Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trip

We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations”. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

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“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 Saskatoon Nature Society Past-President, Marten Stoffel, who is familiar with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, along with Sara Byrson who has a background in forestry will lead a field trip to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area on the evening of June 14, as follows. For several years Marten Stoffel has been banding birds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pmRichard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
“We will walk through this afforestation area next to
Chappell Marsh to search for native plants and songbirds.
Meet by the Grain Elevator at the Western Development
Museum parking lot on Lorne Avenue. Bus: Route 1
Exhibition departs downtown terminal at 6:31 p.m. and
arrives on Lorne Avenue adjacent to museum about 6:50 p.m.
Leaders Sara Bryson (306 261 6156) and Marten Stoffel
(306 230 9291)

Guide to Nature Viewing Sites Page 122.”

Everyone is welcome to participate in any Saskatoon Nature Society field trip. Bring your friends. Carpooling for out-of- town trips is arranged at the meeting place; there is no charge other than to share gasoline costs. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions (as above). Participants are free to depart early if they wish. Saskatoon Nature Society Members with FRS radios should bring them on out of town trips. Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved walkie-talkie radio system. Check the website at Saskatoon Nature Society for last minute changes or cancellations and to download checklists. Bus Information: 306-975-3100.

Many of the  Saskatoon Nature Society trip destinations are described in the 3rd edition of “A Guide to Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon” available from Saskatoon Nature Society Books.

Typically, at least the bird species are recorded on the Saskatoon Nature Society checklist but there are some ways that the Saskatoon Nature Society can electronically record our observations too.

It is with grateful appreciation that the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area acknowledge this wonderful program acknowledging the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat of the West Swale, and associated woodlands. Though this two hour walk through will not be as extensive as a two day bio-blitz, it will be intriguing to discover what native plants are discovered at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and which song bird species come to roost for the evening.

As Saskatchewan Tourism says; “With over 350 species to be observed, birdwatching in Saskatchewan is a year-round activity. However, the fall and spring migration seasons present fantastic opportunities for viewing as species both rare and plentiful cross the Land of Living Skies.”

The Prairie Birder, Charlotte Wasylik, has listed the arrival dates for spring migratory birds in Alberta, to check how these dates correspond to Saskatchewan Species, compare to E-Bird historic sightings. The prairie provinces are vast land areas, and she mentions, that “with a variety of habitats and species arrival dates will vary based on your location in the province”, the typical dates of spring migration are March through May.

What are some of Saskatchewan’s prairie songbirds? Sibley and Alquist divided songbirds into two “parvorders”, Corvida and Passerida which include shrikes, vireos, crows, magpies, jays, waxwings, chickadees, larks, swallows, martins, warblers, wrens, nuthatches, thrushes, true sparrows, finches, pipits, buntings, American sparrows, longspurs, buntings for example. Will it be possible from the above family listing to perhaps sight any of the species of these families on the Saskatoon Nature Society Check List which may offer a spotting of the following example species; Sprague’s pipit, Chestnut-collared longspur, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, McCown’s Longspur, Bobolink, and Purple Martin.

“Grassland songbirds evolved with specific needs that restrict where and how they can obtain food and build nests. Most of them can only nest in certain types of grass and will not tolerate trees in the landscape….The Baird’s Sparrow is one of the least flexible grassland songbirds…they’re really fussy about how tall and sparse the vegetation is. They have to have finely stemmed grasses to nest in. So the heavy, thick stems and leaf blades of invasive and non-natives like smooth brome are a problem for them.Hanson

The former natural area screening study conducted surveys in native grassland, modified grasslands and wetlands plant communities throughout the west/southwest sector of Saskatoon. Locating native grassland communities in and around trembling aspen bluffs. Mixed grasslands, however will show examples of smooth brome, alfalfa, and sweet clover. “Grasslands have undergone habitat conversion including cultivation, grazing, suburbanization, and industrialization. Murphy A listing of native plant species is included at the end of this article or click here [pdf].

The south west sector afforestation areas were started as tree nurseries in 1972, and when the trees matured, this use as a tree nursery is not longer viable. So the grasslands have had years to recover, and begin the conversion back to their natural state. However, “in addition to the threat of development, native grasslands are being degraded due to weed invasionWilliams.  So it will be intriguing to see the level of native plants left intact at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Looking back now, to the afforestation methods employed in 1972, “The following tree species were used: American and Siberian Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, Poplar, Willow, Colorado Spruce, Scotch Pine, and Caragana. Rows weaving in and out as much as forty feet from the centre line was used. This produces a natural forest effect. The proposed planting area consisted of four and one-half adjacent quarter sections. We divided this two and one-half mile long area into five planting areas, with strips of fifty to sixty feet left bare, as fire guards between each planting area.”Ligtermoet So these means that there are areas which have been native prarie biome for 57 years since the land was purchased by the City of Saskatoon in 1960 without development of any form at all, so it may, indeed be promising to find belts of native grassland, and associated songbirds during this Saskatoon Nature Society nature field trip.

Whereas the West Swale has numerous small scattered wetland areas, the focus of this nature study walk, will be not the aquatic vegetation, nor waterfowl, but the belts of native plants, and any associated songbirds.

Louie Schwartzberg states that “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” Thank you to the Saskatoon Nature Society to help all the field trip participants become aware of nature’s beauty which abounds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Your planning of this nature field trip on June 14, 2017 is gratefully appreciated! Words cannot express our feelings, nor the thanks for all your help.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly”~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

BIBLIOGRAPHY and FURTHER INFORMATION:
A Land Manager’s guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.

Are the Prairies getting quieter? Songbirds are declining in number. Audio extra: Can you identify some Prairie birds by their songs? CBC News. May 22, 2015.

Clarke, Jared B. Bird Banding in Saskatchewan
Birds Protected in Canada Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 Environment and Climate Change Canada. Nature. Government of Canada.

Hanson, Kim. Fire is for the Birds in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie. Fire Science. he information for this Manager’s Viewpoint is based on JFSP Project 01-3-2-09, Prescribed Fire for Fuel Reduction in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie: Influence on Habitat and Populations of Indigenous Wildlife and Future Forest Flammability; Principal Investigators: Robert K. Murphy, Todd A. Grant, and Elizabeth M. Madden.

Wild Birds Unlimited of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Facebook.
Bird ID skills: How to Learn Bird Songs and Calls All About Birds. Cornell University. April 20, 2009

Best Beautiful Bird Songs – Saskatoon Saskatchewan You Tube.

City of Saskatoon West/Southwest Sector Natural Area Screening Study. Report 12-1361-0028. Golder Associates. September 2012

Davis, S.K., D.C. Duncan, and M. Skeel. Distribution and Habitat Associations of Three Endemic Grassland Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 111, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 389-396 Published by: Wilson Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164104 Page Count: 8
Davis, Stephen K. Nesting Ecology of Mixed-Grass Prairie Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 115, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 119-130 Wilson Ornithological Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164538 Page Count: 12

Ligtermoet, A.L. Assistant Parks Superintendent City of Saskatoon. Afforestation – Man Made Forest on the Prairies. January 4, 1974.

Ludlow, Sarah M., R. Mark Brigham, and Stephen K. Davis. Nesting Ecology of Grassland Songbirds, Effects of Predation, Parasitism and Weather. The Wilson Jornail of Ornithology 126(4):686-699, 2014

Herriot, Trevor. Mapping our birds – the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas kicks off in 2017 Feb. 2, 2017

Higgs, Matt. Songbirds in decline across Canada. Greenup Column. Peterborough Examiner.

Kishkinev. Dmitry, et al Experienced migratory songbirds do not display goal-ward orientation after release following a cross-continental displacement: an automated telemetry study Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 37326 (2016)
doi:10.1038/srep37326

Martinez, Victoria. Student, ranchers protect prairie songbirds. Allison Henderson. Allison Henderson SCOTT Bell/university of Saskatchewan U of S graduate student Allison Henderson is studying connections between prairie grasslands and songbirds. University of Saskatchewan. Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan.
Murphy, Dennis D. and Pual R. Ehrlich. Conservation Biology of California’s Remnant Native Grasslands.

Robinson, Ashley. Grassland birds in Saskatchewan under threat: reort. Regina Leader Post.

Rose, Phil. Native Rangelands: A Last Refuge for Grassland Songbirds University of Regina.


Songbird Documentary on CBC Nature of Things. The MessengerDoc.com.

Species Detection Survey Protocols. Grassland Birds Surveys. Fish and Wildlife Branch Technical Report No. 201 4-9.0 December 2014. Government of Saskatchewan.
Tremont, Anna Marie. Canada’s grasslands most endangered least protected ecosystems. CNC. February 21, 2017

U of S Research takes flight in songbird SOS documentary. The Sheaf. University of Saskatchewan.

Wildlife 911: Baby Birds on Ground. Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan

Williams, Nicholas S.G., Mark I. McDonnell, Emma J. Seager. Factors influencing the loss of an endangered ecosystem in an urbanising landscape: a case study of native grasslands from Melbourne, Australia Landscape and Urban Planning 71 (2005) 35–49 April 9, 2003.
What are Native Prairie Grasslands Worth? Why it pays to Conserve this Endangered Ecosystem. Ranchers Stewardship Alliance Inc. Chris Nykoluk Consulting. 2013

Wolsfield, MIke. Ecoregions in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan EcoNetwork

“We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations”. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“Healing the broken bond between children and nature may seem to be an overwhelming, even impossible task. But we must hold the conviction that the direction of this trend can be changed, or at least slowed. The alternative to holding and acting on that belief is unthinkable for human health and for the natural environment. The environmental attachment theory is a good guiding principle: attachment to land is good for child and land.” `Richard Louv

For more information:
You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

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

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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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

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Saskatoon Nature Society

Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron
Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron

The Saskatoon Nature Society, and the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area are very proud that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is included in the new edition of their book, “Nature and Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon”. The public awareness of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon’s Best Kept Secret, is invaluable, and is currently the new direction forward being adopted by the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

“The Saskatoon Nature Society, a charitable organization founded in 1955, brings together those interested in the natural world. Our objective is to promote the appreciation of nature and encourage a deeper knowledge of it through observation and sharing of experience.

Our society supports nature conservation projects and is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats.The SNS is affiliated with Nature Saskatchewan and Nature Canada”SNS

A new direction has come forward for the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area; to 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. 


In this regards, the Saskatoon Nature Society was way ahead in letting Saskatoon know about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at the citizen level.  For this, the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area are deeply thankful and grateful.  It is good to know that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, an afforestation area preserved in perpetuity in 1972, is no longer an outlier nor secret, but is well and truly considered a nature and viewing site of some regard in Saskatoon.  If you have never had the chance to view the new edition of their book, “Nature and Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon” please do check it out, indeed.

 As the Persian Seer of the Bahai said:
‘This is the hour for the coming together, the Sons of Men.
That the Earth will become indeed a Garden of Paradise.”

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 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

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilized 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, 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
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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

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Further Acknowledgements

‘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

Acknowledgements

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. There is no denial, that we acknowledged in 2016 those who started the journey as Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and now it is time in 2017, to again recognize the stakeholders who have a vested interest in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It is fantastic to continue to again recognize and appreciate the support of the stakeholders and interested parties who came forward in 2016, the interested groups and individuals have evolved and overlap into 2017,  the support of all interested parties is truly appreciated.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is truly richer for their consideration and assistance. Commendations to these amazing people and groups who respect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, groups and communities in 2016 and 2017 and those yet to come. In no particular order….

CarraganaFlower.JPG

The Montgomery Place Community Association are amazing stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Leslee Newman, President, and Trish Schmidt, Director, of the Montgomery Place Community Association, Ben Schmidt, Barb Riddle 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 afforestation area, the ecology and wildlife habitat.

Jeff Hehn, Fatlanders FatTire Brigade (FFTB) Ambassador, and the members of this group are stewards acting in a protective service capacity educating the afforestation area community on security and safety and providing monitoring for a safe and secure area that the FFTB can bicycle in. The FFTB have also reached out to the community for “donations in kind” and engage in fund-raising for the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund”, as well as offering their time in a volunteer capacity for the furtherance of the “Man of Trees“ winter trail network at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Ron, has continued his volunteer service to maintain the tracks and trails over the long winter months, providing a grooming service after the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is covered in a deep blanket of snow.

Constable Xiang community liason officer alongside officers of the Saskatoon City Police, have provided protective services to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The area is patrolled in person and by the air to mitigate illegal trespass.

Further to the protective services of the Saskatoon City Police, the Corman Park Police Service and the Sask Valley Regional RCMP Warman Detachment cluster have come out to provide protective services to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The combined efforts of these law enforcement personnel who are alert to the potential of crime provide a safe and vibrant community in the afforestation area. Citizens with such wonderful support are thus willing and able to look out for one another’s interests in the afforestation area.

The Meewasin Valley Authority as Stewards of the Saskatchewan River Valley have provided direction, and support in an enormous capacity as Verity Moore-Wright at the MVA has kindly partnered with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area as financial stewards ensuring that all private and public donations to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund MVA RSBBAA” serve to enhance and protect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area environment.

Additionally, Renny Grilz of the Meewasin Valley Authority provides wisdom, direction and guidance to the Stewards as an ecologist who has manages conservation areas for biodiversity across the prairie provinces and has a specialization in native plants.

The Honourable Hilary Gough, city councillor for Ward 2 in Saskatoon met with stakeholders who have a vested interest in this area of Saskatoon. Hilary Gough takes this ecological area very seriously, and was grateful for the opportunity to listen, reflect, and consider the information coming forward from a diverse group of individuals joined to support the afforestation area which was protected in perpetuity.

The City of Saskatoon very kindly supported the previous clean up efforts, covering the enormous tipping fees, and the charge of securing a Loraas bin on site. Additionally, following the Committee meeting of July 2016 and the ensuing City Council meeting of August 2016, the City of Saskatoon kindly placed out a number of Jersey Barriers on site to mitigate vehicular traffic. The City of Saskatoon currently includes the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the South West Off Leash Recreation Area in the ongoing South West Sector planning. The City of Saskatoon Urban Forestry Program undertook a tree inventory to determine the health of the forest, and future direction in regards to the woodlands. Further to this, the City of Saskatoon is currently undertaking a City wetlands inventory, as well as they are writing up a formal report for the South West Sector and the “master plan” of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Valerie Martz, President of the Saskatoon Nature Society is very proud that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is included in the new edition of their book, “Nature and Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon”. The public awareness of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon’s Best Kept Secret, is invaluable, and is currently the new direction forward being adopted by the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

The urban foresters of the SOS Elms Coalition, “Save our Saskatoon” Elms are engaged, active and concerned supporters of this urban forest of Saskatoon, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Their wisdom, and combined practical experience in regards to how to respect the afforestation area are truly appreciated.

Rick Huziak, representing the Northeast Swale Watchers and Candace Savage, spokesperson for the North East Swale Watchers and co-founder of “Wild about Saskatoon” support the efforts to enhance the West Swale wetlands environment and the woodlands of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The Northeast Swale Watchers are truly examples to follow and as his Worship, City of Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said “generations from now, people will be grateful for the environmental reserve designation, intended to increase protection of the swale.” The past experience of the Northeast Swale Watchers has been a guiding beacon for the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area when it comes to protecting the West Swale and the afforestation area.

Chelsey Skeoch, Watershed Education Coordinator, South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards are very receptive to also working alongside the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in preserving and conserving the biodiversity and health of the eco-system and wetlands.

Barbara Hanbidge who has been Ducks Unlimited Area Biologist, Education Specialist and Saskatoon Area Manager for Ducks Unlimited is an informed and supportive stakeholder for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Ducks Unlimited owns and manages the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area directly south and across the street from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The 148 acres of land at the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area has flourished under Ducks Unlimited growing into an outdoor classroom providing educational programming on conservation of prairie wetland habitat. Chappell Marsh is a Class IV permanent wetland with its southern extension in the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, and straddling Cedar Villa Road, Chappell Marsh continues on north through the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area affording a prime and well-developed wetlands habitat with emergent vegetation which supports unique and varied waterfowl. On consideration of the northern portion of Chappell Marsh, it should be an honour to support the conservation efforts undertaken by Ducks Unlimited in the southern portion of Chappell Marsh. The waterfowl are unaware of the human arbitrary title and water designations, the waterfowl are relying on a secure water habitat for foraging and breeding.

The Honourable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon West was very engaged with the direction that the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area were taking. Sheri Benson offered to check into the availability of any support for the concerns raised to protect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at the Federal level.

Nicky Breckner, president of the Mount Royal Community Association was enthralled with the size of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. As a current off leash dog walker at the South West off leash recreation area, she was also very grateful that the City of Saskatoon was blessed with semi-wilderness habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area and means to explore it further.

Megan Van Buskirk for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society realized that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, truly sounds like an important area to protect and was glad to network with the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Penny McKinlay & Andrew McKinlay of EcoFriendly Sask, dedicated to promoting and protecting our natural habitat, are proud to support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and continue to keep up to date with the progress being undertaken at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Ross Harwood president of Cedar Villa Estates (Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344) is very supportive of the positive changes occurring in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area.  Mandy Bellrose as the neighbourhood watch representative for Cedar Villa Estates regularly walks the adjacent Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area to build a safe and vibrant community and environment at the afforestation area. With an ebb and flow of information, communities, afforestation area users and law enforcement officials can work together for solutions in making the afforestation area a safe place to walk, to relax or to engage in recreational or environmental activities. “A trusted neighbour is one of the most effective crime prevention tools ever created. SPS

The afforestation area is truly built on the strength of its stewards and spokespersons. David Kirton, the City of Saskatoon Off Leash Recreation Area liason for the South West off leash recreation area also recognized the bonding between the City, the afforestation area and SW OLRA community to reduce and mitigate illegal trespass. This is probably one of the most significant things that the average citizen as part of the larger community can do to lessen the risks, it is through such empowered citizens that community efforts resonate with success in building a safe and vibrant afforestation and wetlands community.

The community of off leash dog walkers, have been very supportive of the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The individual casual off leash dog walkers are very appreciative of being offered the opportunity to walk their dogs off leash at the south west off leash recreation area, and do indeed come forward to volunteer, to clean up, to engage in conversation in support of the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The walkers of the SW OLRA recognize the name sake of Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D, O.B.E. and time and time again, they are impressed with the forestry and humanitarian work accomplished by St. Barbe, and feel honoured to be a part of the afforestation experience with a chance to view the diverse biodiversity of the area.

Murray Gross, YWCA, and as the local Saskatoon communications officer for the international festival Jane’s Walk came out to observe the civic minded discussion put forward by the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Jane Jacobs, author and urban activist, who believed that communities should be planned for the people by the people. “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” ~Jane Jacobs

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been a powerful supporter of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Latter-day Saints missionaries serve in public affairs serving to build relationships with communities. The inspiration of the missionaries who came from across North America offering their time and talents made a dedicated commitment to come from across the land to meet in Saskatoon to offer compassionate service during the clean up effort. Thank you to the missionaries who provided to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area their multi-faceted humanitarian services.

Julia Adamson, resident of Meadowgreen, and SW off leash dog walker, SOS Elms Coalition, Saskatoon Nature Society, Nature Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Environmental Society and MVA partner as one of the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area came forward in January of 2015 to speak before City Council to save the forest and protect the environment in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area and its attendant West Swale Wetlands.  Adamson also raised clean up funds for the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund, and contributed time and energy to the 2016 clean up, and subsequent follow up endeavours.

Since this time the community efforts to protect and respect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area for our children and grandchildren have resonated with the heart of Saskatoon. Every instance when visitors and residents of the City of Saskatoon come to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, they are amazed by the ecological bio-diversity, and appreciate seeing the biodiversity of the West Swale wetlands – the north end of Chappell Marsh and its associated tributaries and marshes- the Riparian woodlands, and the modified and native grasslands of the area. The various and diverse groups and stakeholders appreciate the co-ordinated approach being afforded by the City of Saskatoon, the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the Meewasin Valey Authority (MVA).

The Stewards previously acknowledged as well as these groups and individuals listed above have all united as a group – the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker – speaking up for positive change at the Richard St. Barbe Baker and embracing that the afforestation is preserved in perpetuity for the visitors and residents of the City of Saskatoon.

Saskatoon, truly shines with active groups and concerned citizens coming forward and taking action for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The response to the preservation and conservation efforts begun at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and West Swale have been very encouraging.

The next action plan is to network and connect with citizens of the City of Saskatoon about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the concerns of the many and several stewards, and the method going forward is to encourage all users and visitors to have a deep and abiding respect for the afforestation area.

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

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 at the website. Please drop us a line Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area if you have any further words of advice or concerns about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

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, to protect the rich bio-diversity of the eco-system, to sustain the environment at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation and who come together as a safe, rich and vibrant Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area community. Your further 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.

Of earth’s 30 billion acres, nine billion acres has already become desert. Ancient wisdom has taught that earth itself is a sentient being and feels the behaviour of man upon it I look at it in this way: If man loses 1/3 of his skin he dies; the plastic surgeons Say he has “had it”. It a tree loses 1/3. Of its bark, it dies. Ask a botanist or dendrologist, and he will confirm that, and I Submit that it the earth loses 1/3 of its natural tree cover it will die. When its green mantle of trees has been removed the spring water table sinks. Once the rhythm of the natural forest has been broken it is a difficult-and a lengthy operation-to restore it. Much as you may want to restore the indigenous tree cover immediately it may require a rotation of exotics as nurse trees. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilized 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 theland, 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, 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
Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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

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A Pollinator Garden Abstract

There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or gar4den 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.

A Pollinator Garden Abstract

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist.
For man, it is to know that and wonder at it.
-Jacques Cousteau

Its the middle of March, plant a flower indoors, begin a pollinator garden! When contemplating your next pollinator garden, factor in various flower colours, and sizes, along with a variety of plants which bloom in different seasons of the year. Your pollinator garden will support bees, hummingbirds, bats, ladybugs, butterflies and moths. A pollinator garden provides an ecosystem to plants as well as insects. Provided are links to listings for a variety of native plants to attract pollinators to your garden.

***From the various pollinator flowers for Saskatchewan, perhaps Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is the easiest to establish and maintain.

***Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) requires acidic soil such as found in the higher elevations of spruce and bog forests where the parkland meets with the tundra ecosystem of Saskatchewan.

***Prairie Crocus (Pulsatilla patens), the provincial flower of Manitoba, is a remarkable native flower and is being encouraged in its native habitat by efforts of the Saskatoon Nature Society. The requirements of the prarie crocus is soil which has been undisturbed (uncultivated) for about 30 years to allow the proper micronutrients to flourish to feed the crocus corms (bulbs). The crocus, also thrives under adverse conditions, and adapted to the migratory patterns of buffalo herds, and historic raging prairie grass fires extending miles across the plains.

***The Western Red Lily, Prairie Lily or Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum), is the official flower of Saskatchewan, and a protected species, so do not run out and pick the next one growing in its native habitat. Go to a reputable garden supply centre. Lily plants also grow from bulbs, so planting in the fall is the best season of the year to establish a bulb.

***Western Wild bergamot, or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) is a beautiful purple flower attracting pollinators blooming in July and August.

***Purple Coneflower (Echinacea augusifolia D.C.) produces purple ray florets with a protuding yellowish-brown disc floret in the centre. Blooming in July through September, the yellow prairie coneflower Ratibida columnifera is more common, and the purple coneflower is very rare in Saskatchewan.

***Blanket Flower (Gaillardia sp.) is a bright yellow – orange flower growing to a height of 1 to 3 feet. Perennial Blanket are a burst of sunshine in your wildlife garden, and love well-drained soil

***Purple coneflower, upright prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera), and blanketflower or common gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata) are both a documented nectar source for the Dakota skipper (Hesperia dacotae).

***Alpine Columbine Aquilegia alpina is a spring/early summer blooming perennial. Small-flowered Columbine (Aquilegia Brevistyla Hook) and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis L) are both native to Saskatchewan.

***Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) with delicate white blooms loves to grow in moist soil – though will survive drought conditions` which has been disturbed (turned over). Blooming in late June, the yarrow will bloom into September.

*** Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) saskatchewan produces a stalk with yellow blooms, flowering in late summer and into the early autumn months.

***Smooth aster (Symphyotrichum leave) or any member of the aster family are beloved by pollinators. Smooth aster is vivid blue violet in colour with prominent yellow disc florets in the centre. Growing between 1 and 4 feet high (30-120 cm) however mainly observed growing closer to the 1 foot height. In August and September is when this aster blooms.

March 10, Plant a Flower Day start a pollinator garden. Though it may be -19 Celsius, with snow on the ground, aim for a target. There are many other native flower species than those suggested here, don’t just trust me, click a link on this page.

Start your flower seedlings for an awesome and magnificent pollinator garden, and be amazed at the wildlife and biodiversity which arrive this summer.

Pollinators are what ecologists call keystone species. You know how an arch has a keystone. It’s the one stone that keeps the two halves of the arch together. […] If you remove the keystone, the whole arch collapses.
-May Berenbaum, PhD, Entomologist. From Silence of the Bees, PBS Nature.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A good match Pollinator and flower

A good match ~ WPC Murtagh’s Meadow. Writings from the meadow.

Alpine Columbine (Aquilegia alpina) Choosing Voluntary Simplicity.

A Pollinator paradise

At the heart of nature composer in the garden.

Bat Conservation International | Conserving the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet | How to install a bat house

Bee Balm Pollinator superstar The garden diaries.

Bees Matter. Bees Matter to everyone. Explore our site to learn more. | Native Pollinator Friendly Plants by province

Bee friendly gardening infographic Richard Chivers Sharpen your spades.

Bee Happy [Kew gardens] Debbie Smyth Travel with Intent

Bee Virus Spread is Human-made Rachel Falco, How to provide

Bellflower. The lantern room

Bountiful Blue Wood Aster. The Natural Web.

Bumbles are back! Murtagh’s meadow

Butterflies: Where to Buy? Butterfly breeders.

Butterflies of Canada. Canadian Biodiversity information facility. Government of Canada

Crisis:Crash in pollinator numbers a big threat to wildlife point 4 counterpoint.

Create a be friendly garden | Build a bee house David Suzuki.

Crocuses and Bees Judith beyond the window box.

Dupont, Jamiee. My native species bring all the pollinators to the yard Land Lines The Nature Conservancy of Canada Blog. June 17, 2014

Farm life, Color, Pollinator Garden Hermitsdoor

Flower for Pollinators III Petals and Wings

Garden Photography Wildlife Garden Small blue green flowers

Harries, Kate. Glorious Goldenrod Return of the Native. September 2016

Help the Bats. | Why bats are important. Canadian Wildlife Federation

Help the pollinators and plant a Wildlife-Friendly Garden | Blooms for songbirds! Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Lepidoptera Buffet. Butterfly Garden Host and Nectar Plants.
Lepidoptera No. Aquilegia vulgaris (columbine)

Majerus, Mark. New Native pre-varietal Germplasm releases for the Northern Great Plains and Intermountain region.

Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Garden 101

Malley, Shaun. White nose syndrome. The fight to save bats heats up CBC News. August 21, 2015.

National Pollinator Week (June)

National pollinator week (June) Tina, my gardener says.

Native Plant Databases. | How to create bio-degradable pots for your seedlings. Evergreen.

Life of a Single mom (Bee) Chris Helzer, The Prairie Ecologist

Native Plants | Nature Regina listing of wildflowers for a native plant garden

Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan | Native Plant Sources

Native Prairie Survey Wilton IV Wind Energy Centre Burleigh County North Dakota September 2014

New bee plants in the garden A French Garden

North American Native Plant Society. Plant database

Plant and Pollinator Gallery Prairie Pollination. The Manitoba Museum 2014.

Plants in bloom month by month. Landscape Ontario.com Green for life [Though an Ontario resource and this province has different hardiness zones than Saskatchewan, there are overlaps in plant species, so the listing may give a quick guide to the time of year for flower blooming times.]

Pollinator Blog Posts Ryan Clark Ecology.
Pollinator Garden Design Workshop Mlozanduran.gapp.

Pollinator Garden Ashland Or garden club

Pollinator Health Fund Grants. MISA announcements

Pollinator independence. Albuguerque urban homestead.

Pollinator Seed Mixes Rhobin, Rhobin’s Garden.

Pollinator’s past Mark, nature’s place.

Province launches pollinator health action plan transition cornwall.

Raspberry Pollinators and Visitors: Focus on bees Government of Manitoba. Agriculture Crops Production publications.

Recent developments in pollinator conservation: IPBES, 10 Policies, pesticide conspiracies, and more Jeff Ollferton’s Biodiversity blog

Robert Miles – Bat man Ideacity. Moses Znaimer’s Conference.

Sadik, Pierre. Canadian scientists call for greater effort to save Monarch butterflies as their status is reassessed under the Species at Risk Act. Nature Canada.

Saskatchewan Mixed Grassland Species. Nature Conservancy Canada. [doc file]

Saskatoon Horticulture Society

Seeds of Diversity | Pollination |Make insect nests Pollination Canada.

Rare species surveys and stewardship activities by the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre, 2010

Shimmering Charades: Yard Butterflies Dirt n Kids.

Species: Achillea Millefolium – Common Yarrow. Lepidoptera foodplants. Butterflies. List of lepidoptera species using Achillea millefolium as larval foodplant.

The Sunflower Verdict Bill, practicing Resurrection

Think Native Asters in the Spring

To Bee or not to Bee? Robyn Haynes, Big Dreams for a Tiny Garden.

Unlikely plant-pollinator relationships Ecology is not a dirty word

Vinson, Katherine, and Dr. Youbin Zheng. Plant species Recommendations for Green Roofs in Northern Climates Based on Survey School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph. January 2013.

Whitecliff Butterfly and Pollinator Garden. Beautify crestwood

Wildlife Observations ~ Small things, Thank goodness for asters. Frogend dweller.

Pollinators are what ecologists call keystone species. You know how an arch has a keystone. It’s the one stone that keeps the two halves of the arch together. […] If you remove the keystone, the whole arch collapses.
-May Berenbaum, PhD, Entomologist. From Silence of the Bees, PBS Nature.

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

There is only one real reason to keep bees, and that is because they are fascinating. If you just want honey, make friends with a beekeeper.
-Australia beekeeper, Adrian the Bee Man

What are Ents?

“when the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

What are Ents?  What are Huorns?

Who shepherds the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area?

The Ents are called “the Shepherds of the Huorns”, while a Huorn are the trees of the forest. The Elves refer to Ents as Onodrim meaning “Tree-host”. Both Huorns and Ents are fantasy creatures created by J.R.R. Tolkien A diversity of races and beings  resided in Middle Earth, the setting for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

An Ent is a fictional being ~ with the appearance of a walking and talking tree. The evolution of the Ents is thought to have occurred rendering them more and more tree-like from their shepherding duties and their desire to care for the trees (Huorns). The race of the Huorns are the those trees of “Fangorn forest,” the old forests of Middle Earth which have become animated with the ability to walk and talk.

While Ents can speak to the other races in Middle Earth, Huorns can only speak to Ents. Huorns, like Ents are capable of locomotion, and can create darkness to hide the fact that they are moving. An Ent is envisioned to be 14 feet in height, and their appearance varies depending on the trees or “Huorns” in their flock, as Ents have the height, and size specific to the type of tree that they guarded. These Ent “giants” were immortal, with the character Treebeard being the oldest creature anywhere living in Middle Earth.

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, [and] look well to thy herds. Proverbs 27:23

As a bit of whimsy, there is even a Ent name generator online perfect to name any fantasy animated or anthropomorphic tree creatures. To view a depiction of Treebeard Tree, I am not tree, ~ Treebeard The Last March of the Ents. or Ents attack Isengard from the movie trilogy Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson; The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).

In Saskatoon, SOS Elms Coalition are “concerned about the health of Saskatchewan’s community tree population”. Robert White personal friend of Richard St. Barbe Baker is one of the SOS Elms Coalition members at the forefront in shepherding the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. With his keen eye, and years of experience he immediately recognized the outlook for Elms and placed a grove of Elms on his personal watch list.  SOS Elms Coalition undertakes “public education and action projects designed to involve individual citizens as well as provincial and municipal governments in the active care of community trees.” Reaching out and teaching people to care for trees and forests is similar to the Ents in the Lord of the Rings who shepherd the Huorns.

The Urban Forestry Program implemented by the City of Saskatoon has initiated a tree inventory at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area beginning in October of 2016.  “Saskatoon’s urban forest is healthy and growing –it is up to everyone to protect it. Trees help to make our communities beautiful and improve our quality of life by helping to modify our climate, reduce air pollution, protect our soil and water resources, and provide habitat for wildlife.”  Tree inventories help to establish any spring and fall tree planting programs which may be required, and identify any dead or hazardous trees for removal.  By doing tree inventories, the City’s Urban Forestry Program is able to asses its ongoing maintenance program and implement the  planning process to determine site analysis, species selection, and planting site determination for successful planting of trees (afforestation) in the upkeep of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  The Urban Forestry Program is better able to manage and caretake the urban forest of the Afforestation Area with a tree inventory.   The inventory contains data and information regarding not only the number of trees and empty tree wells, but also the tree diameter, tree size, species of trees, recent plantings and self generating saplings, and vulnerability of the forest and the individual trees to invasive insects and disease.  This information enables the Urban Forestry Program to better manage and assess the health of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area riparian woodlands.

The Saskatoon Nature Society watches over the environment for wildlife to support ” nature conservation projects” and they are “an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”. Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is included in the new edition “Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon (3rd edition).”

The Meewasin Valley Authority is a “conservation agency dedicated to conserving the cultural and natural resources of the South Saskatchewan River Valley”, and “one of Meewasin’s primary goals is to help maintain a vibrant & healthy river valley”. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has a large area within the MVA jurisdiction, The West Swale Wetlands, and Chappell marsh of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area drain into the South Saskatchewan River.

It is thus that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area does indeed have shepherds watching over the trees of the afforestation area preserved in perpetuity in 1972, as well as guardians of the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, and a watchdog for the conservation and preservation of the environment.

This March 3, World Wildlife Day, and everyday, please take an active role personally as a shepherd of the biodiversity in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Thank you kindly.

“Every flock of the sheep of God which is protected under the shadow of the Divine Shepherd will not be scattered, but when the sheep are dispersed from the flock, they will necessarily be caught and torn by the wolf.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to flock together! It is incumbent upon you to be united! It is incumbent upon you to expose yourselves to the fragrances of God at every time and moment!” ~ Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 184

“What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air–soil, water and pure air are the basis of life.”~ Richard St. Barbe Baker the Chipko Andolan slogan

“when the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear.~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

I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine ~ John 10:14

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

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
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