Virtual Tour of George Genereux Urban Regional Park, a movie

Virtual Tour of George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon,

a winter movie on You Tube

History of “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

133 Range Road 3063, Saskatoon, SK ( NE 21-36-6 W3)

Greenbelts were the brainchild of Ebenezer Howard, Rexford Tugwell and Benton McKaye. These greenbelts were pioneered to control urban growth.

Saskatoon had its own green belt envisioned by Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, who literally got out of his office, and walked around Saskatoon’s perimeter in 1960 choosing high spots of land for scenic beauty according to Bill Delainey Saskatoon Historian and local history room librarian.Together with City Planner, Bill Graham, Wellman worked on parkways and planted trees for the Circle Drive Parkway at these sites purchased in 1960. The afforestation areas -Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park as well as several green spaces are a part of this concept, and have been incorporated into the Circle Drive plan as is evident around Gordie Howe Bridge completing the southern portion of Circle Drive in Saskatoon.

Green Survival: War Against Ecology Abuse is what Kathy Cronkite, Staff Reporter for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix called it on May 10, 1972.

The City of Saskatoon Parks and Recreation Board planted 200,000 trees on 600 acres of land as a tree nursery program in 1972 as part of the Green Survival Program sponsored in North America by the Canadian Nursery Trades Association and the American Association of Nurserymen. In total 355 acres of afforestation areas were planted that year. In 1973, 355  additional acres are planted. Originally 2,300 acres were envisioned.  Though, originally established as a tree nursery, George Genereux Urban Regional Park has trees too large to transplant at the current moment of time.

Future residential areas were examined, and the areas for public reserve allocated. The intent was to plant these future areas of open space so that when the subdivision was developed, the  Blairmore Suburban Development Area (SDA), there would be mature trees already established.

In 1972, A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent sets before council that these
afforestation areas be kept in perpetuity ~ this is approved by city council.

George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the third afforestation area south of Diefenbaker Park received plantings of drought resistant trees; black or balsam poplar also known as the balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifera), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Colorado blue spruce ( Picea pungens), Sibernain Elm (Ulmus pumila),  Scotch Pine or Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Willow, Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo), Green  Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), and the Siberian peashrub or caragana (Caragana arborescens) Tree planting selections recommended by the P.F.R.A. Tree nursery at Indian Head, SK

The rows were planted by weaving in and out, deviating from the centre line by as much as  forty feet, producing a natural forest effect. “We’re stabilizing the sand with a series of spiral shelters – rows of trees planted in semicircles to catch the winds and create vortices of air,”  explains Richard St. Barbe Baker. “The same thing would be valuable on the Canadian prairies where straight  shelter belts cause snow to accumulate.” Star Weekly Toronto, On January 15 1972

In 1979, the parcel of land at NE 21-36-6 was named “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park – 133 Range Road 3063 and is now part of the Blairmore Suburban Development Area

The George Genereux Afforestation Area, besides providing flood mitigation control, and being an amazing carbon sink for the rising greenhouse gases, features an amazing geological history.  The West Swale, is an amazing geological remnant of the Pleistocene Yorath Island Spillway. The West Swale is a low-lying depression created by repeated glaciations and the melting of the last bit of glacial ice. When the glacial lake dam failed, a huge outburst flood (GLOF) occured The dam can consist of glacier ice or a terminal moraine. Failure can happen due to erosion, a buildup of water pressure, an avalanche of rock or heavy snow, an earthquake or cryoseism, volcanic eruptions under the ice, or if a large enough portion of a glacier breaks off and massively displaces the waters in a glacial lake at its base. Peak flows as high as 15,000 cubic metres per second. The northern flow of water in the Glacial North Saskatchewan River Valley was halted by ice, creating Glacial Rice Lake settling into the lowlands west of Grandora. Glacial Rice Lake drained by channels into the South Saskatchewan Valley According to Larry Edwin Hodgins, “The Moon Lake Channel, a major spillway connecting the North Saskatchewan River basin with the South Saskatchewan, and a smaller parallel channel, Yorath Island Channel, also cross the Cory plain….but they are clearly not South Saskatchewan channels.” and the area of the South Saskatchewan may have increased by 140% and 194%

George Genereux (March 1 1935- April 10, 1989) was a seventeen year old high school student in 1952 when he won the Olympic Games Gold Medal for trap-shooting at the Summer Olympc Games held in Helsinki, Finland with 192 out of 200. This was Canada’s first gold medal at the olympics since 1932. Further to this honour, Genereux was bestowed the Lou Marsh Trophy for being Canada’s outstanding amateur athlete of the year, making him the youngest person in history to receive this honour. The City of Saskatoon declared Genereux “Citizen of the Year” in 1952. Canada honoured him as male athlete of 1952. Genereux was installed in the Canada Sports Hall of Fame (1955), Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on October 31 of 1966, inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame 1986 and the Trapshooting Hall of Fame (1986).

Genereux went on to trap shooting events across Canada and the United States. At the age of 13 Genereux won the Midwestern International Handicap Honours, then he acquired 3 successive Manitoba – Saskatchewan junior titles. (source) Genereux won the Junior Championship of North America at the Grand American Handicap, held in Vandalia, Ohio in 1951. During this event, Genereux broke 199 clay pigeons out of 200. Genereux also placed second in the Oslo, Norway World Championships, 1952.

Genereux, attended the University of Saskatchewan to earn his Arts and Sciences degree, then he went on the McGill University to study Medicine graduated 1960. Dr. George Genereux was for years a Professor of Radiology at the Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon.

The biography submitted to City Council stated that “It is considered appropriate to select in his honour this particular tract of semi-wilderness with its favorable habitat for wildlife of many kinds.” “If you can’t help yourself, you should use your God-given talents to help others,’ spoke George Genereux

Plans Around George Genereux Urban Regional Park Area

At the current moment, plans are made for the area surrounding George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  Check out the maps on these three proposals. The Saskatoon Provincial Freeway is being designed in the area west of Saskatchewan Highway 7.  The city of Saskatoon long range planners are designing the Blairmore Sector within city limits to the north of George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  The P4G planners are allocating land use outside city limits in the immediate vicinity of George Genereux Urban Regional Park.

Click here to see maps of the freeway route at the bottom of this story. On mobile? Click here

Provincial Government About the Saskatoon Freeway Project

Provincial Government Saskatoon Freeway

Saskatoon Freeway Presentation When fully developed, the Saskatoon Freeway will provide a high speed, free flow bypass route around Saskatoon for provincial traffic, as well as allowing for another commuter route for the growing city. The key benefits of the freeway include improved safety, improved traffic flow and reduced travel times.

CBC news Province establishes route for Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Committee being formed to plan Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Province picks preferred route for Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Full route mapped out for proposed $2B Saskatoon freeway Bypass project not expected to start for years with no price tag attached
The bypass that one day is expected to route trucks around Saskatoon and reduce traffic in the city is essentially finalized.

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 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park and areas around the afforestation areas and West Swale 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′
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) – wherewhere
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:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

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

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority at 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 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
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“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.

“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


Join In – it is not meaningless!

“All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies, and Canadian society as a whole” ~ Environment Canada

“I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

It is not at all meaningless to speak about the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides). This unique small passerine bird is listed as threatened / critically endangered as the population has been steadily decreasing since the 1960s.

The Loggerhead shrikes love scattered shrubby growth, and will nest in Caragana, Manitoba Maple, and thorny vegetation such as Buffaloberry shrubbery. The Shrike breed along shelterbelts and riparian areas of the prairies. In this south west sector of the city of Saskatoon, botanists have confirmed that this species is documented for this region wherever there may be wetlands combined with open areas and tall shrubbery.

In order to thrive, and be resilient, the Shrike requires an open grasslands area to forage with elevated perches or lookout points about 4 meters high upon which to sit to facilitate their hunting activities.

The Loggerhead Shrike is quite unique in its dietary habits, as it does not confine itself to seeds, berries insect grub and larvae, but as a carnivorous bird, will capture amphibians, lizards, small mammals such as mice, and small birds. Due its small size, it impales its prey on barbed wire or the thorns of the Buffaloberry bush, which grows around the Chappell Marsh and West Swale wetlands. Though, the main food are grasshoppers, beetles, and rodents. It is only when these are hard to find, that the Loggerhead Shrike will forage for other animals.

How to identify the Loggerhead Shrike:
The wings are coloured black, with a white patch, and the head is quite unique with a mask across the eyes similar to a raccoon. The main colour of the Shrike is grey, with a white or pale breast. Shrikes are about 9 inches in length, and weigh in at 45-60 grams. The Loggerhead Shrike migrate here in March and April leaving after the breeding season from September to November. These birds will migrate nocturnally.

Outlook for the Shrike
Though it is truly unknown what has caused the numbers of the Loggerhead Shrike to plummet, ornithologists hope that by studying the birds and their habitat, the cause for their decline can be ascertained. Currently listed as a threatened species by Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada,  COSEWIC. it is a mandate to place the environment of the Loggerhead Shrike safe from destruction by conversion or development which may alter their prey populations. Scientists have also decided to place the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike as Schedule 1, Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). It is also interesting to note that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared temperate grasslands the world’s most endangered ecosystem. * “Grasslands can also showcase how people and nature can coexist,” said Dan Kraus, a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) scientist, “Among the last places on Earth to shelter grasslands at a meaningful scale are the grasslands of North America’s Great Plain…Endangerment comes down to risk — the risk of losing a species, habitat or ecosystem for future generations. *

In the south west sector of the city of Saskatoon, it is a relief that remnant native grassland remains. Additionally, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area affords wetland plant communities. The West Swale which passes through the large open wetlands and Chappell Marsh features many small scattered wetland areas, with more than adequate habitat and foraging for aquatic fauna, with belts of native and modified grasslands.

The Loggerhead Shirke, Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides during its breeding seasons, ie a “breeding Bird is characterized by: territorial behaviour; calling to competing male, mate or young; singing; courtship displays; carrying food or nest materials etc., and; presence of nest or young found incidentally. Between May 1 – Aug 15, the Loggerhead Shrike is protected 50 meters from low disturbance activity such as walking, and is protected for 250 meters from medium disturbances such as driving, and 400 m from roads, drilling, and other such high disturbance activity according to the Ministry of the Environment for Saskatchewan.

It is interesting to note how the City of Saskatoon’s citizens and residents regards conservation expectations or indifference to wildlife species such as the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike and their habitat. As Environment Canada states, “Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies, and Canadian society as a whole.*

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

The elected and appointed officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email

Cabinet Minister
The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of the Environment

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly.

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. In doing so, 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


Background Information ~ Status of Birds in Canada. Environment Canada. Government of Canada.

Bird ~ Status of Birds in Canada ~ Environment Canada. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Hinterland Who’s Who. Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike Wikipedia.

Loggerhead Shrike Life History, All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Loggerhead Shrike on a Fence. Sonoran Images.

Loggerhead Shrike American Bird Conservancy

Loggerhead Shrike. Birdweb

Loggherad Shrike Audubon

Loggerhead Shrike Jeteliot

Loggerhead Shrike Prairie Subspecies
Loggerhead Shrike Avian 101

Saskatchewan Activity Restriction Guidelines for Sensitive Species. September 2015-1 Ministry of Environment. Government of Saskatchewan.

Species at Risk Public Registry.

Loggerhead Shrike What Bird

Recovery Strategy for the Loggerhead Shrike. Prairie Subspecies. (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides), in Canada. Species at Risk Registry. Recovery Planning
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment Canada. 2015. Recovery Strategy for the Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides), in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iv + 23 pp.

Shrike Neil D. Murray

Species Profile (Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies) – Species at Risk

Thwarted Shrike Attack Birders Journey

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:

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

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





1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“Kind people have been expressing superlatives on my work. But I can assure you that anything which I have been able to achieve has been team work. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:

“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. ”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker