A bit of history is needed, to go back in time a little ways, to the time when the bus barns civic operations centre site was decided upon, and construction south west of the City of Saskatoon was in its infancy. The City of Saskatoon Civic Operations Centre construction began north of Valley Road, and west of the City landfill
People who knew about the wooded area north of Cedar Vlla Road and to the west of the construction site wandered around in the forest sad and abject. They would meet on the paths in the forest speaking often to the others about the natural beauty of the area, attesting to their appreciations that there was a forest of such magnificence glory and splendour so close to the growing city of Saskatoon. The sadness stemmed from uncertainty as to when the time would come and the bull dozers would arrive to raze the forest to the ground taking away this amazing beauty and wonderland. They felt because the land was abandoned and there were no signs posted, that the wooded area did not belong to anybody, and it was just a matter of time before it would be gone. They came to treasure the last moments to be had within the spectacular embrace of the White Spruce, the American Elms, the Colorado Blue Spruce so stately and fine. They admired the saplings, the Carragana hedge row, the Black Capped Chicakadees flittering about branch to branch. Those who knew of the wooded area were dismal and resigned that this land which no one owned would soon be underneath a concrete pad, and no one would be enchanted again by the all empowering expansive appeal of eye-catching hoar frost painting spectacular designs in the landscape on spruce boughs.
What could be done? How could anyone have the ability to respond to such a situation? Facts slowly began to emerge. It turned out that on research of the particular land location, that no, it was not land which belonged to nobody. And on reflection, how could land so close to a City not belong to anybody at all. The land was owned by the City of Saskatoon. So with this new piece of information; was this good or bad. This could still mean that the wooded area may remain a forest, or it may be part of the Civic Operations Centre land use.
Further research revealed that the Civic Operations Centre did in fact stop short of the wooded area. Construction would not proceed where the trees were planted. But why? Would the trees and forest be safe with another expansion of the city? Still folks who met in the forest, those who walked in the wooded area did not believe the tale. They said pooh! We don’t believe you, if it was owned by the City, there would be signs. People said; “this land is not owned by anybody.” The general consensus was, “I can do anything I want to out here,” however was this right?
People drove their snowmobiles here, as urban dwelling land owners have a very hard time finding area to drive their snowmobiles. Folks who owned All Terrain Vehicles and 4x4s would drive their vehicles in the bush, as again, city dwelling residents have a hard time mudding and tearing around on city streets, and this land was “not owned by anybody”, so why not here? So without traffic lights, rules or regulations, people walked and drove around the bush trying not to crash into one another.
But those who came to enjoy the voiceless and alluring voice of the forest were relieved. The forest and the Civic Operations Centre were to be neighbours. The trees would not need to lay down their lives for any construction. The storm had passed, those who met in the woods were incredulous and everyone sighed a breath of relief. But confusion still reigned. This was not like any City of Saskatoon land they had ever seen before. It was a forest and absolutely amazing, and delightful, but there were no signs installed and trash was abundant everywhere, the City and its citizens had abandoned it, but why? Why would the city not have signs at a forest as alive, as expansive and as fantastic as the “wooded area” is? Why was there trash around every corner when there was such potential for a spectacular park without work or effort? This site was already mature, and landscaped, and spell-binding!
So it was time to find out more answers.
Civic Operations Centre Links:
Civic Operations Centre. (with map) City of Saskatoon Business and Development. Major Projects. Current Operations.
Contract awarded for Civic Operations Centre by Thomas Piller. Global News. Saskatoon January 22, 2015. Date accessed May 16, 2016.
Civic Operations Centre (pdf) City of Saskatoon. Date accessed May 16, 2016.
City of Saskatoon. Civic Operations Centre. Intech Risk Management. Date accessed May 16, 2016.
City of Saskatoon Civic Operations. expert Business of Law. Dec. 16, 2014. Date accessed May 16, 2016.
City of Saskatoon Civic Operations Centre City of Saskatoon You Tube. January 22, 2013. Date accessed May 16, 2016.
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:
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′
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
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!
|Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $20.00 CAD -monthly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD
What was Richard St. Barbe Baker’s mission, that he imparted to the Watu Wa Miti, the very first forest scouts or forest guides? To protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.
“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker
“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
“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 nation 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.