Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the fog
Over the past year and a half, Jeff Hehn, the ambassador of the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, has been meeting with the various people and departments of the City of Saskatoon engaged in the WinterCity YXE strategy.
Currently the plans for growing the WinterCity campaign machine-groomed trails to include non-motorized recreational activities such as possibly fat bicycling, cross-country skiing, skijourning, snow shoeing, horse back riding, winter hiking, and sliding snowshoeing. Along with the trails, signage, waymarking sites, or kiosks may display maps, trail names, interpretative signage, trail etiquette, event and seasonal information. “The trails in the forest are quite flat which makes for good winter riding and they seem to get the right number of riders to prevent significant ice.*”
“Management of human use of trails in wild areas must be based on information relating trail quality to use. ~Weaver” To protect the vegetation, and environment trails are designed in the winter amidst the Caragana, creating safer trails, and also encouraging users to remain on the groomed trails, mitigating environmental damage. Education posted on social media, or upon waymarking signs during spring thaws will help to prevent damage to the trails and to the forest, ensuring trail maintenance.
“We want to create a more resilient economy outside of the summer and Christmas seasons,” said director of environmental and corporate initiatives Brenda Wallace.CBC
Eco-tourism is certainly growing, as is the City of Saskatoon. More and more folks are recognizing the health benefits of outdoor physical activity. The WinterCity YXE trails can be seen as a fantastic way to improve the quality of life for residents of Saskatoon and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344. Additionally, those visiting the City of Saskatoon, during the winter months would certainly be enchanted by the magnificent hoar frost and woodland scenes in this mixed woodland forest.
At this time, the main weakness of the Winter City YXE trail network in the afforestation areas is the fact that motorized vehicles still have access to a portion of the afforestation areas. Motorized vehicles are devastating to trails, and the hard work, time and effort put into grooming trails disappears in one instant if a motorized vehicle decides to go out “mudding”, pop 360s or dump trash in the forest. At this time this is the main conflict facing the success of the WinterCity YXE trail strategy at the afforestation area. It is hoped that a solution to this dilemna may soon be found.
There is no doubt that good trails, offer to the public recreational enthusiast, skiier, bicyclist, snowshoer, or hiker features such as great views, diverse landscapes, and excellent proximity to both the urban neighbourhoods of Saskatoon, and the rural areas of the RM of Corman Park 344.
All, in all, trails increase both physical and mental health benefits, and the overall fitness of the user population. Families, and organizations have an opportunity to enjoy nature outdoors. Located in the city, trails afford an excellent means to educate visitors about the natural environment and surrounds. Very importantly, trails create both healthy and safe environments for the afforestation area, which, in turn creates peaceful, and enjoyable community awareness. Trails also afford a tourism opportunity, and indeed, does make Saskatoon a better place to live.
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
– Albert Schweitzer
A humble and grateful thank you is extended to Jeff Hehn, and the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade Fat Fun For Fine Folks (Fat Tire Club) , for their work to create a Man of Trees trail network, and to enhance tourism within the afforestation areas. It surely may be that all fat bicycling, cross-country skiing, skijourning, snow shoeing, horse back riding, winter hiking, and sliding snowshoeing enthusiasts will surely be able to appreciate and savour the heightened expression of the forest with a well-groomed and maintained trail system.
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Charlton, Johathan. City Hall wants to know: How can Saskatoon be more fun in the winter?” Saskatoon Star Phoenix. January 25, 2017.
Cranbrook Community forest Trail Plan Cranbrook Community Forest Society. Draft Version 10. 1/16/2016
City of Saskatoon Council Policy C09-011 Trees on City Property.
Doyle, Sabrina. Best Canadian Cities to visit in winter. These urban centres really know how to heat up the chilly months. November 10, 2016.
Environmental Leadership | Saskatoon.ca City Hall > Our Performance > Performance Dashboard > Environmental Leadership.
Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that. New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture. CBC News. January 24, 2017
** For the Love of Winter. WinterCity Strategy Implementation Plan. The LoveofWinter-ImplementationPlan.pdf City of Edmonton. September 10, 2013.
*** For the Love of Winter Strategy for Transforming Edmonton into a World-Leading Winter City. (pdf)
Lun Liu, Hui Wang Hui Wang Hui Wang, Chunyang WuChunyang Wu. A machine learning method for the large-scale evaluation of urban visual environment. a Department of Land Economy, University Cambridge Department of Land Economy, University Cambridge School of Architecture, Tsinghua University of Architecture, Tsinghua UniversityMachine Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Engineering, University Cambridge
* Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts. Ministry of Environment. Recreation Trails Strategy for British Columbia. Phase 1: Background Report Appendix 2 Survey Results. May 2007. Province of British Columbia
Published by: British Ecological Society. DOI: 10.2307/2402226. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402226. Page Count: 6
PotashCorp WinterShines 2017: Saskatchewan’s Premiere Winter Festival. January 28 – February 5, 2017
Saskatoon Winter City Strategy Update – City of Saskatoon
Weaver, D. Dale and T. Trampling Effects on Vegetation of the Trail Corridors of North Rocky Mountain Forests Journal of Applied Ecology. Vol. 11, No. 2 (Aug., 1974), pp. 767-772
WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy | Saskatoon.ca
WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy
WinterCityYXE interactive map
Winter Cities Shake-Up Presentation – Alternative Approaches to Fostering a Winter City in Smaller Communities January 3, 2017. Community Planning Conference Presentations.
YXE Winter City | Optimist Hill Campaign
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and to radiate your happiness to the entire world.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie