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 page, Government 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.
At the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, SK One of the many piles of Construction Discards and Roofing Shignles Before the 2016 Community Clean Up
At the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, SK One of the many piles of Construction Discards and Appliances Before the 2016 Community Clean Up
At the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, SK Construction Discards and Hazardous Waste. Before the 2016 Community Clean Up
“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 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