Loraas bin hours and costing, the fees lost by the City in tipping fees by illegal dumping taking place in the forest, the fees waived by the City for the clean up, so the city  bore the costs twice a burden to the taxpayer to clean up after illegal dumping by folks too lazy or cheap to go to the landfill properly, the hours of volunteer time, the tremendous damage to wetlands and woodlands done by 4x4s and ATVs to a protected afforestation area, the shocking and traumatic news of prostitution and needles, the devastation to the afforestation area and wetlands by trash dumping and destruction to the paths and undergrowth, and actual trees themselves by motorized vehicles is calamitous, it is well and truly hoped that temporary vehicle barricades can be installed at the main entry access points to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, until such time that permanent fencing or vehicle barriers can be erected at the main entry access areas on both  east and west sites of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Furthermore, the addition of signs to let folks know of this amazing forest would be truly and gratefully appreciated as well, and that it is not vacant land to be used as a spare land fill area, but rather an amazing urban regional park, and a true treasure indeed!  Thank you so much again to everybody for everything, indeed, you have well and truly made a difference!

Please remember that there is a $25,000 fine for illegally dumping trash or for  illegally using a motorized vehicle in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  To use a motorized vehicle legally in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area please contact the city for a vehicle permit, they are only $30 each, and you must state your purpose of needing to use a motorized vehicle in this green space.  The Saskatoon Landfill fees are very reasonable, in fact once a year, the city waives the tipping fees for residents engaged in spring clean ups.The Landfill is very accessible being located just off of Circle Drive. The city of Saskatoon also has a tremendous free Compost Recycling programme for yard waste such as lawn clippings, tree trimmings. Remember to not send your Elm trimmings to the City compost area and risk the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, and it is further devastating to dump Elm trimmings in the forest, and take the chance of immediately infecting an entire forest! Read these wonderful web-sites City of Saskatoon’s Dutch Elm Disease pageGovernment of Saskatchewan, or SOS Elms to learn how to properly prune your Elm and dispose of the clippings, please

This is a small example of what our volunteers would see on site Saturday July 9, 2016, how utterly tragic that anyone could dump this in a forest of beauty or near the West Swale wetlands!  Please click on image for larger size.

 

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and
 …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

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
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: St Barbe Baker