The afforestation areas have a unique sense of place. Place and the sacredness of place is something that indigenous people feel are being lost in this day of truth and reconciliation.
Places are embodied with the aura of that which is sacred or holy and can be dedicated as sacred places as can be objects, artifacts, or organisms.
In the afforestation areas is a species at risk, an endangered species which means that it is of minute and scarce quantity in danger of disappearing entirely. This species at risk is sacred to indigenous people and to other cultures as its very name bears homage to that which is holy.
It is with heavy heart that a desecration occurred with a great disrespect to indigenous cultures, and to the community of the afforestation areas. The population and afforestation area community are stewards and guardians of the afforestation area, and respect the gift of greenspace afforded to them to be in the great out of doors. There is a diverse community of users who have pride in the afforestation areas, and consider it special. It is with sorrow to say that there are those who do not honour and respect the gift which the community has in this urban regional park. It is with great disrespect, when a species at risk has been so vandalized and desecrated in the afforestation areas.
There is much loss and anguish for the extirpation of the bison from the plains historically. In this day of age with Traditional Ecological Ways of Knowing, and western scientific knowledge shared through Species at Risk Act SARA, The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre that extirpation of species is seeing history repeating itself. Why would anyone wish to wilfully and maliciously extirpate a species at risk? Why would anyone wish to despoil, wreck, raze, devastate a species at risk which is accorded a high honour within our indigenous community, as well as in other cultures globally? Why would anyone wish the bison to disappear from the plains?
If anyone has any clues or reports to be made in protection of the afforestation areas, please call the Provincial Government TIPP hotline for illegal forest harvesting. or call the City of Saskatoon Parks department 306-975-2476 or the Meewasin Valley Authority 306-665-6887 Please help protect these places which so many have come to honour and appreciate for a variety of reasons. What is the difference between walking, cycling and skiing in a parking lot and in a forest?
Well it is World Habitat Awareness Month this April. That fits in well with Climate Action.
with cattails and emergent vegetation in the summer showing illegal vehicle trespass, mudding, and ruts in the spring
Autumn picture of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas supported by the non profit group Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. Please join now, like, support, share.
The Trembling Aspen is also referred to as the Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx) May 25, 2019
World Peace; International Peace
It is a theme which repeats itself. Climate change needs the habitat for humans to be conserved and preserved. Endangered species – either plant or animal- need for their habitat to be protected and conserved.
Find the action plan for the endangered species in the afforestation areas -The horned grebe and barred tiger salamander are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee On The Status Of Endangered Wildlife In Canada – an Independent Advisory Panel to the Minister Of Environment and Climate Change. The Red-necked Phalarope, Baird’s Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow are special concern, and Bobolink, Bank Swallow is threatened nationally under the federal Species at Risk Act SARA Schedule 1. The provincially listed small yellow lady’s slipper is another.
COVID-19 brings home the mortality of homo-sapiens, of our family, brothers sisters, cousins, grandparents, and parents. The Saskatchewan Government has set out guidelines to protect endangered plants and animals, and provides protocols for their survival, just like the Saskatchewan Government provided COVID-19 guidelines.
Further to this, to help protect endangered plants and animals, ecological assessments, or Species Detection Surveys are conducted, which may have a corrolary to the COVID testing, and phoning 811. The Rare Plant Survey Protocol which suggests that three ecological assessments or surveys be conducted to maximize the finding of the rare species. Therefore, May 15- June 20 then June 21-July 31 and again between Aug 1-Sept 15 are desireable, with one month between the date of each of the three surveys conducted. It is important to note when the plants are at the greatest opportunity for detection, and therefore the plant phenology must be consulted to aid in the accuracy of the reporting. Citizen bio-blitzes after the COVID-19 epidemic and reporting to iNaturalist will be of great assistance.
Scientists use weather patterns and yearly extremes in their endangered plant survey reporting, just as scientists use these same phenomena, temperature, humidity and latitude, to track COVID-19 outbreaks and to determine modelling scenarios and where to provide resources.
“Climate change is not just about carbon dioxide levels and melting polar ice caps. It is about our public health and protecting our Earth for future generations.”~Mike Quigley
Just as our approach to COVID-19 can also help tackle climate change, so, too can our approach in managing the greenspace in Saskatoon for the environment, humans, plants and animals. How in the world can we possibly have eco-classrooms, an increase in users to the greenspace who are actively involved in outdoor recreation to respect the urban regional park? Responsibility is the ability to respond. This article says, ” to control the coronavirus, governments have needed to mandate social distancing, ground aeroplanes and close borders. For climate change, they need to back clean technologies and end subsidies to polluting industries.” For endangered species, there are yet other protocols.
For COVID-19, the governments provided means to obtain more information, and to ask questions. Find out how to address their government in regards to climate change, and the environmental protection measures. We realize how important various measures are needed to overcome COVID-19. We took action to help us heal from COVID-19, can you take actions to help the earth heal? Keep your letter to the government short. Do your research into the topic. Ask your government official for a reply. Remember there are municipal, provincial and federal levels of government to appeal to on behalf of the environment
You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. “~ Jim Rohn
“Climate change is the environmental challenge of this generation, and it is imperative that we act before it’s too late.”~John Delaney
“We can’t leave everything to the free market. In fact, climate change is, I would argue, the greatest single free-market failure. This is what happens when you don’t regulate corporations and you allow them to treat the atmosphere as an open sewer.”~Naomi Klein
Is your art style art nouveau, caricature, cartoon or totally realistic? Are you going to draw a bird in flight, sitting on a nest, swimming on the water as waterfowl do, walking on the ground, waiting for food like a baby bird would or climbing down the trunk of a tree like a nuthatch?
Grus canadensis Sandhill Crane
Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla Garrulus Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
Horned Grebe Podiceps Auritus
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Do you prefer to draw with pen and ink, with charcoal, pencil, chalk, oil pastels or perhaps colored pencils? What kind of medium do you draw on – would you choose paper, construction paper, toilet paper, birch bark, paper towels, newspaper, glossy magazine paper, bristol board, cardboard, lined or graph paper?
Couldn’t resist adding toilet paper in, as there seems to be some hoarding going on, so there may be an abundance of toilet paper on which to draw pictures of your bird/s.
During your time spent drawing birds, consider the local birds which you may no longer see around anymore because they are endangered. Consider what actions could be taken to protect endangered species. A lot of thought has gone into what actions are needed to protect homo sapiens during the COVID-19 pandemic, what actions are needed for our local avian endangered species?
The horned grebe and barred tiger salamander are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee On The Status Of Endangered Wildlife In Canada – an Independent Advisory Panel to the Minister Of Environment and Climate Change. The Red-necked Phalarope, Baird’s Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow are special concern, and Bobolink, Bank Swallow is threatened nationally under the federal Species at Risk Act SARA Schedule 1. The provincially listed small yellow lady’s slipper is another species in need of environmental guardianship. Protecting critical habitat is thus a key concern.
A fund-raiser has been started to protect the habitat of a federally listed species in the wetlands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. April 19 2020 is the cutoff date for this fundraiser should you wish to help out.
The damage that climate change is causing and that will get worse if we fail to act goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives, homes and businesses lost, ecosystems destroyed, species driven to extinction, infrastructure smashed and people inconvenienced.”~David Suzuki
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall
“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
“All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies, and Canadian society as a whole” ~ Environment Canada
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
“I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker.
It is not at all meaningless to speak about the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides). This unique small passerine bird is listed as threatened / critically endangered as the population has been steadily decreasing since the 1960s.
The Loggerhead shrikes love scattered shrubby growth, and will nest in Caragana, Manitoba Maple, and thorny vegetation such as Buffaloberry shrubbery. The Shrike breed along shelterbelts and riparian areas of the prairies. In this south west sector of the city of Saskatoon, botanists have confirmed that this species is documented for this region wherever there may be wetlands combined with open areas and tall shrubbery.
In order to thrive, and be resilient, the Shrike requires an open grasslands area to forage with elevated perches or lookout points about 4 meters high upon which to sit to facilitate their hunting activities.
The Loggerhead Shrike is quite unique in its dietary habits, as it does not confine itself to seeds, berries insect grub and larvae, but as a carnivorous bird, will capture amphibians, lizards, small mammals such as mice, and small birds. Due its small size, it impales its prey on barbed wire or the thorns of the Buffaloberry bush, which grows around the Chappell Marsh and West Swale wetlands. Though, the main food are grasshoppers, beetles, and rodents. It is only when these are hard to find, that the Loggerhead Shrike will forage for other animals.
How to identify the Loggerhead Shrike:
The wings are coloured black, with a white patch, and the head is quite unique with a mask across the eyes similar to a raccoon. The main colour of the Shrike is grey, with a white or pale breast. Shrikes are about 9 inches in length, and weigh in at 45-60 grams. The Loggerhead Shrike migrate here in March and April leaving after the breeding season from September to November. These birds will migrate nocturnally.
Outlook for the Shrike
Though it is truly unknown what has caused the numbers of the Loggerhead Shrike to plummet, ornithologists hope that by studying the birds and their habitat, the cause for their decline can be ascertained. Currently listed as a threatened species by Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, COSEWIC. it is a mandate to place the environment of the Loggerhead Shrike safe from destruction by conversion or development which may alter their prey populations. Scientists have also decided to place the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike as Schedule 1, Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). It is also interesting to note that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared temperate grasslands the world’s most endangered ecosystem. * “Grasslands can also showcase how people and nature can coexist,” said Dan Kraus, a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) scientist, “Among the last places on Earth to shelter grasslands at a meaningful scale are the grasslands of North America’s Great Plain…Endangerment comes down to risk — the risk of losing a species, habitat or ecosystem for future generations. *”
In the south west sector of the city of Saskatoon, it is a relief that remnant native grassland remains. Additionally, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area affords wetland plant communities. The West Swale which passes through the large open wetlands and Chappell Marsh features many small scattered wetland areas, with more than adequate habitat and foraging for aquatic fauna, with belts of native and modified grasslands.
The Loggerhead Shirke, Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides during its breeding seasons, ie a “breeding Bird is characterized by: territorial behaviour; calling to competing male, mate or young; singing; courtship displays; carrying food or nest materials etc., and; presence of nest or young found incidentally. Between May 1 – Aug 15, the Loggerhead Shrike is protected 50 meters from low disturbance activity such as walking, and is protected for 250 meters from medium disturbances such as driving, and 400 m from roads, drilling, and other such high disturbance activity according to the Ministry of the Environment for Saskatchewan.
It is interesting to note how the City of Saskatoon’s citizens and residents regards conservation expectations or indifference to wildlife species such as the Prairie Loggerhead Shrike and their habitat. As Environment Canada states, “Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Loggerhead Shrike Prairie subspecies, and Canadian society as a whole.*”
“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. In doing so, 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
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!
I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.
“Kind people have been expressing superlatives on my work. But I can assure you that anything which I have been able to achieve has been team work. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. ”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker