Where are the frogs?

What a question in the middle of winter ~ “Where are the frogs?” indeed.

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan. With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species. One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada.

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time. But where are the temporary wetlands located? This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs. This area for the lands east of Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map. The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather. During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern. As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017. The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

 

 

 

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area. The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist, volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude. This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area. Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park. In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones. And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return. 🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival. An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development. Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables. The years 2013, and 2014, saw very, very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding. Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards. The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.” “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017) Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017) “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015) Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009. Whereas, the flood years are reported as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010. (Garnet, 2012)
Taiwan is privileged with the humid and rainy habitats favorable for frogs, and the profuse rain providing the frogs a long reproduction stage makes Taiwan one of the best places for frog-watching.”{Government of Taiwan}  And it follows, that in Saskatchewan, the frogs, also fare better during the years the province cycles into a year with a high water table, rain and humidity.  Just as the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) is native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions, the marsh marigold does not raise its yellow head in the years of drought, nor do the Northern Leopard Frogs sing merrily in the wetlands.  In the case of frogs, and marsh marigolds, both flora and fauna await seasons of moisture, and hunker down when drought and desert-like conditions appear.
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather. CBC News.

Chan, Emily. Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops. Ctv News. July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy. Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News. Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press. June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar. From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies. May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz. Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan. Centre for Hydrology Report #1. Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News. May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News. June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja. Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal. July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies. Government of Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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

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

For more information:

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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance 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!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
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Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

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Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future

2018 Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future Urban wetlands: prized land not wasteland Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands. Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable
2018 Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future.  Urban Wetlands Making Cities Liveable. Urban wetlands: Prized land not wasteland. Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands. Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable.

World Wetlands Day occurs annually on February 2nd, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971.{source}

 

#KeepUrbanWetlands

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.  The theme for 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future.”  {Source}

  • Urban wetlands: Prized land not wasteland.
  • Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands..
  • Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable.

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the afforestation area ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional Park are located within the West Swale, and both afforestation areas are classified as wetlands.  The West Swale  is a low lying wetlands area which has its confluence at Yorath Island in the South Saskatchewan River;  Map

The results of the City of Saskatoon West/Southwest Sector Natural Area Screening Study on the wildlife habitat showed that the West Swale should remain with connectivity to preserve migrations, and ecological processes. Disrupting the West Swale increases the risk for local extinctions.  The recommendation was for  the establishment of a habitat corridor of the West Swale as it meanders to the river. The confluence area poses a potential flood hazard during high water table years and the expansion of a conservation area would inherently prove to be a safe and prudent course. The areas around the West Swale are protected under the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as the primary regulator agency, as well as the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.{Source; Golder Associates. Southwest Sector Plan. (2013)}

A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverseof all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal.{Source}

World Wetlands Day was established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably since then. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community, have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits. Some of these benefits include: biologically diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for many species, serve as buffers on the coast against storms and flooding, and naturally filter water by breaking down or transforming harmful pollutants.{source}

How will the City of Saskatoon and its residents celebrate, and honour this 2018 World Wetlands Day; “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future?”

 

#KeepUrbanWetlands

For more information upon:

Urban wetlands: prized land not wasteland

Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands.

Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable

“Of the earth’s thirty billion acres, already nine billion acres are desert. And if a man loses a third of his skin, he dies; plastic surgeons say “He’s had it.” And if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it dies. And if the earth loses one-third of its green mantle of trees, it will die. The water table will sink beyond recall and life on this planet will become impossible. It’s being skinned alive today. . .” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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

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

For more information:

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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance 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!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Saskatoon Green Infrastructure Program

You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover.
Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Green Infrastructure “is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature”. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.”[*]

“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

“Green infrastructure refers to any natural or built systems that provide ecological benefits and help to maintain pre-development hydrology. It encompasses natural features like streams, wetlands, forests, and parks, as well as engineered systems that manage urban runoff.”[***]

The West Swale is an important pre-requIsite for the City of Saskatoon, as this low lying area protects both agricultural and urban neighbourhoods from flooding. The afforestation area also sequesters carbon emissions, improving the air. The soil and water quality also benefits from the woodland environment.

Environmental benefits include ”

  • Increase carbon sequestration
  • improve air quality
  • additional recreational space
  • efficient land use
  • flood protection
  • drinking water source protection
  • replenish groundwater
  • improve watershed health
  • protect or restore wildlife habitat
  • reduce sewer overflow events
  • restore impaired waters
  • meet regulatory requirements for receiving waters”[**]

By utilizing green infrastructure, the city of Saskatoon has an ecological base for sound social, economic, and environmental health and well-being. In the case of the West Swale and the afforestation areas, the green infrastructure, is supported by wetlands, so it may be also referred to as blue or “blue-green” infrastructure.

Economic benefits include; ”

  • reduce hard infrastructure construction costs
  • maintain aging infrastructure
  • increase land values
  • encourage economic development
  • reduce energy consumption and costs
  • increase life cycle cost savings”[**]

The afforestation area is a splendid example of urban forestry at its finest, and has the capacity to reduce energy usage costs, and may help to manage storm water and runoff. Physical activity and the reduction of stress are among the health benefits of urban green space.

Social benefits are: ”

  • “Establish urban greenways
  • provide pedestrian and bicycle access [recreation]
  • create attractive streetscapes and rooftops that enhance livability and urban green space
  • educate the public about their role in stormwater management
  • urban heat island mitigation”[**]

The meeting on May 29, 2017 showed a forward thinking City of Saskatoon embracing concepts of green infrastructure which will be applied to the long range planning of the Blairmore Sector Plan. Such a proposal brings the green infrastructure home for the neighbourhood planning of the city. According to the report, “the purpose of the Green Infrastructure is to develop an integrated approach to planning for and maintaining a sustainable, biodiverse city by considering natural and supportive areas as part of an ecological system.” As the Blairmore Sector Plan moves forward, natural and naturalized areas will be duly inventoried. As the plan develops, the community will be engaged for public engagement.

With a green infrastructure program, communities unite in an effort to preserve watersheds, wildlife habitats, and parks, to better protect the environment maintaining wildlife diversity while benefiting quality of life, helping people to connect with nature, increase health benefits of spending time in nature, while having access to clean air, and water. Once fully developed, the green infrastructure program have the potential for supporting both recreational and conservation activities that will have positive impacts far beyond the immediate community.

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver”. ~Martin Luther

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

FCM – Green Municipal Fund What we fund

** Green Infrastructure Case Studies Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater and Green Infrastructure (EPA 841 F 10 004)

Green Infrastructure | Help Build Sustainable Communities ESRI

Infrastructure Canada – Green Infrastructure. Government of Canada Investing in Green Infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure Webcase Series. United STates Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Infrastructure Partnership Launches ‘Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program’ Waterbucket.ca [For further information on Green Infrastructure and success stories in British Columbia – Guidance Documents and Resources The partnership for Water Sustainability in BC video]
* Green Infrastructure Wikipedia.

Inquiry
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

*** Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program. Urban Runoff and Green Infrastructure. Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program 2016.

What is Green Infrastructure? United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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 is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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

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

For more information:

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 SW 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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

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!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

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

Stand firm. Grip hard.
Thrust upward to the skies.
Bend to the winds of heaven.
And learn tranquility.
~Richard St. Barbe Baker

“We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations.” – Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

“. “I don’t have a bucket list but my bike-it list is a mile long.” – unknown” For the recreation buff

What is the West Swale?

Geological formation during The Pleistocene Era

Geology of the Yorath Island Spillway After the Flood.

The geological formation of the West Swale occurred during the Pleistocene era from waters cascading out of the glacial l North Saskatchewan River valley, which is quite different from the formation of the North East Swale, which was formed from glacial ice waters in the South Saskatchewan River Valley subsidence.

The West Swale earth science features include glaciofluvial Iandforms created by meltwater channels during Pleistocene glacial drainage. The afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area and Maple Grove at the West Swale Confluence are all provincially significant examples of a landscape typifying fluvioglacial erosion.

Meltwater channels are unique and significant as they possess characteristics which distinguish them from conventional river valleys. The low lying area of the West Swale does, indeed, display a fascinating geological record of the last stages of the Great Ice Age. On a walk in the Richard St. Barb Baker Afforestation Area, or the Urban Regional Park formerly named George Genereux park, and spend an absolutely unforgettable day 2.6 million years in the making.

The West Swale lands are of imperative value to surrounding rural agricultural lands at the present moment, but the lands also provide flood relief in the South West sector in Saskatoon. There are notable and significant geological features providing scientific, educational, historical and aesthetic landscape importance to the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan, the nation of Canada.

What happened during the Pleistocene era?

2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago

“During the Quaternary period, between 2 and 3 million years ago, the prairies were covered by a glacier, the Laurentide ice sheet.

Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The accumulation of 3 to 4 kilometers (1.9 to 2.5 mi) thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 meters (390 ft)
Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The accumulation of 3 to 4 kilometers (1.9 to 2.5 mi) thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 meters (390 ft)

It was 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) thick which advanced and receded several times across the prairies. There were multiple glaciations affecting the Saskatchewan area during the Pre-Illinoian, Illinioan, and Wisconsin stages of the last Ice Age.” Geology These were the major glaciations, there were other glaciations summarized as follows.

Glacial Lake Agassiz A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the hole or space that it has created. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create lakes.
Glacial Lake Agassiz A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the hole or space that it has created. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create lakes.

Ice retreated, and drainage occurred to the north, creating Glacial lakes in low lying areas. Glacial Lake Saskatoon I situated in the northern Saskatoon Lowland and lower areas of the Elstow Basin. When the northern outlet of Lake Saskatoon lowered, the South Saskatchewan River Valley began replacing Glacial Lake Saskatoon I. A broad plain called the Cory Plain was created in the area south west of Saskatoon. Cory Plain features cut off meander loops, ox-bow lakes and geological features showing the historic river braiding and travels.

The northern flow of water in the Glacial North Saskatchewan River Valley was halted by ice, creating Glacial Rice Lake settling into the lowlands west of Grandora. Glacial Rice Lake drained by channels into the South Saskatchewan Valley “The Moon Lake Channel, a major spillway connecting the North Saskatchewan River basin with the South Saskatchewan, and a smaller parallel channel, Yorath Island Channel, also cross the Cory plain….but they are clearly not South Saskatchewan channels.”

Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges
Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges

Then there was another advance of ice ~ Patience Lake Ice ~ creating a kame and moraine ridge near Grandora 10 miles west of Saskatoon. The ice blocked the northern flow of water creating another glacial lake; Lake Saskatoon II. As the ice wasted away, & Lake returned to river valley, there were remnants of the lake in and south of Saskatoon. Lacustrine silts and clays were deposited south and west of the city area forming the Cory Plain surface. Paraphrase from Hodges

How is it best to preserve our nation’s geologic heritage which contain evidence some of the earth’s greatest examples of geologic phenomena. From glaciers to swales, it is a true inspiration to be immersed in your personal geologic experience here in the West Swale which envelopes the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation Area formerly known as George Genereux urban regional park. Yorath Island, an “end moraine” and a natural landmark in the South Saskatchewan River locates the confluence of the Yorath Island spillway with the glacial South Saskatchewan River Valley. The West Swale is a low-lying depression created by repeated glaciations and the melting of the last bit of glacial ice.

The West Swale, a major meltwater drainage channel, a glacial spillway and a prairie valley is a classical example of glacial spillway topography. In the West Swale are several areas and features that budding geologists can discover and study the results left behind as the “catastrophic floods of glacial meltwater and sediment washed through these valleys”, typifying the Yorath Island glacial spillway, now known as the West Swale.James S. Aber Pleistocene deposits and geology show “erosional features of the underlying bedrock surface such as buried valleys, which are filled and concealed by drift, and which result in a hickening of Pleistocene deposits; erosional features of the surface of the drift, such as stream valleys, which cause a thinning of the Pleistocene deposits; and depositional features such as end moraines, drumlins, and outwash plains of glacial origin, which result in a thickening of the Pleistocene deposits.P.F. Karrow

The preservation of the afforestation areas in 1972, therefore, has also preserved a segment of the invaluable historic geological landmark of the West Swale, and its Pleistocene heritage and history.  Next time you are out at the Richard St. Barb Baker Afforestation Area, or the Urban Regional Park formerly named George Genereux park, know you are spending an absolutely unforgettable day 2.6 million years in the making.

The 1884 Sectional Map and the 1915 Saskatoon Sheet both do a brilliant job showing the West Swale around the Blairmore Afforestation Areas.

Now it is time to zip on over to an adventure amid the Pleistocene Megafauna – with an online virtual tour to meet the mammoths, sabre-tooth cats, and tapirs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Hodges, Larry Edwin: Morphology of the South Saskatchewan River Valley Outlook to Saskatoon PhD Thesis. Department of Geography. McGill University. Montreal, Quebec. July 1971.
Theberge, John B., (1989) The Wholeness of Nature. Legacy, The Natural History of Ontario. McClelland and Stewart Inc. ISBN 0-7710-8398-X

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

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

For more information:

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 SW 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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

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!

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You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley

You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Saskatoon’s best kept secret.

 

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

 

“Clearly, human pressure is exerting a sudden and cataclysmic impact on much of this province, if viewed in the time-frame of evolution and geology to which the rhythms of ecosystems are tuned. The groundswell of environmental concern taking shape among us, its citizens, results in public pressure for new and stronger strictures on human exploitation and desecration…Such action is needed as the embodiment of an ethical responsibility to the land and living things, for our own well-being as well as for that of all other species.” Theberge, 1989. P.376