Adrift with the Meadowlark

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly. —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” —Lady Bird Johnson

Cast adrift of the hustle and bustle of the city lights. Relax and meander in the wilderness of the forest.

The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved. Richard Rogers

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly. —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both Deepak Chopra and Richard St. Barbe Baker agree, in this.  Immerse yourself in the forest, set yourself adrift, even if just for twenty minutes each day, refresh yourself, sing with the Meadowlards.  “With spirit we are all children of the cosmos; Without it we are orphaned and adrift.” Deepak Chopra  “Man must resuscitate his planet with trees, his heart with faith.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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

For more information:
You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

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

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

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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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Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trip

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.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”~Margaret Mead

The Saskatoon Nature Society Past-President, Marten Stoffel, who is familiar with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, along with Sara Byrson who has a background in forestry will lead a field trip to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area on the evening of June 14, as follows. For several years Marten Stoffel has been banding birds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pmRichard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
“We will walk through this afforestation area next to
Chappell Marsh to search for native plants and songbirds.
Meet by the Grain Elevator at the Western Development
Museum parking lot on Lorne Avenue. Bus: Route 1
Exhibition departs downtown terminal at 6:31 p.m. and
arrives on Lorne Avenue adjacent to museum about 6:50 p.m.
Leaders Sara Bryson (306 261 6156) and Marten Stoffel
(306 230 9291)

Guide to Nature Viewing Sites Page 122.”

Everyone is welcome to participate in any Saskatoon Nature Society field trip. Bring your friends. Carpooling for out-of- town trips is arranged at the meeting place; there is no charge other than to share gasoline costs. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions (as above). Participants are free to depart early if they wish. Saskatoon Nature Society Members with FRS radios should bring them on out of town trips. Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved walkie-talkie radio system. Check the website at Saskatoon Nature Society for last minute changes or cancellations and to download checklists. Bus Information: 306-975-3100.

Many of the  Saskatoon Nature Society trip destinations are described in the 3rd edition of “A Guide to Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon” available from Saskatoon Nature Society Books.

Typically, at least the bird species are recorded on the Saskatoon Nature Society checklist but there are some ways that the Saskatoon Nature Society can electronically record our observations too.

It is with grateful appreciation that the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area acknowledge this wonderful program acknowledging the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat of the West Swale, and associated woodlands. Though this two hour walk through will not be as extensive as a two day bio-blitz, it will be intriguing to discover what native plants are discovered at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and which song bird species come to roost for the evening.

As Saskatchewan Tourism says; “With over 350 species to be observed, birdwatching in Saskatchewan is a year-round activity. However, the fall and spring migration seasons present fantastic opportunities for viewing as species both rare and plentiful cross the Land of Living Skies.”

The Prairie Birder, Charlotte Wasylik, has listed the arrival dates for spring migratory birds in Alberta, to check how these dates correspond to Saskatchewan Species, compare to E-Bird historic sightings. The prairie provinces are vast land areas, and she mentions, that “with a variety of habitats and species arrival dates will vary based on your location in the province”, the typical dates of spring migration are March through May.

What are some of Saskatchewan’s prairie songbirds? Sibley and Alquist divided songbirds into two “parvorders”, Corvida and Passerida which include shrikes, vireos, crows, magpies, jays, waxwings, chickadees, larks, swallows, martins, warblers, wrens, nuthatches, thrushes, true sparrows, finches, pipits, buntings, American sparrows, longspurs, buntings for example. Will it be possible from the above family listing to perhaps sight any of the species of these families on the Saskatoon Nature Society Check List which may offer a spotting of the following example species; Sprague’s pipit, Chestnut-collared longspur, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, McCown’s Longspur, Bobolink, and Purple Martin.

“Grassland songbirds evolved with specific needs that restrict where and how they can obtain food and build nests. Most of them can only nest in certain types of grass and will not tolerate trees in the landscape….The Baird’s Sparrow is one of the least flexible grassland songbirds…they’re really fussy about how tall and sparse the vegetation is. They have to have finely stemmed grasses to nest in. So the heavy, thick stems and leaf blades of invasive and non-natives like smooth brome are a problem for them.Hanson

The former natural area screening study conducted surveys in native grassland, modified grasslands and wetlands plant communities throughout the west/southwest sector of Saskatoon. Locating native grassland communities in and around trembling aspen bluffs. Mixed grasslands, however will show examples of smooth brome, alfalfa, and sweet clover. “Grasslands have undergone habitat conversion including cultivation, grazing, suburbanization, and industrialization. Murphy A listing of native plant species is included at the end of this article or click here [pdf].

The south west sector afforestation areas were started as tree nurseries in 1972, and when the trees matured, this use as a tree nursery is not longer viable. So the grasslands have had years to recover, and begin the conversion back to their natural state. However, “in addition to the threat of development, native grasslands are being degraded due to weed invasionWilliams.  So it will be intriguing to see the level of native plants left intact at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Looking back now, to the afforestation methods employed in 1972, “The following tree species were used: American and Siberian Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, Poplar, Willow, Colorado Spruce, Scotch Pine, and Caragana. Rows weaving in and out as much as forty feet from the centre line was used. This produces a natural forest effect. The proposed planting area consisted of four and one-half adjacent quarter sections. We divided this two and one-half mile long area into five planting areas, with strips of fifty to sixty feet left bare, as fire guards between each planting area.”Ligtermoet So these means that there are areas which have been native prarie biome for 57 years since the land was purchased by the City of Saskatoon in 1960 without development of any form at all, so it may, indeed be promising to find belts of native grassland, and associated songbirds during this Saskatoon Nature Society nature field trip.

Whereas the West Swale has numerous small scattered wetland areas, the focus of this nature study walk, will be not the aquatic vegetation, nor waterfowl, but the belts of native plants, and any associated songbirds.

Louie Schwartzberg states that “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” Thank you to the Saskatoon Nature Society to help all the field trip participants become aware of nature’s beauty which abounds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Your planning of this nature field trip on June 14, 2017 is gratefully appreciated! Words cannot express our feelings, nor the thanks for all your help.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly”~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

BIBLIOGRAPHY and FURTHER INFORMATION:
A Land Manager’s guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.

Are the Prairies getting quieter? Songbirds are declining in number. Audio extra: Can you identify some Prairie birds by their songs? CBC News. May 22, 2015.

Clarke, Jared B. Bird Banding in Saskatchewan
Birds Protected in Canada Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 Environment and Climate Change Canada. Nature. Government of Canada.

Hanson, Kim. Fire is for the Birds in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie. Fire Science. he information for this Manager’s Viewpoint is based on JFSP Project 01-3-2-09, Prescribed Fire for Fuel Reduction in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie: Influence on Habitat and Populations of Indigenous Wildlife and Future Forest Flammability; Principal Investigators: Robert K. Murphy, Todd A. Grant, and Elizabeth M. Madden.

Wild Birds Unlimited of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Facebook.
Bird ID skills: How to Learn Bird Songs and Calls All About Birds. Cornell University. April 20, 2009

Best Beautiful Bird Songs – Saskatoon Saskatchewan You Tube.

City of Saskatoon West/Southwest Sector Natural Area Screening Study. Report 12-1361-0028. Golder Associates. September 2012

Davis, S.K., D.C. Duncan, and M. Skeel. Distribution and Habitat Associations of Three Endemic Grassland Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 111, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 389-396 Published by: Wilson Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164104 Page Count: 8
Davis, Stephen K. Nesting Ecology of Mixed-Grass Prairie Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 115, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 119-130 Wilson Ornithological Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164538 Page Count: 12

Ligtermoet, A.L. Assistant Parks Superintendent City of Saskatoon. Afforestation – Man Made Forest on the Prairies. January 4, 1974.

Ludlow, Sarah M., R. Mark Brigham, and Stephen K. Davis. Nesting Ecology of Grassland Songbirds, Effects of Predation, Parasitism and Weather. The Wilson Jornail of Ornithology 126(4):686-699, 2014

Herriot, Trevor. Mapping our birds – the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas kicks off in 2017 Feb. 2, 2017

Higgs, Matt. Songbirds in decline across Canada. Greenup Column. Peterborough Examiner.

Kishkinev. Dmitry, et al Experienced migratory songbirds do not display goal-ward orientation after release following a cross-continental displacement: an automated telemetry study Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 37326 (2016)
doi:10.1038/srep37326

Martinez, Victoria. Student, ranchers protect prairie songbirds. Allison Henderson. Allison Henderson SCOTT Bell/university of Saskatchewan U of S graduate student Allison Henderson is studying connections between prairie grasslands and songbirds. University of Saskatchewan. Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan.
Murphy, Dennis D. and Pual R. Ehrlich. Conservation Biology of California’s Remnant Native Grasslands.

Robinson, Ashley. Grassland birds in Saskatchewan under threat: reort. Regina Leader Post.

Rose, Phil. Native Rangelands: A Last Refuge for Grassland Songbirds University of Regina.


Songbird Documentary on CBC Nature of Things. The MessengerDoc.com.

Species Detection Survey Protocols. Grassland Birds Surveys. Fish and Wildlife Branch Technical Report No. 201 4-9.0 December 2014. Government of Saskatchewan.
Tremont, Anna Marie. Canada’s grasslands most endangered least protected ecosystems. CNC. February 21, 2017

U of S Research takes flight in songbird SOS documentary. The Sheaf. University of Saskatchewan.

Wildlife 911: Baby Birds on Ground. Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan

Williams, Nicholas S.G., Mark I. McDonnell, Emma J. Seager. Factors influencing the loss of an endangered ecosystem in an urbanising landscape: a case study of native grasslands from Melbourne, Australia Landscape and Urban Planning 71 (2005) 35–49 April 9, 2003.
What are Native Prairie Grasslands Worth? Why it pays to Conserve this Endangered Ecosystem. Ranchers Stewardship Alliance Inc. Chris Nykoluk Consulting. 2013

Wolsfield, MIke. Ecoregions in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan EcoNetwork

“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.

“Healing the broken bond between children and nature may seem to be an overwhelming, even impossible task. But we must hold the conviction that the direction of this trend can be changed, or at least slowed. The alternative to holding and acting on that belief is unthinkable for human health and for the natural environment. The environmental attachment theory is a good guiding principle: attachment to land is good for child and land.” `Richard Louv

For more information:
You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

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

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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

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Afforestation Heritage

Saskatchewan Heritage defines Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as that which “encompasses the underlying fabric of our lives — stories, skills, traditions, ways of doing things, ways of speaking, and ways of interacting with each other and the environment.”Sup>Source “Living Heritage are those values, beliefs, and ways of living we inherited from past generations that we still use to understand the present and make choices for the future.” Heritage Saskatchewan The City of Saskatoon has a true and rich heritage as can be seen in the Planning process of 1960. The conventional wisdom shown by Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent City Planner Bill Graham certainly honours the time-honoured tradition and legacy set by the great foresters who stood before them, Richard St. Barbe Baker and John Evelyn.

What is happening at the afforestation areas to safeguard the legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker and nurture the concept of Living Heritage?

How can you beome involved in curating the Living Heritage of the afforestation areas in the southwest sectors of Saskatoon?

How can you create opportunities in your organisation or your class to relate the stores of the afforestation areas in Saskatoon and Richard St. Barbe Baker?

How do the afforestation areas in Saskatoon, these semi-wilderness urban forests, impact your personal cultural identity, and the concept of Saskatoon’s urban regional parks?

A story from Richard St. Barbe Baker’s international organisation Men of the Trees journal “Trees”; We have saved for posterity many trees and woodlands, besides influencing large-scale re-afforestation both at home and over-sees. But for our aid, the finest Redwood groves of California would have fallen to the axe.

John Evelyn, FRS (31 October 1620 – 27 February 1706) was an English writer, horticulturist, vegetarian, gardener and diarist.
John Evelyn, FRS (31 October 1620 – 27 February 1706) was an English writer, horticulturist, vegetarian, gardener and diarist.

We would like to think that the Spirit of John Evelyn lives on in the Men of the Trees of today and through our TREE – PLANTING FUND we are endeavouing to help to restore our tree cover. With the co-operation of affiliated nurserymen, throughout the country trees are being raised each year for planting during Arbour Week, November 4th-10th and onwards.
It is not sufficiently realized that many of todays major problems are directly due to ignorance of the importance of trees. Millions of acres of rich farmland are now deserts as a result of the wholesale destruction of trees and forests. The Sahara of Africa, the dustbowls of America and Austraila, and erosion in New Zealand are tragic evidence of the results of this ignorance.

It is a race between education and catastrophe. …With Ruskin they belive that: “God has lend us the earth for our life. It is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who are to come after us as to us and we have no right, by anything we do or neglect, to involve them in any unnecessary penalties, or deprive them of the benefit which was in our power to bequeath.” University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71.

John Evelyn, FRS (31 October 1620 – 27 February 1706) was an English writer, horticulturist, vegetarian, gardener and diarist. Evelyn wrote a treatise named Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees , even as early as 1664, Evelyn was aware of the need that a growing army required trees, economy and forestry went hand in hand. This book, Sylva, served as the foremost text on forestry, and even in contemporary times, is still being re-printed.

Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees 1664
Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees 1664

The introduction, written by John Nisbet states; “It is unnecessary to say much about this charming classic of Forestry, of whose various excellences the reader can herein judge for himself. Gracefully written in nervous English and in a cultured style, ornately embellished according to the then prevailing custom by apt quotations from the Latin poets, it contains an enormous amount of information in the shape of legends and of facts ascertained by travel, of observation, and of experience. No man of his time could possibly have been better qualified than Evelyn for undertaking the special duty laid upon him; and he carried out his task in a brilliant manner. Sylva soon ran into several editions. …The publication of Sylva gave an enormous stimulus to planting in Britain, the benefits from which were subsequently reaped at the end of the XVIII and the beginning of the XIX century…Apart from the planting done in the royal woods and forests, details of Evelyn’s diary shew that he was frequently called upon to give advice with regard to laying out private plantations,—as well as of ornamental gardens, on which subject he was also considered one of the leading authorities of the time.”

As the international organisation “Men of the Trees” created by Richard St. Barbe Baker, treasured the treatise, Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and walked in the footsteps of Richard St. Barbe Baker and John Evelyn. So, should the current generation learn from our past generations, and follow in the footsteps of these two foresters. Similarly, the role of the City of Saskatoon parks department, planting the 660 acres of afforestation areas in 1972 and preserving them in perpetuity, is truly a part of the City of Saskatoon’s rich heritage.

A green belt for the city starts with Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, who walked around Saskatoon’s perimeter choosing high spots of land for scenic beauty. Together with City Planner Bill Graham they worked on parkways and planted trees for the 1960 Circle Drive Parkway at these sites. 1972, A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent sets before council that these first 660 acres of afforestation areas be kept in perpetuity. The city pioneer’s Wellman, Graham, and Ligtemoet surely did, indeed follow in the footsteps of the conventional wisdom set down as building blocks in the forestry profession by Baker and Evelyn.

“Safeguarding our Living Heritage is accomplished through documentation, celebration, transmission of knowledge and skills, and adopting sustainable practices and processes…It sounded the trumpet of alarm to the nation on the condition of their woods and forests.’”Heritage Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Heritage week February 20-24 2017
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52° 06′ 106° 45′

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker

The Part of Good Citizens

The forest is one of the most faithful friends of man.

“THE PART OF GOOD CITIZENS”A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless; forests which are so used that they cannot renew themselves will soon vanish, and with them all their benefits. When you help to preserve our forests or plant new ones you are acting the part of good citizens.

Theodore Roosevelt.

Pack, Charles Lathrop. The School Book of Forestry. 1922 Digitized online by Gutenberg.org. March 15, 2004 [eBook #11587] Date accessed August 22, 2016