At the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, there were tours held during the Wild About Saskatoon Nature City Festival in May of 2016. It was a blessing to indeed meet those who came out, and managed to find the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
Their comments proclaimed that they learned so much about the history of the afforestation area, about Richard St. Barbe Baker, and about the trees planted in the forest. And, in turn, it can truly be said that the tour guides, in turn learned from the participants, so it was very fantastic, indeed.
The Meewasin Valley Authority has a similar counterpart in Prince Edward Island, called the Island Nature Trust. The Island Nature Trust protects the wildlife habitat and manages natural areas of Prince Edward Island. Their vision is to connect natural areas on the island by corridors sustaining and managing land for sustained use, planning for future generations.
During clean up blitzes on Prince Edward Island, a group of women come out and sing for the volunteers. They sing in the style of Caroline McDade. The album, This Ancient Love; Visions of a Sacred Land sung by McDade is online at YouTube. A quote from McDade’s song “Peril and Promise” echo words of Richard St. Barbe Baker, himself.
“This is a time when humanity must choose its future,
A future that holds both peril and promise. . . .
To focus not on having, but being.
Having or being? The choice is ours.”
Rising Green flows like a Celtic melody, the last verse;
“My foot carries days of the old into new,
our dreaming shows us the way.
Wondrous our faith settles deep in the earth,
rising green to bring a new day.
Rising green, rising green, rising green to bring a new day.”
Upon hearing quotes by Richard St Barbe Baker, these singers thought they would incorporate some of St. Barbe’s thoughts and words into their songs at the next Prince Edward Island Clean Up, and so St. Barbe lives on, and now in song!
As we wandered around in the forest, each drinking in the various scenes and hearbeat of the forest, various wishes came forward from those walking in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a bench right here, and sit to listen to the blackbirds, and watch the ducks upon the West Swale wetlands.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a rest room area to be able to spend a longer time within the afforestation area and not be called away.
Wouldn’t it be exciting to explore other tree varieties, perhaps Aesculus glabra commonly known as Ohio buckeye -a type of horse chestnut common to the midwestern United States, but introduced to Saskatchewan. This would, indeed insert a bit of orange colour into the autumn landscape.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to increase the number of Green Ash. The Chappell Marsh Conservation Area has successfully drawn the “uncommon” Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides, to bird boxes by the marsh south of Cedar Villa Road. Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area has Green Ash, the natural home of the Mountain Bluebird. An amazing conjunction of the two portions of the west swale connecting the wildlife habitat corridor in such a fashion.
Closing the tour at the end of the day with the two planting ceremonial rites or songs of Richard St. Barbe Baker, and this was very well received. St. Barbe said “Why not a dance for tree planting? A Dance of the Trees!” A request was made that they should be online, so here they are.
|Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause:|
|Stand firm. Grip hard.||Feet shoulder width apart, string attached to crown of head at the top, pull to straighten spine. Shoulders comfortably back, Chin tucked in. Feel this firm stand. Now grip hard with toes. Feel roots growing down into the earth|
|Thrust upward to the skies.||Hands go up over head (may tip-toe if desired)|
|Bend to the winds of heaven.||Wave back and forth in the air bending sideways at the waist, to the left, to the right, arms still overhead, swaying with wind.|
|And learn tranquility.||Lower hands to “prayer pose” in front of chest holding the earth in arms, and rest.|
“Children of the Green Earth” song
|From our Hearts||Start: standing “firm” as above. Place hands folded up across heart.|
|With our Hands,||Open arms wide outstretched in front of body –face palms up showing hands.|
|To the Earth||Bend over at the waist, and reach down to touch the earth.|
|All the world together||Rise up slowly, bringing arms up and around as if encompassing the whole world globe, the entire earth.|
And so it is fitting that a reflection is taken, a moment to step back, see what went well at the Wild About Saskatoon ~ Nature City Festival and what can be learned to move forward.
“It is with a spirit of reverence that I approach God’s Creation, this beautiful Earth. The ancients believe that the Earth was a sentient being and felt the behavior of mankind upon it. As we have no proof to the contrary, it might be as well for responsible people to accept this point of view and behave accordingly.” – 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.