True Heroes of the Afforestation Area

What are you doing this April 22, Earth Day?

In life there is a continuous succession of first impressions and adventures.

Why do we smile when a child puts on a man’s hat? The usual reply to such questions is, that laughter results from a perception of incongruity.

It is truly incongruous indeed that the afforestation area is besought with illegal trespass, however this is no laughing matter. No chuckle comes forward, only dismay, bewilderment, and nay even disgust that a forest should receive the dumping of trash, and environmental polluting.

However, to the rescue comes the RM of Corman Park 344 establishing posts, locks and chains to mitigate illegal trespass to the southern perimeter. Adjoining the RM are the Fat bike fatlanders brigade with their own volunteer labour securing the east side of the afforestation area near the Civic Operations Centre (City of Saskatoon bus barns) with a bollards, gate and “gently used” Jersey Barriers. The City of Saskatoon joins the ranks with their attention to the stakeholder’s interests, the additional “gently used” Jersey Barriers, the existing no dumping/no trespassing signs and the orange vehicle barriers.

This is not the least, the Saskatoon City Police, Warman RCMP force and the Corman Park Police Service have all offered support services to the citizen stakeholders. The Saskatoon Fire Department efficiently contained the grass fire of 2016, a great relief before it became a forest fire.  Everyone is doing the best that they possibly can.

Additionally Saskatoon groups, individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests have rallied to support the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership” at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in so many ways.  It is with great appreciation the volunteers offering their time at the community and Meewasin & Affinity Credit Union Clean-Up Campaign clean ups , the citizen neighbourhood watch stewards, the donations in kind in support of the clean up, and the financial donations which have been received towards the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund

So, “What are you doing this Earth day, April 22?”, is asked again. Hopefully it is getting out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, celebrating our amazing world, and reveling in the joy that so many residents in the city of Saskatoon embrace the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area. It is an area large enough to embrace the ideals summarized as a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

Come out this spring, and celebrate the work done by diverse groups and residents in this afforestation area preserved in perpetuity! Look forward to seeing you, indeed. It is great to see so many different expressions to respect this semi-wilderness habitat corridor nestled in the West Swale wetlands.  For it is  joy seeing the coming forward  of the  City of Saskatoon citizens in regards to the afforestation area.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is held in the hearts of so many, and it may  truly and well be preserved for many generations to come.  Don’t you agree that in this there is, indeed, laughter and celebration for Earth Day!

“How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!” wrote Carlyle.

Thank you!

PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou comest very near to us through thy Trees.
From them we have beauty, wisdom, love,
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
the food we eat and the strength.

Help us, Oh God!
to give our best to life
and leave the world
a little more beautiful and worthy
of having lived in it.

Prosper thou our planting
and establish thy kingdom of love
and understanding on 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

Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
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

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Man of Trees winter trail network

How can we encourage more people to get outside, get active and get together over the winter months in Saskatoon?~Eric Westberg COS

In 2015, members of the Fatlanders FatTire Brigade (FFTB) discover the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area and start to use existing trails for winter recreational snow biking. Through January to March 2016 the (FFTB) groom trails using showshoes to gauge the effectiveness of this method of making trails. The FFTB is quite enthusiastic, and wish to pursue a formal trail network in this flat land area. Several bicycle enthusiasts prefer these trails over and above the technical trails in existence along the riverbank.

FFTB submits proposal to the City of Saskatoon (COS) Open Spaces Consultants for discussion of a “Man of Trees“ winter trail network. It is noticed by the FFTB that the City of Saskatoon initiates a Winter City Strategies Initiative for the City of Saskatoon. The City of Saskatoon is currently in growing Winter City YXE and they are in the planning and development stage “to make winter in our city great!” Jeff Hehn, ambassador for the FFTB, brings to the city the FFTB proposal to embrace a winter strategy that could increase outdoor winter recreation.

The FFTB proposal suggests that the groomed winter trail network would encourage fat biking, cross-country skiing, skijourning, snow shoeing, horse back riding, winter hiking, and sliding snowshoeing recreational activities.

The “Man of the Trees” trail network, is stated to have the potential to improve winter tourism amenities for the City of Saskatoon in this proposal. An emerging recreational activity known as fat biking is on the rise. Fat bikes are specialized for winter biking and riding upon snow. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, slide snowshoeing, skijoring, hiking, and horseback riding all benefit from the grooming of a winter trail network.

As part of this winter tail network, it is imperative that motorized vehicles do not have egress to the park, as vehicles undo the work done by those actively engaged in grooming the paths. The FFTB have been in this way: actively engaged as stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area while at the same time advocating for the winter trail network.

Further to the newly installed barriers, the FFTB continue to raise money for the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)” to fully support the erection of gates and barriers at any areas where vehicles may enter the afforestation area. With motorized vehicles, thus restricted, there is no doubt that it is very much easier to create trails to fat bicycle in the afforestation area, and keep them well groomed.

If you are ever out in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and wonder about the newly created trails they have been the passion of Jeff Hehn and the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade.  Consider this, is the man of the trails network an an outlier in regards to the environment issues being an observation point that is distant from other environmental observations  Or is the man of the trails network a means to observe and appreciate the flora and fauna with a healthy respect for their habitat and provides a means of proceeding with respect through the afforestation area with the least amount of impact on the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat.

Meetings have resulted in a sharing of  information and an increase of awareness between the viewpoints of  these diverse stakeholders, who share the mutual goals and desires in regards to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area to mitigate illegal trespass and the appreciation and respect of the afforestation area.

It is fantastic that the City of Saskatoon recognizes and supports two initiatives for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area; the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and 380,000 by 2035.  It is truly an honour to know that the City of Saskatoon takes the biodiversity of this ecological area seriously.  The various stakeholders have been in contact with the City along the way regarding both the environment as well as the FatLanders Fattire Brigade pitched the Winter Trail Network – a Winter City YXE proposal.  As the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is across Cedar Villa road from Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, it is fitting and fantastic that the herds of deer, waterfowl, small mammals and amphibians are considered alongside the wetlands, native and modified woodlands and grasslands when creating human plans and recreation activities in the home and habitat of the native wildlife.

Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational capacities the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Without trails, humans just cannot interact with nature, however with too many trails and other forms of human intervention, nature just simply cannot interact with humans.  The wise deliberation on the ecological footprint is a wonderful recommendation at the outset of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area human development process at a time when the human footprint in the afforestation area increases exponentially.  With forethought now as to wise and considerate placement of trails and human activities in a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, it just may be that humans and nature can peacefully co-exist now and in the future.  Wouldn’t it be a fantastic experience as it is today, that in 2035 as well, when the city reaches a population of 380,000 grandchildren and great grandchildren can see waterfowl, deer, amphibians and other wildlife within the city limits at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area without the only urban recourse of going to a zoo?  Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here, zoos are fantastic, however, don’t you agree it is a treasure to have a preserved afforestation area affording a natural environment for human activities alongside the urban zoo.  Respect of the afforestation area coupled with a due consideration of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, means this generation and many future generations can also enjoy and take part in various recreational opportunities within a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

…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

Sidenote:
As Richard St. Barbe Baker had once the nick name “Man of the Trees” this trail network, is thus named by the FFTB. The multi-use trail network is of course open and available to those who are not men.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Giles, David. City of Saskatoon offering free winter activities Global News.


Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that
New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture
CBC news January 2017

Things to do in Winter in Saskatoon. Tourism Saskatoon

WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy City of Saskatoon

Winte City Strategy Breakfast March 15, 2017

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: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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
Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Cost of Barriers

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

Securing the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from Illegitmate Access approved at the City Council meeting Aug 18, 2016

“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”

The Standing policy committee on planning, development, and community services on July 18, 2016 met and advised that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Measures to Mitigate Unlawful Dumping and Trespassing July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report should be received as information by the General Manager, Community Services Development. The report of the General Manager, Community Services Department, dated July 18, 2016, was recommended to go before City Council August 18, 2016, for information. At this meeting, Councillor Hill, Councillor Davies, Councillor Jeffries, Councillor Paulsen and His Worship the Mayor all voted in favour.

The committee also heard from Julia Adamson, Robert White, and Jeff Hehn in July of 2016.  Robert White, who personally knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, and is a member of SOS Elms Coalition spoke about the great humanitarian, and forester, Richard St. Barbe Baker the namesake of the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Robert White spoke “to the importance of the preservation of the area and expressed support
for some type of barriers to protect the area.”

The July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report examined measures to mitigate trespassing of motorized vehicles, and to prevent illegal dumping of refuse in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA). The committee examined the conditions of trash built up in the afforestation area, and realized that there are no funded City service levels for the RSBBAA as this area is not within the parks and open space inventory, and parks does not have maintenance over the area, as it belongs to Land Branch.

It was in the writing of this report, that the Community Services Department  discovered that the afforestation area east of the Southwest Off Leash Recreation Area ~ that region on part of the south east quarter of section 23, township 23 range 36 west of the third meridian~ was not legally within the legal land description during the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area naming process undertaken in 1978-1979.

There were three options proposed:

    1. Option 1 Frontage Fencing which includes installing page wire fencing on only areas adjacent to roadways or “frontage” areas with an approximate cost of $45,206. This sum includes the clean up tipping fee estimate of $13,500, so the actual fence comes to $44,806. If chain link fencing were employed for the frontage areas, then the cost would be $197,000.
    2. Option 2 Perimeter Fencing utilizing page wire fencing around the complete afforestation area would run around $147,000, which includes the tipping fees as well. If the perimeter were surrounded with chain link, the cost rises to $949,000.
    3. The third and final option examined was bollard and gate installation. This proposal showed an estimated cost of $30,500 (inclusive of the $13,500 tipping fee)

The recommendation favoured the third option realizing that the bollards and gates would perhaps result in vehicles going around these barriers if they were determined to enter the afforestation area without respect to these clearly defined property limits.

Other stewards to consult during the process and development are TransGAS, SaskPower and in later light another stakeholder is CN.

The report stated that “there are no policy, environmental, privacy, or CPTED implications or considerations at this time.”

As the south west sector planning continues over the next few years this will be re-examined and a more permanent solution may perhaps be conceptualized.

The full council meeting report of August 18, 2016 is available at City of Saskatoon website or at the City of Saskatoon Archives.

The above is a para-phrasing of the report written by Monica Hunt, Landscape Architect, Open Space Design.
Reviewed by Darren Crilly, Director of Parks.
Approved by Randy Grauer, General Manager, Community Services Department.

As the North East Swale watchers formed as an informal grouping to protect the north east swale, so do the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area come together to protect the riparian woodland, marsh wetlands, and the semi-wilderness habitat.

At community meet ups and clean up events, the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area sees representatives who care for the afforestation area from Ducks Unlimited, SOS Elms Coalition, Saskatoon Nature Society, Member of Parliament Sheri Benson, Standing councilor for Ward 2, The Saskatoon Baha’i Community, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Cedar Villa Estates, Rural Municipality of Corman Park, North East Swale Watchers, West Swale watchers, Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the SW off leash recreation area city liason, Meewasin Valley Authority, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Casual Off leash dog walkers, Jane’s Walk, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Nature Saskatchewan, several and many community associations in the south west of Saskatoon such as…Mount Royal Community Association, Montgomery Park Community Association, Parkridge Community Association, Dundonald Community Association, King George Community Association, Holiday Park Community Association, Fairhaven Community Association.

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 extending from the Civic Operations Centre (bus barns) and is the afforested woodlands area near Saskatchewan Highway 7 as accessed by Cedar Villa Road for either the west or east parking areas.
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: StBarbeBaker

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

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

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