Our humanity is inseparable from our historical moment. Ultimately our complicated existence is tied to our connection with and toward all things living.
There’s still wonder in the world. Respect for life is reinforced. Love all things associated with the large borderless online digital community of similar peoples engaged in learning and sharing knowledge and their appreciation for nature in its broadest sense—a beautifully desperate gesture, a raging hope as we course through the latest (and sixth) mass planetary extinction. And still we are awed.
We have gradually widened the circle of interest and complexity in our pursuit of this endeavor so as to grow experiential knowledge. There is and always will be much more to learn about the circle of life. We’re but one link.
What’s the name and basic range of all these life forms? It’s a compelling quest.
We are all citizens of the world living on the only planet we have. Therefore I am a citizen naturalist and amateur photographer.
Those fortunate enough to practice photography know that it is the sum of our experience. Photography is both art and science. It is faith and aesthetics; discipline and intuition. I’ve always been a shutterbug. But my work has grown; it has evolved. It is tied to the era of the digital revolution like iNaturalist.
May there always be another day to share the word and images that accompany it. It is our collective report on the planet’s life. May we share it with those we love and those we have yet to meet, kindred spirits we may yet call friends. Life is fleeting but intense. New generations await their turn at changing course.
May we always remember our place en el árbol de la vida. All life on our planet shares the same cosmic fate of the universe. We are one or none at all.
Different people have various wishes as they contemplate what wishes they may make on World Wish Day.
We wish you Happy Earth Month, and wish you well and all the best in keeping safe from Coronavirus COVID-19!
What do you wish for in the school curriculum?
What do you wish for when it comes to city planning?
What do you wish for biodiversity?
What do you wish for future generations?
What do you wish for climate action?
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank
“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
― D. Simone
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. – Aldo Leopold
There is a great need for the introduction of new values in our society, where bigger is not necessarily better, where slower can be faster, and where less can be more. – Gaylord Nelson
“Dare to dream! If you did not have the capability to make your wildest wishes come true, your mind would not have the capacity to conjure such ideas in the first place. There is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve, except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. What you believe to be possible will always come to pass – to the extent that you deem it possible. It really is as simple as that.”
― Anthon St. Maarten
White Rose National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
White Rose National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
White ribbon campaign. National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
Saturday, December 6, honours the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. Calvin Coolidge
As you drive out to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area or to the South West Off Leash Recreation Area, you may have noticed that the City of Saskatoon flags at the Civic Operations Centre are being flown at half-mast ~ a symbol of respect, mourning, distress, or a salute.
This day of remembrance remembers this tragic affair. It was 1991, and fourteen women engineering students were murdered at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. In addition, ten more women, and four men were injured. The shooter was “fighting feminism” and after his attack, he turned his gun on himself. Following this massacre, the lives of those who witnessed the attack were forever in distress, anguish and disarray, and further lives have been lost due to this senseless act.
The survivors are left with the experience as they try to regain some sense of carrying on with their lives. The ripple effect is great, as family members and friends are also affected in their support for those affected by this experience. The writer of this article had a female cousin who was in attendance at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal on this tragic day, and it was and still is truly devastating to say the least.
““Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”
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.
“I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.”Richard St. Barbe Baker
“I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.” Richard St. Barbe Baker
How can you be thankful to your community? Have you gone out of your way to profess a heartfelt thank you to someone who has made a difference in your community? What of the countless people who make the city safe, and beautiful? Have you extended a word of thanks to those who keep your parks area verdant and the heart of your community. The Urban Forestry Program, takes care of those trees which remove pollutants from our air, creating a wondrous city free of smog.
What is it that makes a good city excellent? Shops, entertainment, shelter are among some readily picked choices.
However, is not the public park, the place where childhood memories made? Just as a healthy frog serves as an indicator of a thriving environment, does not a good park serve as measure of a world class city?
What is the difference between a park and a parking lot? Well most people agree, that a good and blissful public park has lots of trees, wetlands, and fresh fragrant woodland and meadow air. A great park has safety, and provides a sanctuary to interact within the neighbourhood, and meet new people A perfect setting for a picnic, events, recreation, and general happiness and relaxation to everyone in the neighbourhood. A wide variety of cultural events embrace musicians, yoga groups, bicycle trips, bird watchers, the young and the old.
Perhaps you bring your kids to run and play! Or maybe your dogs need to sniff and get some mental exercise. Your camera might need to be taken out of the box and out for a leisurely walk. Perhaps your son or daughter has ADHD or is autistic, and what better sense of achievement that a stroll or bicycle ride down a forest path for physical health and mental healing? A teacher may use the path to teach their students about the environment. The public park is a place for fellowship, health and wellbeing for one and all where can everyone find a safe place in nature as Saskatoon grows to a booming population of one million!
However it works for you, be thankful for your park. Its not every city that has a healthy ecosystem embracing grasslands, woodlands and wetlands.
The long needles of the Scots Pine
Richard St. Barbe Baker spoke to his gratefulness, in his book My Life My Trees
“I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost …
“I became intoxicated with the beauty all around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all.
“I had entered the temple of the wood. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid – the call of a distant cuckoo seemed just for me …
“The overpowering beauty of it all entered my very being.
“At that moment my heart brimmed over with a sense of unspeakable thankfulness which has followed me through the years since that woodland re-birth …
“I was in love with life: I was indeed born again, although I could not have explained what had happened to me then.”
In regards to your financial donations to protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5 To support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation will support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas. Please and thank you! Your donationis greatly appreciated.
Chaque fois que je fais les courses, je vote résolument “Oui aux aliments en vrac!” et “Oui aux produits biologiques!” Pour mes enfants, je rêve d’un avenir plus sain et sans déchet: je suis heureuse d’y investir mon argent chaque semaine.”
― Bea Johnson
“Has any one of us ever really seen a Tree? When we become aware of trees we may catch glimpses of them in moments of spiritual vision and, identifying ourselves with the trees, become conscious of the rising of the sap; the upward thrust of life; leaf burgeoning, their consciousness of the changing seasons; we may share their passionately boisterous exuberance of life in the height of a storm, and their tranquility when at rest; with them we will enjoy the glad murmur of the ripening seed clusters when after weeks of drought the steady warm rain brings relief to thirst; and we will know that these creatures, our elder brethern, are intimately related to us in their love and hunger for life. We may even catch their enthusiasm and aspire heavenwards while still rooted in our Mother Earth and in communion with our fellow men and, tree-wise, strive to make the Earth more fruitful again.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands in the fog
Trembling Aspen grove Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale Wetlands , Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
“Landscape painting is the thoughtful and passionate representation of the physical conditions appointed for human existence. It imitates the aspects, and records the phenomena, of the visible things which are dangerous or beneficial to men; and displays the human methods of dealing with these, and of enjoying them or suffering from them, which are either exemplary or deserving of sympathetic contemplation.~John Ruskin”
A new story unfolds. At the meeting of Wednesday evening March 29, a group of interested stakeholders and stewards came together to discuss the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It was appreciated that new faces were brought into the mix, and a new development unravelled.
Amid the conversation, a new strategy came forward by the councillor for Ward 2, Hilary Gough. This topic was to network and tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at the citizen level. Getting the story out there looks to embrace the single key concept which came forward time and time again during the meeting from all users and all stakeholders; the need to respect the Afforestation Area.
Just as a painter, needs must, as they paint the landscape, choose; so too must a story teller choose. The painter can either show that which is dangerous to man, and relates the story of those suffering from that phenomena, or the painter shows that which is beneficial to man, and the painting’s story is told of people benefiting or taking enjoyment from the painting’s narrative.
As the several groups and people go forward from the meeting of Wednesday night, which story will they paint as they tell the story of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? Will all the individual painters network the tale which shows respect for the afforestation area? Pause a moment, consider truly, what words you choose to paint the picture you personally desire which show simply and easily this; a healthy respect of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Pass this story forward.
As the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area reach out to those experienced in that art of “painting a picture”, it is amazing what is learned in the process. Study the City urban planning department plans, brochures and websites of the City of Saskatoon, Ducks Unlimited and the MVA where thoughtful planners examine the situation from many angles, and far reaching visions. Soon it is seen that a common theme comes forward. Lean towards that which is positive. Lean towards that which respects the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, mitigate that which does not show respect.
The City of Saskatoon is growing, expected to reach 250,000 by 2025 and a whopping 380,000 by 2035. Cities of this size have growing pains, and things may get complicated if there is no philosophy and no idea of where they are going.
There are undoubtedly challenges and opportunities along the path of getting to where we want to be. However where there are thoughtful planners who give time and consideration to a variety of aspects which are therefore seen on the brochures, facebook pages, websites and media conferences, everyone catches the spirit of where the planners are going and it is uplifting. Readers feel good about the very words presented .
The meeting was an opportunity to hear the old story, the one that is being left behind. The old story shows no respect for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The meeting was an opportunity to replace problems with what feels good and what feels right. The various individuals present at the meeting spoke to methodologies and plans as to how to best respect the afforestation area in their group collective philosophies and desires as well as in their personal individual hopes and dreams.
By the simple act of respect, it is exhilarating to be in the afforestation area and look for positive aspects which fulfill everyone’s concepts of how best to respect the afforestation area. It is wonderful to make peace with opportunities for a thriving and healthy afforestation experience.
The City of Saskatoon report for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from The Community Services Department supported a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”
To turn back time to 1991, this very goal was conceptualized in a plan from the MVA to create wildlife habitat, complement and enhance the riverbank setting, and increase ecological diversity. A selection of flora species are selected and planted in patterns indigenous to the prairie/parkland eco-zone compatable with soil, drainage and topographic characteristics. Create a legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker. The concept promotes all non-motorized activities, such as walking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, horseback riding, nature appreciation, environmental and outdoor education alongside scientific research [to paraphrase the plan].
Everyone plays a part in identifying a vision for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The vision provides the direction of growth and engagement by current and future visitors and users of the afforestation area. Everyone in the meeting was of a consensus that it is time to let go of the old drama which showed a lack of respect, and when at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area let go of the old story.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is not a baseball diamond nor basketball court with clearly defined painted lines and usage ~ the afforestation area is complicated. The afforestation area embraces a framework of diverse users who incorporate new and exciting methods to appreciate and respect the afforestation area. Side by side recreation groups sat beside planners, sat beside environmental and conservation groups, sat beside community associations, sat beside off leash recreation area users, and together everyone agreed and spoke in peace and harmony of the mutual desire to respect the afforestation area.
Creating a plan for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area identifies land use, servicing, transportation, alongside a visionary identification of possible uses while embracing the vision of Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, and A.E. Ligtemoet, Saskatoon parks department. The afforestation area was conceptualized to enhance the City of Saskatoon as a green city. The parks department acted to preserve the afforestation area in perpetuity. Embracing a respect for the afforestation area fulfills both these early movements.
As users and stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, it is imperative to recognize our philosophy on a personal individual level. Lean towards that which is positive to embrace the respect of the afforestation area. A general meeting consensus was that it is truly time to make peace with where we are collectively and tell the new story, and find ways to leave the old story behind.
The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is being cared for by the MVA Stewards of the South Saskatchewan River Valley. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is in the hands of urban city planners who also follow appropriate and correct processes to cover a wide gamut and variety of contingencies and identify a direction. Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting to hear the City of Saskatoon vision from Hilary Gough, Councillor of Ward 2, and together, now we can all rest in the knowledge that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and South West Sector future growth and plans will, indeed, respect the afforestation area.
PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou contest 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.
Please help protect / enhance /commemorate 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 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 it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.~Richard St. Barbe Baker
It is not a farce.…”To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” ~Terry Tempest Williams