Saskatoon Green Infrastructure Program

You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover.
Richard St. Barbe Baker

Advertisements

Green Infrastructure “is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature”. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.”[*]

“The fate of an individual or a nation will always be determined by the degree of his or its harmony with the forces and laws of Nature and the universe.  Man is not alone in the universe but is surrounded by sources of power, harmony and knowledge.  The fullness of life depends upon man’s harmony with the totality of the natural cosmic laws.  Our individual evolution is a job that has to be carried on day by day by each individual himself.  It is a livelong task.”Richard St. Barbe Baker

“Green infrastructure refers to any natural or built systems that provide ecological benefits and help to maintain pre-development hydrology. It encompasses natural features like streams, wetlands, forests, and parks, as well as engineered systems that manage urban runoff.”[***]

The West Swale is an important pre-requIsite for the City of Saskatoon, as this low lying area protects both agricultural and urban neighbourhoods from flooding. The afforestation area also sequesters carbon emissions, improving the air. The soil and water quality also benefits from the woodland environment.

Environmental benefits include ”

  • Increase carbon sequestration
  • improve air quality
  • additional recreational space
  • efficient land use
  • flood protection
  • drinking water source protection
  • replenish groundwater
  • improve watershed health
  • protect or restore wildlife habitat
  • reduce sewer overflow events
  • restore impaired waters
  • meet regulatory requirements for receiving waters”[**]

By utilizing green infrastructure, the city of Saskatoon has an ecological base for sound social, economic, and environmental health and well-being. In the case of the West Swale and the afforestation areas, the green infrastructure, is supported by wetlands, so it may be also referred to as blue or “blue-green” infrastructure.

Economic benefits include; ”

  • reduce hard infrastructure construction costs
  • maintain aging infrastructure
  • increase land values
  • encourage economic development
  • reduce energy consumption and costs
  • increase life cycle cost savings”[**]

The afforestation area is a splendid example of urban forestry at its finest, and has the capacity to reduce energy usage costs, and may help to manage storm water and runoff. Physical activity and the reduction of stress are among the health benefits of urban green space.

Social benefits are: ”

  • “Establish urban greenways
  • provide pedestrian and bicycle access [recreation]
  • create attractive streetscapes and rooftops that enhance livability and urban green space
  • educate the public about their role in stormwater management
  • urban heat island mitigation”[**]

The meeting on May 29, 2017 showed a forward thinking City of Saskatoon embracing concepts of green infrastructure which will be applied to the long range planning of the Blairmore Sector Plan. Such a proposal brings the green infrastructure home for the neighbourhood planning of the city. According to the report, “the purpose of the Green Infrastructure is to develop an integrated approach to planning for and maintaining a sustainable, biodiverse city by considering natural and supportive areas as part of an ecological system.” As the Blairmore Sector Plan moves forward, natural and naturalized areas will be duly inventoried. As the plan develops, the community will be engaged for public engagement.

With a green infrastructure program, communities unite in an effort to preserve watersheds, wildlife habitats, and parks, to better protect the environment maintaining wildlife diversity while benefiting quality of life, helping people to connect with nature, increase health benefits of spending time in nature, while having access to clean air, and water. Once fully developed, the green infrastructure program have the potential for supporting both recreational and conservation activities that will have positive impacts far beyond the immediate community.

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver”. ~Martin Luther

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

FCM – Green Municipal Fund What we fund

** Green Infrastructure Case Studies Municipal Policies for Managing Stormwater and Green Infrastructure (EPA 841 F 10 004)

Green Infrastructure | Help Build Sustainable Communities ESRI

Infrastructure Canada – Green Infrastructure. Government of Canada Investing in Green Infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure Webcase Series. United STates Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Infrastructure Partnership Launches ‘Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program’ Waterbucket.ca [For further information on Green Infrastructure and success stories in British Columbia – Guidance Documents and Resources The partnership for Water Sustainability in BC video]
* Green Infrastructure Wikipedia.

Inquiry
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

*** Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program. Urban Runoff and Green Infrastructure. Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program 2016.

What is Green Infrastructure? United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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

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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Save

Save

Save

Save

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“. “I don’t have a bucket list but my bike-it list is a mile long.” – unknown” For the recreation buff

How? Recreation in harmony with wildlife.

Is it possible and How?

“Every trail can’t be all things to all people but all trails can play beneficial roles. Trails play roles in the economy, play roles in the environment and perhaps most importantly, play roles in our health.*” Trails have the capacity to provide connectivity, economic benefits, education potential, environmental interpretation, health, heritage, and recreation. Trails can also focus on just interpretive trails. Trails may be made solely for recreation without awareness of the environment. Those people focusing on the lack of Vitamin “N” in the urban population, may construct trails for education and health, and not focus on a wide variety of recreation. Then there are those trails which with planning and foresight have the capacity to combine many features for an audience of skiiers, classrooms of snowshoers, groups of fat bicycle riders, and nature enthusiasts who come to the forest to band birds. Trails invite people and increase the human footprint. Is it at all possible for trails to provide health benefits of recreation and to conserve the footprint of birds and wildlife at the same time?

Trails can be constructed to encircle biospheres, and trails can loop around and create length for an exercise workout. Ecosystems in the afforestation area vary widely. Prairie gives way to permanent class IV wetlands, in turn cycles to Aspen Parkland bluffs, which at the next turn reveals implanted and afforested trees. Native grasslands mix with modified grasslands. Native trees combine with afforested mature tree plantings. Shallow temporary floodplains flow with intermittent streams between marsh areas.

Abandoned roadways in the afforestation area formerly allowed motorized vehicle travel east and west. Newly created trails create greenways through the forest biome itself.

“‘Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind’ helps trail planners and builders balance the benefits of creating trails with being stewards of nature and wildlife habitat.” How does one make a bicycle path appropriate for a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat? What are some guidelines for being aware of wildlife, aquatic areas, and environmental impacts and consequences? Can trails be designed in the winter months without an awareness of the spring, summer and fall biosphere? How can trails enrich greenways, and the wildlife, while still providing a recreational experience? Are there impacts of trails on the nesting site of deer families, and fawns? What is the view from the bird’s nest with an increase of trail users in a forest?

Is it possible that a greenway concept or trail design, that the flora and fauna of wetlands and woodlands can thrive alongside people in nature? What types of design considerations and awareness of the biodiversity are required? Trail and corridor planning has the capacity to provide ecologically sustainable trails for a city urban footprint. Trails can protect environmental resources, if the natural eco-system is e

valuated, and considered.

However, that being said, trails can focus only on recreational aspects, and those benefits. Trails can be indeed fantastic ways to enjoy winter recreation. Once built, the same trails over the spring, summer and fall months, have opened up the wildlife habitat to people. There is no doubt about it, the winter recreation trails don’t disappear along with the snow melt.

Do these trails bring people into the environment with minimal environmental impact? What happens on a winter trail in the summer?  Do the trails provide the tourist with the capacity for educational, scenic or interpretive opportunity year round? Can all vegetation be linked with a greenway corridor, or are there species which do not thrive around a trail? Similarly what species of animals will make homes, reproduce, and live in the same habitat as trails? Can this be accomplished, or does it become an either or? Is it a choice to choose between trails and a variety of fauna, or can they exist together? Do trails include the biosphere of flora and fauna species and therefore enhance the environment?

How do challenging bicycling and hiking trails compare to a shorter interpretive or nature trail? Is the area only large enough for recreational trails, and the park should only be open in the winter, and close up for the other seasons? Can recreational winter trails, afford environmentally friendly trails during other seasons?

Trails dig deep into a woodland, when a trail transects through a forest what are the impacts on the woodland animals, and birds? Do botanists work alongside trail planners to know which areas are sensitive and which would thrive with trails?

Trails are amazing things, a well-designed trail has minimal devastation to the vegetation, are easy to hike, bicycle, ski and snowshoe.  However it may possibly be that protecting the vegetation, is not the sole responsibility when trail planning when providing a minimum impact onto an eco-system. Again, trails are truly amazing things, providing people with an opportunity to bicycle in nature, hike, showshoe, ski, or band birds. Alongside the vegetation, good trail planning will consider the seasons and the urban footprint all year round. If a winter ski trail is created in one area of a biome, will this impact where a deer gives birth to a fawn in the spring? When a winter trail loops through a forest, will that have a ripple effect on species of birds nesting over the summer?

Eco-tourism is wonderful. A healthy and active outdoor lifestyle is absolutely marvelous. Having the capacity to celebrate a semi-wilderness habitat in the city is remarkable. What is the way to make these concepts mutally inclusive? How can winter trail networks live in harmony with semi-wilderness wildlife habitats? This question begs the need to know what wildlife habitats exist, which species live where. Where do the nature enthusiasts band their birds? Where do the deers nest their fawns? If these questions are answered, the biosphere, is truly enhanced with trails, and the next generation of skiiers, snowshoers, hikers, and bicyclers will also be handed a glimpse of a deer, and the grandchildren of the bird-banders, will also be able to band birds alongside the same trails.  Wouldn’t that be fantastic if many generations of recreational enthusiasts, could have a grand time celebrating winter, and that their great grandchildren may also see a deer in a city forest?  Is it possible and how can it be accomplished? The question now is how?

BIBLIOGRAPHY
* Benefits of Trails Hike Ontario.

Trails, Bike and Hike: Inpsiring a Healthy Environment Upper Thams River Conservation Authority. Parks Recreation and Natural Areas.

National Trails Training Partnership Wildlife and environment impacts and benefits of Trails and Greenways.

Benefits of Trails | Rails to Trails

Enhancing the Environment with Trails and Greenways. Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Trails in Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Save

Save

Save

Save

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

Facebook for Dog Walkers

There are two facebook pages for the off leash dog park! The dog park, or off leash recreation area falls within the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. In 2013, the South West Off Leash Dog Park becomes a 14.5 acre fenced off OLRA within the afforestation area.

Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!

And

Facebook: South West OLRA SW OLRA

There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or garden a man has time for meditation and indeed his very act is devotion. He becomes in tune with the Infinite. The miracle of growth and the seasons’ changes induce a sense of wonderment and call forth worship from his inner being and in this sense WORK becomes WORSHIP.~ 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
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

Walking the Dog Day

No animal, not even the horse, has made itself so many friends as the dog

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 is officially “Walking the Dog Day.”  What a remarkable opportunity to pop out to the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, and give your dog a bit of healthy exercise.  And amid the scenic tapestry of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, it is a great place for the pooch’s human to stretch their legs!

pup2
Off Leash Dog Walking
“‘In the midst of a puddly moor,’ says Emerson, ‘I am afraid to say how glad I am:’ which is a strong way of affirming the influence of the inner man as regards the enjoyment of external nature. And surely the inner man is a high factor in the effect. The magnificence of the world outside suffices not. Like light falling upon the polished plate of the photographer, the glory of Nature, to be felt, must descend upon a soul prepared to receive its image and superscription.”~John Tyndall
As Emerson states, it is a wonderful time of year to wear the rubber boots, Wellingtons or galoshes, and splash around a bit in the spring puddles, as the sun glitters amid the dancing tree reflections.

“No animal, not even the horse, has made itself so many friends as the dog. A whole library might be filled with stories about what dogs have done, and men could learn a great deal from the sufferings dogs have gone through for masters that they love.”

And as you consider taking part in “Walking the Dog Day” take a moment to check out the City of Saskatoon’s; Responsible Pet Ownership – Bite Prevention You Tube Video, and also peruse the Canada150 Participaction 150 Play List and its Dog Walking activity listed thereupon.  For “Walking the Dog Day” if you cannot make it to the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, check out the other City of Saskatoon Dog Parks.

“When you get a dog, you inherit the dog’t past and the wisdom of generations that the dog carries.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle.

For more information:

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.
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
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in 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

“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