Keep close to Nature

World Environment Day
5 June 2018

“The Environmental Protection Agency now warns us that indoor air pollution is the nation’s number one environmental threat to health- and it’s from two to ten times worse than outdoor air pollution. A child indoors is more susceptible to spore of toxic molds growing under that plush carpet; or bacteria or allergens carried by household vermin; or carbon monoxide, radon and lead dust. The allergen level of newer, sealed buildings can be as much as two hundred times greater than that of older structures.” Richard Louv

Is this not the best reason to go outside, and to treasure the great outdoors.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.—Margaret Mead

“The earth has music for those who listen.” –William Shakespeare

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” –John Muir

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!” – Albert Einstein

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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
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
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
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉
“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and …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
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Nature’s Fondest Ties

International Day of Families

15 May 2018

“In an agricultural society, or during a time of exploration and settlement, or hunting and fathering–which is to say, most of mankind’s history–energetic boys were particularly prized for their strength, speed, and agility. […] As recently as the 1950s, most families still had some kind of agricultural connection. Many of these children, girls as well as boys, would have been directing their energy and physicality in constructive ways: doing farm chores, baling hay, splashing in the swimming hole, climbing trees, racing to the sandlot for a game of baseball. Their unregimented play would have been steeped in nature.” Richard Louv

In the City, how can families fill the basic need to reconnect to nature? A very quick and easy way is to help organize family field trips and days out.  During the day hours, the earnest pupil learns of Nature by the lessons she gives in the melting fire, the rushing water, the unseen wind.  If families steadily purpose to do their full duty by their child, they may rely upon it that all the powers of nature will help them;—that in a world wrapped round with sweet air, and blessed by sunshine, and abounding with knowledge, the human being can hardly fail of the best ends of life.

“Come forth into the light things, let nature be your teacher.” –William Wordsworth

Samuel Philips asks; But what is home,—home in the sphere of nature?
“Home! ’tis a blessed name! And they who rove,
Careless or scornful of its pleasant bonds,
Nor gather round them those linked soul to soul
By nature’s fondest ties,…
But dream they’re happy!”

Here in the city of Saskatoon, are located the Blairmore Sector Afforestation Areas – the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, The Southwest Off Leash Recreation Area, and the “George Genereux” Urban Regional park.  These include riparian woodlands, wetlands, and grassland areas with a diversity in flora and fauna to explore and discover.

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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
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
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
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

The Green Things Growing

21 April 2018

World Creativity and Innovation Day

O the fluttering and the pattering of the green things growing,
How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;
In the wonderful light of the weird moonlight
Or the dim, dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.
I love, I love them so—my green things growing,
And I think that they love me, without false showing,
For by many a tender touch they comfort me so much
With the soft mute comfort of green things growing.
Dinah Mulock Craike.
Canada 150 km walk
Children in Nature
“Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our chidlren’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).”  Richard Louv
The whole nature of a child cries out for self activity. Producing by his own efforts something that satisfies his own needs gives him the keenest possible pleasure, and puts into him that energy which results in love of work.
Go beyond daisy chains from dandelions this summer explore a realm of toys in nature.
Heart health forest walking
Daisy Chain
“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.” Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
world-kids-

 

I have a vision of the earth made green again through the efforys of children planting trees. Children of all ages, of all colour and races, holding hands encircling the earth, working together to bring harmony and peace to all people, to all nations and to our relationship with the natural world.” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
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
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
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

“I had a place.”

International Day of Happiness
20 March 2018

 “All places that the eye of Heaven visits
Are to the wise man ports and happy havens.” ~Shakespeare

“If a man is unhappy, this must be his own fault; for
God made all men to be happy.”—Epictetus

“She was one of those exceptional children who do still spend time outside, in solitude. In her case nature represented beauty – and refuge. “It’s so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. I mean, it’s polluted, but not as much as the city air. For me, it’s completely different there,” she said. “It’s like you’re free when you go out there. It’s your own time. Sometimes I go there when I’m mad – and then, just with the peacefulness, I’m better. I can come back home happy, and my mom doesn’t even know why.”
The she described her special part of the woods.
“I had a place. There was a big waterfall and a creek on one side of it. I’d dug a big hole there, and sometimes I’d take a tent back there, or a blanket, and just lie down in the hole, and look up at the trees and sky. Sometimes I’d fall asleep back there. I just felt free; it was like my place, and I could do what I wanted, with nobody to stop me. I used to go down there almost every day.”
The young poet’s face flushed. Her voice thickened.
“And then they just cut the woods down. It was like they cut down part of me.” Richard Louv

“Life is a great gift, and as we reach years of discretion, we most of us naturally ask ourselves what should be the main object of our existence… we should all endeavor to contribute as far as we may to the happiness of our fellow-creatures.  I cannot, however, but think that the world would be better and brighter if our teachers would dwell on the Duty of Happiness as well as on the Happiness of Duty, for we ought to be as cheerful as we can, if only because to be happy ourselves, is a most effectual contribution to the happiness of others. ~Sir John Lubbock”

Happy Girl
The light that comes from above and within….

“The light that comes from above and within….

I believe that this generation will either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilized world or it will be the first to have a vision, a daring and a greatness to say:

“I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life. I will play no part in this devastation of this land. I am destined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and of the generations of tomorrow.

Let TAWAMHWE-pull together-be our motto and I pray that we may give our active support to all efforts of desert reclamation by tree planting and I pray that I may be just to the Earth below my feet, to my neighbour by my side and to the light which comes from above and within, and this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy for my having lived in it.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
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
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
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

 

 

 

 

Measure Progress with your Camera

September 30, 2017

Save your Photos Day!

“Almost everywhere in the world man has been disregarding the Divine Law and the Laws of Nature, to his own undoing. In his pride, he has rampaged over the stage of the earth, forgetting that he is only one of the players put there to play his part in harmony and oneness with all living things.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

Can this be true?  Are the animal species in decline?  What has been done to the environment  with the increase of forest fires?  In years gone by stories were told of animals pressed south escaping the heat of the forest fires.  This year on camping trips were the sounds of gun fire heard protecting the urban centres from the wild beast seeking safe haven from the forest fires raging around them?  Just as urban centres needed to evacuate, so to, the wild animal would need to evacuate the forest, to find what?  Is there a safe place for the forest animal to escape the forest fire?

If cities are ever expanding and agricultural land fills up the rural country side, where, then are the forests, the native flora and fauna?  Can there be any forest stories still to be told?  Will our grandchildren know the deer, the beaver and the squirrel?  What is being done to save our forests, to save the native flora and fauna?

“Progress does not have to be patented to be worthwhile. Progress can also be measured by our interactions with nature and its preservation. Can we teach children to look at a flower and see all the things it represents: beauty, the health of an ecosystem, and the potential for healing? ” Richard Louv

Do you enjoy a relaxing picnic in the woods?  Have you walked barefoot down the pathways?  Have you caught on photograph the tender wild strawberry leaf in the morning dew?  Do you sight through your camera the dazzling show of the sun backlit on the forest leaves?

It is vital to celebrate our forests, and the celebration of life and beauty.  Save your photo in  your forest story you may wish to add to the 150 forest story compilation today! Saskatoon’s Forests. Our 150 Forest Stories, Our Future, Celebrating Saskatoon’s Forests!

Let us rejoice in the wonder of nature and our environment,as Richard St. Barbe Baker says;

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and the generations of tomorrow.’” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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. 52° 06′ 106° 45′

Addresses:

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
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

Water ~ critical long range planning

Water quality month

 

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

On this blue planet, there is water, a lot of water. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey the Earth’s surface is covered with around 71 percent of water, and of this huge vast body of water 96.5 percent of the water on earth is in the oceans. So these leaves 3.5 percent as fresh water as streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Did you know that when considering “total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground.source

“When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

What does this mean when it comes to the afforestation areas of Saskatoon? Botanists consider the entirety of the lands designated as afforestation areas as wetlands. Of the wetlands, only a small portion are class IV permanent wetlands which may also be termed the north end of Chappell Marsh. The remaining land mass of the afforestation areas are, well, forest to the average visitor to this amazing area of Saskatoon.

“Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime.The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.” ~ Luna Leopold

The Chappell Marsh wetlands of the West Swale are teeming with ducks and waterfowl. As one of the only sites in Saskatchewan to view the Ruddy Duck, it possesses the capacity to provide foraging, and breeding grounds for many other species, Blue heron, Black crowned Night Heron, Pelicans.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” ~ Jacques Cousteau

What will happen with Saskatoon’s growing population? The West Swale is a low lying area with its confluence at the South Saskatchewan River. The trajectory of the West Swale connects the North Saskatchewan River through Rice Lake, Grandora through to Saskatoon. Where the intermittent streams on the surface flow towards the South Saskatchewan River, the bedrock aquifer – the groundwater flows towards the North Saskatchewan River, making the West Swale vitally important to the water hydrology of Saskatchewan, and all communities down stream.

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” ~ Carl Sagan

It is quite intriguing to watch the city’s long-range plans. When new neighbourhoods are being planned and developed for Saskatoon’s Growth Plan to Half a Million what percentage of the wetlands are being conserved by developers to sustain water quality for the booming city. How does housing density and formulas for neighbourhood population conserve and interact with area previously designated as wetlands? If a wetlands is not in a preservation or conservation zone, what percentage of wetlands is deemed prudent to maintain? If approximately 570 acres of land are set aside for development of a neighbourhood to be home to around and about 10,000 residents, what happens if this land happens to have wetlands in it? Have any cities set precedents in regards to percentage of wetlands conservation areas as urban centres expand outwards?

Calgary:
“In 1981,it was estimated that 78 per cent of the pre-settlement wetlands in Calgary had been lost. Today, the estimate is closer to 90 per cent. Urban development
is now extending into areas of significant wetland complexes, some of which are considered provincially and nationally significant to breeding waterfowl.”Source

The Calgary wetland conservation policy ensures that there is “No Net Loss” of Calgary Wetlands by promoting their conservation and/or mitigation within areas of future urban development and within transportation and utility corridors.”

Edmonton:

“The City will dedicate permanent, semi-permanent, and seasonal wetlands (i.e., Class III, IV, and V Wetlands in the Stewart and Kantrud system) and all peatlands as Environmental Reserve upon subdivision of land. (The Way We Green 3.5.2)” In addition to this, Edmonton sets aside municipal reserves, environmental reserves and public lands of water beds and shores.Source

Is it more prudent to infill the wetlands and construct a housing neighbourhood with the pre-requisite low, medium or high density population no matter what the geographical terrain?  Is 23% of existing wetlands inventory maintained as constructed wetlands an acceptable environmental resource for urban growth in contemporary times?

The wetlands existing in the afforestation areas may be “preserved in perpetuity.” However, there are wetlands in the West Swale not in a preserved area for example west of Sk Highway 7 near the West compost depot. What has happened for example in the long range planning of the wetlands in regards to Saskatoon’s neighbourhoods ~ what percent of the wetlands inventory were conserved?  What will happen to the expanses of West Swale wetlands water areas ~ these wetlands outside of preservation zones?

Ask the City of Saskatoon, the Mayor or your city councillor today.

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” ~ W.H. Auden

“In the setting of standards, agencies make political and technical/scientific decisions about how the water will be used. In the case of natural water bodies, they also make some reasonable estimate of pristine conditions. Natural water bodies will vary in response to environmental conditions. Environmental scientists work to understand how these systems function, which in turn helps to identify the sources and fates of contaminants. Environmental lawyers and policymakers work to define legislation with the intention that water is maintained at an appropriate quality for its identified use.Source” We need to conserve, and carve out a place for wetlands for future generations to ensure water quality.

Remember World water Day is celebrated on 22nd of March and Water Quality Month is August.

“Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

while knowledge about nature is vital; passion is the long-distance fuel for the struggle to save what is left of our natural heritage and ~ through an emerging green urbanism ~ to reconstitute lost land and water. Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature. ~Richard Louv.

FURTHER NOTES
Saskatoon Wetlands policy.

Saskatoon Wetland policy document wetlands design guidelines?

Growth Plan Half a Million City of Saskatoon.
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.  52° 06′ 106° 45′
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