Migrate to Mexico, see the Monarchs

I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all. Richard St. Barbe Baker


Would you like to migrate to Mexico, to see the Monarch Butterflies ?

The Monarch Butterfly comes up to Canada in the spring, but the Monarchs are currently, right now down south.  The Monarch Butterfly  is listed under the Endangered Species Act in the USA, and a species of concern in Canada, find out what actions you, personally can take, to protect and conserve the habitat for this butterfly.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) photo credit William Warby

This January, Saskatoon is pulling out of the weather system known as a Mackenzie Clipper. David Phillips, the senior climatologist at Environment Canada, describes a Mackenzie clipper as a weather system similar to the Alberta clipper, however with the origins around the MacKenzie River. An Alberta clipper (or Canadian Clipper) is a fast moving low pressure area across the central provinces of Canada, through to the Great Lakes. Residents notice a sudden and drastic temperature drop, and increased winds such as those experienced on Wednesday January 11, 2017 when the temperature dove to -34.1 Celsius, with a wind chill of -47 Celsius. Snowfall and precipitation amounts are very small. Where an Alberta clipper originates when the warmer air of the Pacific Ocean meets with the Rocky Mountains.

Warmer weather has arrived at the end of January, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark however the cold snap, just one week ago, makes this contest to Mexico, a treat. So now, before Sunday, January 29, please take the time to enter a contest to win a trip for two to the magical Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico from February 16 to 25, 2017! Wouldn’t you love to see millions of butterflies in flight at the El Rosario and Sierra Chincua sanctuaries. These sanctuaries are part of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Read further, and find out what you can do for the butterfly habitat, can there be any more butterfly gardens, or sanctuaries in Canada?

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Photo credit Paul Stein

So what can you do to help the endangered species, the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) ?

  • Get informed about the projects at the David Suzuki organisation to save the butterflies.
  • Sign up for the David Suzuki newsletter
  •  Sign the Monarch Manifesto.
  • Grow milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants in your City of Saskatoon yard. Ask for space in the community garden, and urban parks for milkweed and pollinator-friendly plants.
  • You can, today, reach out to a green group such as the Saskatoon Native Plant Society, Saskatoon Horticulture Society, Saskatoon Nature Society, Meewasin Valley Authority, Naturalized Areas Supervisor, City of Saskatoon to learn if there can be a possibility towards butterfly gardens, with milkweed and pollinator-friendly plants, installed in Saskatoon.
  • Contact Nature Conservancy of Canada NCC for Monarch butterfly programs this year, and for more information on Conservation Volunteer programs.
  • When the migration starts in Saskatchewan this summer in the month of August
    report Monarch sightings by calling Nature Saskatchewan‘s toll-free line at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668).
  • When you go out to buy your milkweed seeds, ask City of Saskatoon local garden centres to stock those plants. Nature Saskatchewan says that five species of milkweed thrive in Saskatchewan.
    • low milkweed, (or “oval-leafed milkweed”) Asclepias ovalifolia thrives in moist mixed grasslands and parklands
    • showy milkweed, Asclepias Speciosa grows in mixed grasslands,
    • silky milkweed, (or “common milkweed,” tropical milkweed or Golden Butterflyweed) Asclepias curassavica a provincially rare plant that may be spotted in mixed grasslands
    • whorled milkweed, (eastern whorled milkweed, horsetail milkweed) Asclepias verticillata rare plant In Saskatchewan might be found  in mixed grasslands
    • green milkweed, (Green antelopehorn) Asclepias viridis
      Asclepias viridis Walter,Asclepias viridiflora a  mixed grassland areas variety.

    Walter V. Krivda states that milkweed favours the typical black soil of the prairies, but has been seen in gravel and clay railway embankments.  If you are going to start your seeds indoors, select a date six to eight weeks before your last frost date, and one does not usually start indoor germination before the end of February.   For example vegetable gardens are typically seeded in Saskatchewan, around the last week of May, which is usually safe and the  risk of frost has passed.  If you did not start your seeds last fall in your Monarch butterfly Milkweed garden, then talk to your nursery now, for best hints on how to grow your Milkweed plants successfully.

  • Contact the CBC morning edition with places where you can buy milkweed, such as Early’s Seed and Feed .
  • Look for butterflies at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and at the afforestation area formerly called George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  According to Weyburn This Week, “The yearly migration of these butterflies will take place in late August. It takes three to four generations of butterflies to complete the migration they undertake, and the final generation starts in Saskatchewan. …The last generation lives for up to nine months, starts far north in Saskatchewan, migrates south, overwinters in Mexico or California, and finally lays eggs in the spring.” Walter V. Krivda has found butterflies into September, and occasionally October, the Monarch, Danaus Plexippus (L.) leaves Canada when heavy frosts arrive.
  • There are butterfly look-alikes such as the Viceroy, Limenitis archippus. The Viceroy travels further north than the Monarch, but seeks the look-alike pattern of the Monarch for protection from predators. Viceroys are smaller than Monarchs; Viceroy: 2 1/2 – 3 3/8 inches (6.3 – 8.6 cm) Monarch: 3 3/8 – 4 7/8 inches (8.6 – 12.4 cm). Viceroy butterflies do not migrate, but rather they over-winter, so they emerge around the same time that willow and poplar leaves burst from their bud, the Viceroy caterpillar actually feeds on the salicylic acid from the Willow and Poplar. Whereas the Monarch caterpillar feeds on the milkweed. The markings of the Viceroy and Monarch Butterfly, though similar, difference can be found on their hind wings to distinguish one from the other with the human eye or camera.

    Viceroy Butterfly Limenitis archippus Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
    Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus) Courtesy Benny Mazur
  • Send in your butterfly photos this spring and summer to the SWOLRA or the Richard St. Barbe Baker facebook pages!  Facebook: StBarbeBaker  Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area  Facebook: South West OLRA They ~ the butterflies ~ are declining in numbers, but have you seen butterflies? Do you have a butterfly story?

I believe in the Oneness of Mankind and all living things and the interdependence of each and all.  Richard St. Barbe Baker

CBC listeners send photos of monarch butterflies and milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant the Monarch Butterflies will lay egg on. CBC News.

Charleton, Jonathan. Dead of winter brings rare and brutal weather system to Saskatoon Saskatoon Star Phoenix. January 11, 2017.

Davis, Don. Jorney North: Monarch Butterfly. How Far North Do Monarchs Migrate? Monarch Breeding Range in North America.

It is Prime Monarch Butterfly time in Saskatchewan Nature Saskatchewan seeks help in research and conservation during Royal Migration. CBC news. August 2, 2016.

Krivda, Walter V. Monarch Butterfly (Danaidae) in Northern Saskatchewan. Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Monarchs and Milkweed Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Monarch or Viceroy? Learner.org.

Monarch butterflies start their migration in Saskatchewan Weyburn this week.

Places to find milkweed in Sask. to conserve Monarch Butterflies Monarch butterflies need milkweed to thrive. CBC news. April 2, 2015.

Prest, Ashley and Kevin Rollason. Not seeing is believing Blizzard-like conditions, brutal winds, extreme cold wreak havoc on province. Winnipeg Free Press. January 12, 2017.

Wikipedia. Alberta Clipper Viceroy (Butterfly> Monarch Butterfly

For more information:
Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Garden 101

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


It is a true honour and privilege to recognize the valuable contributions, time and efforts put forward by a number of concerned citizens in Saskatoon. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area will truly be a much better place for their consideration and assistance for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area


It is a true honour and privilege to recognize the valuable contributions, time and efforts put forward by a number of concerned citizens in Saskatoon.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area will truly be a much better place for their consideration and assistance.  Hats off to these amazing people, groups and communities


The Montgomery Place Community Association are amazing stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The dumping of trash is very unsightly, and in a wetlands area, trash is a hazard to both wildlife and the quality of water.  Though dumping is illegal, and some signs are posted, the proximity to the garbage dump means trash dumping still occurs at the afforestation area, despite a community clean up in the spring of 2015.  This clean up undertaken by five community volunteers who eradicated shingles, concrete blocks, full barrels of oil, old lumber, furniture and household trash.  Altogether, approximately 3300 kg of garbage was removed. Trash is a sign of neglect, and abandonment of an area, as well as disregard for aesthetic concerns and the natural ecosystem.  This amazing clean up was organized by Trish Schmidt of the Montgomery Place Community Association.  She has been enormously helpful as the second anniversary rolls around, and we seek to provide more than five volunteers to handle the garbage at the afforestation site. Leslee Newman, President, and Trish Schmidt, Director, of the Montgomery Place Community Association and all of its members have become stewards as well for the afforestation area, initializing the cleanup in 2015, and remaining on board to preserve the ecology and wildlife habitat.

Jeff Hehn, Fatlanders FatTire Brigade (FFTB) Ambassador,  has mapped the afforestation area trash sites, and has been in contact with Regan Olson at the City of Saskatoon as to the types of trash deposited at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and how best to deal with each type.  Jeff has provided a road map as to how best to carry forward with the clean up scheduled for Satuday July 9, 2016.  His insights for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the clean up are very far reaching, sound and practical.

Ron, a long time user of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,hahs been an invaluable font of knowledge regarding the history of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Ron, also has taken the time to watch over the afforestation area, as well, he has volunteered time and time again to maintain trails and tracks.

Trish Schmidt of the Montgomery Place Community Association has arranged a community health officer to be on site to give a briefing on safe trash handling standards.

Constable Xiang of the Saskatoon City Police, a community liason officer is providing invaluable advice as we go along.   Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill and Inspector Solie of the Saskatoon City Police amongst several other constables and officers have been very much valued in their efforts to enforce City bylaws in the afforestation area.

The Meewasin Valley Authority has been absolutely fantastic getting the clean up on the right track.  We have come on board to support their Meewasin and Affinity Credit Union Clean UP Campaign which began in 1981 to beautify the city, and keep the City of Saskatoon parks and neighbourhoods clean.  Verity Moore-Wright is an amazing organiser, and has provided invaluable insight and direction as we embark forward on the clean up campaign. Peter Goode , chair of the Meewasin Conservation Advisory Committee and Max Abraham on the Meewasin Fund Development Committee were in attendance at the Saturday evening meet up; Celebrate the life of Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker and the Saskatoon Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area to hear the community response and reports on the afforestation area.  It is very wonderful that the MVA will have a spokesperson coming out to the Richard St. Barbe Clean up on July 9, 2016.   Next, it has been a true pleasure working with some very wonderful, talented people who have come forward as stewards for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and have helped with the support, ideas and encouragement along the way.It is a pleasure to thank those kind people at  the Meewasin Valley Authority management, Nola Stein, Project Designer; Alan Otterbein, Design & Development Manager, and Andrea Ziegler, Executive Assistant & Office Manager.

The Honourable Pat Lorje,  city councillor for Ward 2 in Saskatoon has had many words of wisdom, advice and tireless energy.Pat has gone forward to City Council as a true steward fot the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and has made a true difference which will shine out when folks write a history of the area many years from now.

At the city a number of folks have been very supportive and helpful; Tyson McShane Senior Planner | Long Range Planning for the City of Saskatoon has taken over for Chelsea Schafer, Terry Fusco, City Planner South West Sector, Kevin Ariss, Open Space Consultant – Animal Services City of Saskatoon Recreation & Sport, Mark Emmons – City of Saskatoon, Planning & Development, Senior Planner. These kind people are aware of the multifaceted needs of the West Swale wetlands, and are very cognizant of the truly unique nature of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area open space.

The Baha’i Community of Saskatoon, have honoured the memory of Richard St. Barbe Baker with a monument north of the Diefenbaker Campus, University of Saskatchewan.

Additionally, Camilla Allen, PhD Research Student the University of Sheffield has come forward with some wonderful propositions and insights.  Additionally Camilla has enlightened us to the history and the man – Richard St. Barbe Baker, as she has undertaken a PhD thesis about Baker and his life.

The staff in the University Archives and Special Collections, Murray Library, University of Saskatchewan were enormously helpful, and were of great assistance in finding relevant materials in the Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71.  It was fascinating to delve into the life of the amazing fellow, St. Barbe, who is someone that everyone who has a chance should learn about.

Maureen G. Reed, Professor and Assistant Director, Academic at the School of Environment and Sustainability has provided invaluable advice and referrals

The staff and archivists; Nadine Charabin, Christine Charmbury, and Lise Thring at the Saskatoon Branch Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan have helped with research needs on the afforestation area and on Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Jeffery O’Brien at the City of Saskatoon Archives have proven invaluable in research assistance to determine the history of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Chris Zerebeski, President of the Saskatoon Horticultural Society and Don Greer vice-president have been instrumental in providing the impetus to start an afforestation brief which delves into the history and facts of the Saskatoon open space area named the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area..  Lois Hertzum-Larsen, director Saskatoon Horticultural Society asked questions which were very enlightening, and prompted further research.

Marten Stoffel, Stan Shadick and the directors of the Saskatoon Nature Society have been very knowledgeable about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the society has begun the education process by including a portion of the afforestation area in the new edition of their book, “Nature and Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon”.

Sherrill Miller, intuitive coach and inspirational speaker, supporter of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area initiative, has introduced us to the wisdom of Robert White, Forester, Director of SOS Elms and plant ecologist who has been a wealth of wisdom about Richard St. Barbe Baker. Robert White is one of those amazing people who actually met Richard St. Barbe Baker, and has shared memories of their rime together.

Paul Hanley, environmental columnist for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, and author of several books including, Eleven is very supportive.  Paul also knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, Man of the Trees, humanitarian, and silviculturist.

Candace Savage, spokesperson for the North East Swale Watchers and founder of “Wild about Saskatoon” lent support to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and West Swale. Candace Savage, has been a fount of wisdom, and her shared knowledge and expertise are appreciated.

Pat Tymchatyn, president of the Meadowgreen Community Association represented neighbouring residents. Pat Tymchatyn, has come forward with excellent support and suggestions to forward the goals of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

William P. Delainey spoke with great wisdom as to the green belt planned for Saskatoon and has had the pleasure of talking with Hilbert E. Wellman (Bert Wellman) City planning and Building Director.  Bill Delainey was co-author of the book Saskatoon The Growth of a City, Part I, the Formative Years which was based on an unpublished mini-thesis started by Delainey. 1882-1960 with William A.S. Sarjeant, 1974.  Thanks to all the staff in the local history room Saskatoon public library.

It is with deep and humble gratitude that we have received a grant from Eco-Friendly Saskatchewan.  This will go a long way to providing a more effective clean up, and any proceeds not fully used on Saturday July 9 will go to the MVA towards signs, fencing and gate installation.  Thank you most kindly.

Several Saskatoon green groups have been contacted,  Saskatoon Nature Society, Saskatoon Horticultural Society,  SOS Elms, ESSA, Saskatoon Native Plant Society, Wild About Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan school of Environment and Sustainability, Environmental Society, Eco-Friendly Saskatchewan.  It is with delight that Saskatoon has so many groups and concerned citizens.  the response to the preservation and conservation efforts begun at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and West Swale have been very encouraging.  It is hoped that several more green groups can still be contacted about this initiative.

There has been an amazing community response from several community associations as they also approve and support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up; Montgomery Place Community Association, Parkridge, Fairhaven, Meadowgreen, Holiday Park, King George Community Associations.  The neighbouring rural areas in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park and residents of the hamlet of Cedar Villa Estates, also are in the loop.

Scouts Canada,  Bridging Rivers Area Girl Guides, Multi-Faith Saskatoon communities with youth are all  organisations committed to the community, and have amazing group spirit to “do a good deed of the day” or to “lend a hand.”  It will be a truly wonderful opportunity to find a way work alongside such steadfast and honourable community organisations.

To everyone’s help, insight and knowledge, each word of wisdom, each hand offered to help is most graciously appreciated. it is with sincerest apologies if anyone has not been mentioned and their thoughts, insight and advice not noted here.  Please drop us a line StBarbeBaker@yahoo.com if you have any further words of advice or concerns about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area or the clean up on July 9, 2016.

So with the greatest of thanks to all of those, past, present and future, who have taken to heart the need to clean the afforestation area and to sustain the environment at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation, your thoughts, words, and deeds are much appreciated.  The afforestation area needs as many stewards to preserve and conserve this amazing site as is possible.

“If a man loses one-third of his skin he dies; if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it too dies. If the Earth is a ‘sentient being’, would it not be reasonable to expect that if it loses one-third of its trees and vegetable covering, it will also die? 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 the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.

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

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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
July 9, 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area CLEAN UP Day PAMPHLET