Men of the Trees

Are you a Watu Wa Miti?

Natural Resources Canada has developed a Tree App just for you!

The My Tree app is a free download developed by the Canadian Forest Service, which will help you, as a property owner, to decide which trees will grow best in your region of Canada.  “The My Tree app now includes more than 180 native and introduced tree species and their colour-coded hardiness zones.”

 

You can download My Tree from the Government of Canada’s Mobile Centre for any operating system, or directly from the app stores for Blackberry, iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad), and Android.

Coincidentally, to go alongside the My Tree App download, you can request a free tree from the City of Saskatoon! as well, you can request a free seedling from SaskPower!

Are you able to also take the Watu wa Miti, or “Men of the Trees” oath? These forest guides, or forest scouts promised  that they would protect the native forest, plant ten native trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere.  It is recognized that Women are at the heart of the Men of the Trees, and Richard St. Barbe Baker “found friendship and guidance from some key female collaborators and colleagues…  The International Tree Foundation empowers women to be bold for change.”

Native trees for the prairies include the following (as well as numerous shrubs and bushes):

  • balsam poplar
  • trembling aspen
  • green ash
  • lodgepole pine
  • white spruce source

“Of the earth’s thirty billion acres, already nine billion acres are desert. And if a man loses a third of his skin, he dies; plastic surgeons say “He’s had it.” And if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it dies. And if the earth loses one-third of its green mantle of trees, it will die. The water table will sink beyond recall and life on this planet will become impossible. It’s being skinned alive today. . .” Richard St. Barbe Baker

It is wonderful when the municipal or city government plants 1/3 of its acres to trees, it is remarkable when a provincial government department steps up to the plate and commits to planting trees around its province, and it is phenomenal when the country takes a stand to afforest their nation. Did you know Ontario has committed to planting 50 million trees in a densely populated province?  “Environment Canada recommends that a minimum of 30% forest cover and 10% forest interior habitat is needed to sustain the natural diversity of both plants and animals in a watershed, and that 75% of a stream length be naturally vegetated a minimum of 30 metres wide on both sides for these ecological features to perform their function.”Source  “In addition to enhancing the aesthetics of a property, the presence of trees and bushes provide a variety of benefits. For example, they clean the air and produce oxygen, they help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, and they provide habitat and food for wildlife. “Environment, Energy and Transportation Statistics Division

That being said, what are you doing individually?  Have you planted 1/3 of your property to trees?  Have you requested that your landlord sets 1/3 of your condominium or apartment property as trees?  If not, why not?

Honour the International Tree Foundation’s forest scouts called Watu wa Miti, or Men of the Trees, and tale action.  This autumn, it is not too late to plant trees.  The ground is not frozen!  According to Trees Canada, “Deciduous trees can be planted … in the fall, from leaf-fall until freeze-up.  Evergreens can be planted.. in the fall, from about the first week of August to the end of October”.  “The fact is that for many plants fall it is actually THE BEST time to plant! It’s also a great time to get deals on perennials, trees, and shrubs too!”Source

Download the My Tree App, read Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s resource for planting new trees and shrubs and today request a free tree from the City of Saskatoon or request a free seedling from SaskPower!

For more information:
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

“To be in a better position to help them I studied their language [Kenya’s Kikuyu people], their folklore and tribal customs, and was initiated into their secret society, an ancient institution which safeguarded the history of the past which was handed down by word of mouth through its members.

Soon I came to understand and love these people and wanted to be of service to them. They called me “Bwana M‘Kubwa,” meaning “Big Master,” but I said, “I am your M‘tumwe” (slave).” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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Cost of Barriers

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

Securing the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area from Illegitmate Access approved at the City Council meeting Aug 18, 2016

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. He will have to discover where he went wrong and make his peace with nature. In so doing, 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”

The Standing policy committee on planning, development, and community services on July 18, 2016 met and advised that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – Measures to Mitigate Unlawful Dumping and Trespassing July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report should be received as information by the General Manager, Community Services Development. The report of the General Manager, Community Services Department, dated July 18, 2016, was recommended to go before City Council August 18, 2016, for information. At this meeting, Councillor Hill, Councillor Davies, Councillor Jeffries, Councillor Paulsen and His Worship the Mayor all voted in favour.

The committee also heard from Julia Adamson, Robert White, and Jeff Hehn in July of 2016.  Robert White, who personally knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, and is a member of SOS Elms Coalition spoke about the great humanitarian, and forester, Richard St. Barbe Baker the namesake of the Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Robert White spoke “to the importance of the preservation of the area and expressed support
for some type of barriers to protect the area.”

The July 18, 2016 Community Services Department report examined measures to mitigate trespassing of motorized vehicles, and to prevent illegal dumping of refuse in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA). The committee examined the conditions of trash built up in the afforestation area, and realized that there are no funded City service levels for the RSBBAA as this area is not within the parks and open space inventory, and parks does not have maintenance over the area, as it belongs to Land Branch.

It was in the writing of this report, that the Community Services Department  discovered that the afforestation area east of the Southwest Off Leash Recreation Area ~ that region on part of the south east quarter of section 23, township 23 range 36 west of the third meridian~ was not legally within the legal land description during the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area naming process undertaken in 1978-1979.

There were three options proposed:

    1. Option 1 Frontage Fencing which includes installing page wire fencing on only areas adjacent to roadways or “frontage” areas with an approximate cost of $45,206. This sum includes the clean up tipping fee estimate of $13,500, so the actual fence comes to $44,806. If chain link fencing were employed for the frontage areas, then the cost would be $197,000.
    2. Option 2 Perimeter Fencing utilizing page wire fencing around the complete afforestation area would run around $147,000, which includes the tipping fees as well. If the perimeter were surrounded with chain link, the cost rises to $949,000.
    3. The third and final option examined was bollard and gate installation. This proposal showed an estimated cost of $30,500 (inclusive of the $13,500 tipping fee)

The recommendation favoured the third option realizing that the bollards and gates would perhaps result in vehicles going around these barriers if they were determined to enter the afforestation area without respect to these clearly defined property limits.

Other stewards to consult during the process and development are TransGAS, SaskPower and in later light another stakeholder is CN.

The report stated that “there are no policy, environmental, privacy, or CPTED implications or considerations at this time.”

As the south west sector planning continues over the next few years this will be re-examined and a more permanent solution may perhaps be conceptualized.

The full council meeting report of August 18, 2016 is available at City of Saskatoon website or at the City of Saskatoon Archives.

The above is a para-phrasing of the report written by Monica Hunt, Landscape Architect, Open Space Design.
Reviewed by Darren Crilly, Director of Parks.
Approved by Randy Grauer, General Manager, Community Services Department.

As the North East Swale watchers formed as an informal grouping to protect the north east swale, so do the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area come together to protect the riparian woodland, marsh wetlands, and the semi-wilderness habitat.

At community meet ups and clean up events, the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area sees representatives who care for the afforestation area from Ducks Unlimited, SOS Elms Coalition, Saskatoon Nature Society, Member of Parliament Sheri Benson, Standing councilor for Ward 2, The Saskatoon Baha’i Community, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Cedar Villa Estates, Rural Municipality of Corman Park, North East Swale Watchers, West Swale watchers, Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the SW off leash recreation area city liason, Meewasin Valley Authority, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Casual Off leash dog walkers, Jane’s Walk, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Nature Saskatchewan, several and many community associations in the south west of Saskatoon such as…Mount Royal Community Association, Montgomery Park Community Association, Parkridge Community Association, Dundonald Community Association, King George Community Association, Holiday Park Community Association, Fairhaven Community Association.

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 extending from the Civic Operations Centre (bus barns) and is the afforested woodlands area near Saskatchewan Highway 7 as accessed by Cedar Villa Road for either the west or east parking areas.
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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