“To do good, you actually have to do something.” – Yvon Chouinard
We must face up to an inescapable reality: the challenges of sustainability simply overwhelm the adequacy of our responses. With some honourable exceptions, our responses are too few, too little and too late. – Kofi A. Annan
Rime Ice at George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. NE 21-36-6 W 3 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063 NE 21-36-6
Sunrise at George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. NE 21-36-6 W 3 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063 NE 21-36-6
George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. NE 21-36-6 W3 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063 NE 21-36-6
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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