Hiking is a bit like life

Recreation and Parks Month (JRPM)

is celebrated for the month of June!

What an excellent way to bring in the summer months.

June 1, 2019 is a Saturday, and also commemorates International Trail Day which falls on the first Saturday of June.

By June the Winter season for the Winter Fatbike Trail Network is finished as all the snow has indeed melted.  However, that being said, Jeff Hehn ambassador of the Fatlanders Fat Tire Brigade and other members of this group have created Fatbike winter trails in addition to the existing to the paths previously extant in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Additionally, the city of Saskatoon has created the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, with trails to enjoy, and take your dog along on the trails.

The Saskatoon Nature Society did in fact include the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in their 2016 new edition of the book. “Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon”.  Members of the Nature society have been actively ringing (banding) birds in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area for a number of years, so keep your eyes open while out on the trails, and bring your binoculars and cameras.

Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.
Carrie Latet

Participants in the trails day event at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or at  the Afforestation formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, are invited to post on facebook your photos while walking, bicycling, hiking, or bird-watching along the trail incorporating why you love urban forests in Saskatoon.

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

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

To show your appreciation for the afforestation area, while you are out on the trails, please bring along an extra plastic bag and volunteer to remove debris in the afforestation area, or remove trash in the parking lots or scoop some poop in the off leash area.

These are the ethics of “Leave no trace” to help preserve the afforestation area and its trails for the future generations, and for your families use tomorrow.

Take someone to the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area who has never been to this “best kept secret” of Saskatoon or perhaps take your family out on a new trail which you have not explored yet.

“Hiking is a bit like life:

The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other…again and again and again.

And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek,

you will witness beauty every step of the way,

not just at the summit” ~Unknown

Take only photos and memories, Each leaf, flower, stone and berry is an integral part of the ecosystem in the afforestation area. If we were to remove items from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area we are removing what may be food and shelter for the wildlife community.

Leave only footprints along the paths. Animals and wildlife subsist better on food from the wild. Trash can cause distress and harm to the animals and vegetation and wetlands in the area. Human food and human garbage can make animals sick. This is a wetlands area, trash can also make humans sick as the West Swale drains into the South Saskatchewan River.

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail. Robert Motherwell

Explore the afforestation area with respect. Extend your adventure on the trails of the park to preserve the ecological system. Walking off path disturbs the vegetation of the understory and affects the water drainage of the site. There are still wild animals in the afforestation area, and as the city grows, it would be amazing if it would stay that way for future generations to enjoy as well.

Sustainable trails and trail signage preserve the wildlife habitat, prevent erosion, conserve the forest understory, and provide a conservation friendly direction for the eco-footprint caused by an increase in users

With a growing awareness of the afforestation area, a proper trail network establishing proper and appropriate paths mitigates damage to wildlife habitat and ensures long term preservation practices while allowing increasing numbers of user to appreciate the full scenic beauty of the afforestation area. Well planned sustainable trails mitigate soil movement and erosion, require minimal long term maintenance, while allowing vegetation and wildlife to inhabit the area.
Eliminating illegal use of motorized vehicles in the afforestation area and the wetlands will eliminate unprecedented erosion, ecological and habitat damage. Taking responsibility and accountability for the environment will increase public appreciation for a picturesque urban forest by walkers, bicycle riders, educational classes, naturalists, bird watchers, and a number of other users on properly planned and designed pathways to mitigate the ecosystem footprint.

Remember next year’s International Trails Day is June 6, 2020.

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

You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

You Tube George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you!  Your donation is greatly appreciated.

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

“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.

 

“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

 

 

 

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Coyotes: how to co-exist peacefully

Entering the forest means you are entering a semi-wilderness habitat.  You are entering the homes of many species of wild animals, this is what is absolutely wonderful about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park. “Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.~Arkive

“Successful green intervention is a negotiated settlement within a community,” says Dr. Eric Strauss, executive director for the Center for Urban Resilience, “Communities need to decide not what green spaces or animals they want, but what ecosystem services they want from their green space.
It’s mating season right now for coyotes Canis latrans.  Naturalist Kevin Cantelon provides some hints for living in harmony with coyotes.  If you own a large dog, a coyote may respond very protectively of its territory, and defend it’s den.  As with any wild animal, a parent coyote will defend its pups, and both male and female coyotes share in raising the litter.  Breeding season will also spike the coyote’s hunger.  A small dog may be seen as potential food for the pack, and a housecat is a treat.  For these reasons, if you are walking in an unfenced area, it is wise to keep your dogs onleash to reduce conflict with coyotes.
“Coyotes usually breed in February; litters of 5-7 pups (maximum 19) are born 60-63 days later (April to early May) in a den,” says C. S. Churcher, “Breeding begins at one year, and coyotes mate for life.” So, the mating season, sees an increase risk to your dog during this time of year.  Midwest Outdoors notes, that it is important to “spay or neuter your pet. Coyotes are attracted to and can mate with unspayed or unneutered domestic dogs. Unspayed female dogs in season can attract male coyotes.  Un-neutered male dogs can be lured away by the scent of a female coyote in her ovulation cycle.  Male dogs can be lured by the female coyote’s scent and killed by male coyotes.”
During breeding season, Jaymi Heimbuch reminds us also, “Coyotes that usually avoid any confrontation with humans or dogs will display more territorial behaviors, warning passers-by with vocalizations or even following them. And coyotes that would normally scamper off when chased by an off-leash dog will more likely stand its ground.”
Midwest Outdoors adds these precautions “Keep unattended cats and dogs indoors or in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your back yard.
* Accompany your leashed pet outside.
* Keep dogs on short leashes while walking outside; the Division of Wildlife recommends a leash no longer than six feet.
* Leave noisemakers on hand to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard, such as whistles and horns.
* Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote.” 
Cantelon noted, that if you do encounter a coyote, “Make them uncomfortable, throw a stick at them and haze them to make them not welcome.  And they will learn to stay away very, very quickly.”
“How can we have happy coyotes? …We have to learn how to make space for each other. We need cross-species diplomacy.” says  Stella Tarnay, an urban planner and co-founder of Biophilic DC, a group that works to make cities better habitats for animals and people.
Shara-Lynn Morrison noted that “The coyote gets your dog to chase him and then somewhere in the distance the pack waits for your dog.”  Your dog will act to defend you, and the coyote pack will be defending their pack, and their territory.  The government of Manitoba states coyotes”can be seen anytime of the day but are most active at night as they search for food and defend their territory from other coyotes. Often considered a predator of larger animals such as deer or livestock, coyotes will also scavenge on dead animals and eat insects, rodents, rabbits and songbirds. They are also known to kill or injure pets, especially small dogs or cats.  Coyotes have an annual home range of about 20 square kilometres
Churcher mentions that the Coyote diet consists “chiefly on rabbits and rodents, but they also consume insects, fruits and human waste.”  That being said, it is important to scoop your poop, if walking in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, or George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  Animals are also attracted to feces.

Cities are nature. “We have this idea that there’s the urban world and there’s nature. We’re the only species that looks at landscape that way,” said Dr. Eric Strauss, executive director for the Center for Urban Resilience… “We changed this landscape. It’s all still nature, it’s just not nature as we remember it.”

“Here’s what the city [of Saskatoon] recommends you do during a close encounter with a coyote:

  • Never approach the animal
  • Look for a way out
  • Be observant of the coyote’s movement
  • Act assertive, yell and wave your arms
  • Ensure the animal has an escape route and enough space to flee the situation
  • Keep pets on a leash and under control

Tips to avoid a coyote encounter in your yard:

  • Never feed coyotes or leave food waste in accessible areas
  • Do not put meat, eggs, or dairy in compost bins
  • Seal off access to decks and other sheltered spaces in your yard
  • If you feed your pets outdoors, bring the food in at night
  • Close the gate to your yard and make sure fencing is in good condition

People can call pest management at 306-975-3300 with questions and concerns.”

Coyotes play a role in biodiversity, and its an important one. Lincoln Julie, Calgary Parks

If you find an injured coyote, Mass Audubon states, remember, “sick or injured animals can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially those susceptible to the rabies virus (including coyotes). If you find a coyote in either condition stay away from it and do not attempt to handle it or move it.” “Coyotes suffer from diseases such as canine distemper, rabies, canine hepatitis, and parvo virus”. Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation has some excellent tips in case a wild animal is found.  For more questions call (306) 242-7177.

Coyote Watch Canada also has excellent tips for coexisting with coyotes.

“Supervise your pets and keep them under strict control. Adhering to leash by-laws, accompanying pets on walks, and not allowing them to roam is in the best interests of your pets. Our pets are at risk of many environmental dangers when they are not under our control: owls, eagles, hawks, foxes and coyotes can all prey on smaller pets. Cats are safest indoors or in secure outdoor play enclosures. Domestic dogs can be considered competition for food items at locations where humans are feeding coyotes, and coyotes may prey on small domestic animals for food or to eliminate a threat to their territory or pups.

  • Neuter your pets. Although a rare occurrence, coyotes may mate with domesticated dogs.
  • Do not approach coyotes, their dens or their pups, even if it appears the parents have abandoned them. Coyotes will do their best to avoid human contact, but may attack humans when provoked, sick or injured.
  • Teach children about wildlife and how to safely respond to a coyote (or dog) nearby.
  • Respect, compassion and education are common sense tools that nurture safe and healthy human and wildlife families.
  • Yelling in a firm voice while outdoors “Go away coyote!”, banging pots, spraying a water hose (in warmer months), throwing objects towards not at the coyote, using a shake can, popping open an umbrella can be effective deterrents to safely move a coyote away.
  • **Use hazing techniques such as shaking car keys, popping an umbrella, throwing an object in the direction of the coyote such as clumps of dirt, sticks or blow a whistle. Review and download our Keeping Coyotes Away Pamphlet Be prepared and aware of your surroundings when enjoying the outdoors. Be a good visitor “leave no trace”. Carry out leftover food, garbage and dog feces.

How to identify if a coyote is in the area?  Government of Manitoba, notes coyote sign such as coyote tracks, coyote scats, and pets that are fearful or barking uncontrollably. “Coyotes commonly howl or “yip” to communicate to each other and urinate frequently to mark their territory.” The Commonwealth of Massachusetts says, “Coyotes howl because:

  • They’re telling non-family members to stay out of their territory.
  • They’re locating their family members within their territory.
  • They’re advertising for a mate during breeding season.
  • Pups practice howling and can be especially vocal in late summer as they attempt to mimic their parents.
  • When there is a potential threat towards the pups, adult coyotes will scatter and howl in order to distract the threat away from the den site.”

“If there is an introduction of wild systems into the city, there needs to be an education that nature is harsh and one needs to be careful with it,” Susannah Drake says.“In the same way kids in the city are taught to look both ways before crossing the street, there are dangerous situations you learn about and become aware of.”

Heimbuch sums it up coyote mating season succinctly, “Coyote attacks on humans are rare, and there have been only two fatal attacks in modern history, in 1981 and 2009. Urban Coyote Research reports, “In almost a third of the reported attack cases, it was known that coyotes were being fed (either intentionally or accidentally) near the attack site. One victim was bitten while feeding a coyote and another was bitten by a coyote that was being fed by her parents.” So it appears there is often a human cause to the bites in the first place.

…So, if it helps assuage fears of neighborhood coyotes, a child is far more likely to be bitten by a domestic dog than by a coyote when out playing in the neighborhood.

That said, it is only smart to know about coyotes and their behavior so that you can continue to coexist peacefully with these wild urban residents.

Mass Audubon says, “Coyotes are wary animals who will avoid people at all costs,” and remember to never, never leave food out for coyotes, and this includes dropped dog treats, and dog feces.  Scoop your poop!

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. ~His Holiness The Dalai Lama

If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ~St. Francis of Assisi

 

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

In regards to donations to protect the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Governance and Finance, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5   If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation will support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas. Please and thank you!

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

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker