True Heroes of the Afforestation Area

What are you doing this April 22, Earth Day?

In life there is a continuous succession of first impressions and adventures.

Why do we smile when a child puts on a man’s hat? The usual reply to such questions is, that laughter results from a perception of incongruity.

It is truly incongruous indeed that the afforestation area is besought with illegal trespass, however this is no laughing matter. No chuckle comes forward, only dismay, bewilderment, and nay even disgust that a forest should receive the dumping of trash, and environmental polluting.

However, to the rescue comes the RM of Corman Park 344 establishing posts, locks and chains to mitigate illegal trespass to the southern perimeter. Adjoining the RM are the Fat bike fatlanders brigade with their own volunteer labour securing the east side of the afforestation area near the Civic Operations Centre (City of Saskatoon bus barns) with a bollards, gate and “gently used” Jersey Barriers. The City of Saskatoon joins the ranks with their attention to the stakeholder’s interests, the additional “gently used” Jersey Barriers, the existing no dumping/no trespassing signs and the orange vehicle barriers.

This is not the least, the Saskatoon City Police, Warman RCMP force and the Corman Park Police Service have all offered support services to the citizen stakeholders. The Saskatoon Fire Department efficiently contained the grass fire of 2016, a great relief before it became a forest fire.  Everyone is doing the best that they possibly can.

Additionally Saskatoon groups, individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests have rallied to support the “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership” at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in so many ways.  It is with great appreciation the volunteers offering their time at the community and Meewasin & Affinity Credit Union Clean-Up Campaign clean ups , the citizen neighbourhood watch stewards, the donations in kind in support of the clean up, and the financial donations which have been received towards the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund

So, “What are you doing this Earth day, April 22?”, is asked again. Hopefully it is getting out in nature, enjoying the fresh air, celebrating our amazing world, and reveling in the joy that so many residents in the city of Saskatoon embrace the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area. It is an area large enough to embrace the ideals summarized as a “strategic goal of quality of life” and the “strategic goal of environmental leadership.”

Come out this spring, and celebrate the work done by diverse groups and residents in this afforestation area preserved in perpetuity! Look forward to seeing you, indeed. It is great to see so many different expressions to respect this semi-wilderness habitat corridor nestled in the West Swale wetlands.  For it is  joy seeing the coming forward  of the  City of Saskatoon citizens in regards to the afforestation area.  The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is held in the hearts of so many, and it may  truly and well be preserved for many generations to come.  Don’t you agree that in this there is, indeed, laughter and celebration for Earth Day!

“How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!” wrote Carlyle.

Thank you!

PRAYER FOR THE TREES
We thank Thee God! for thy Trees,
Thou comest very near to us through thy Trees.
From them we have beauty, wisdom, love,
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
the food we eat and the strength.

Help us, Oh God!
to give our best to life
and leave the world
a little more beautiful and worthy
of having lived in it.

Prosper thou our planting
and establish thy kingdom of love
and understanding on 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
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Off Leash Dog Park Valley Road Saskatoon!
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

Progress Report

 

The present is full of opportunity. Never before in the history of the planet has mankind been given the privileges and opportunities that are at his disposal today. A great light has been raised and is penetrating the darkness of the world, but alas, too many with dust blinded eyes have yet to catch the vision. Some of us have. That is our privilege and our responsibility.
The fate of an individual or a nation will always be determined by the degree of his or its harmony with the forces and laws of Nature and the universe. Man is not alone in the universe but is surrounded by sources of power, harmony and knowledge.
The fullness of life depends upon man’s harmony with the totality of the natural cosmic laws. Our individual evolution is a job that has to be carried on day by day by each individual himself. It is a lifelong task.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area are very fortunate to have a very strong and effective governance over all fiscal operations. The Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area have partnered with the Meewasin Valley Authority, and all contributions are held in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. Financial stewardship for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is paramount in order to support the stewardship of the afforestation area is the main goal for the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and this goal manifests in the following avenues;

  • “strategic goal of quality of life”
  • “strategic goal of environmental leadership”

The charitable donations and dollars have, in fact, gone straight to work at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. How have the very much appreciated contributions to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area paid off so far?

  1. Donations supported the 2016 volunteer clean up initiative with incentives, and very importantly ensured the safety of community volunteers who assembled for clean ups of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
  2. Funding supported the appropriate environmentally friendly recycling of 85 tires. When properly disposed of scrap tires to do adversely affect the environment. The safe removal of the tires was not only improved the visual appearance of this semi-wilderness wildlife habitat, but it also went a long ways to restoring the quality of the wetland and watershed.
  3. The Jersey Barriers seen out at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area serve to define the area of the afforestation area. Further these vehicle barricades protect the newly created groomed trails. It is also hoped that the barriers will serve to mitigate illegal trespass creating a safe and healthy environment in this peri-urban area for human users. Additionally the desire is out there that the barriers would protect the modified and native grasslands, wetlands and woodlands – for the semi wilderness wildlife habitat.
  4. Installation of gates for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area goes one step further and provides the protection from illegal trespass by motorized vehicles as mentioned above, while allowing egress for service and emergency vehicles; ambulance, fire and police protective services.
  5. Bollards were placed at the north end of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area to the east adjoining the afforestation area by the Trans Gas road. These short, sturdy, vertical posts were installed to control motorized vehicular traffic and egress into the woodlands and onto the groomed pathways from that venue.

These aforementioned activities were the first to be set into place as a tangible benefit to the public at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

If the forest, or shoreline shows evidence of litter, the result is a lack of respect for the area, and the existing refuse serves as what amounts to a trash magnet. It has been proven that persons act to preserve the environment and waterways, if they are seen to be clean. Thank you kindly to all our past clean up volunteers, and those who still monitor the afforestaton area and continue to pick up trash.

With the help of contributions the efforts of the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area continually upgrade the afforestation and West Swale wetland’s quality so they can support a thriving environment which can be truly appreciated and used for by current and future generations of the City of Saskatoon community as Saskatoon grows to 250,000 by 2025 and to 380,000 by 2035.

There is no denial that kind and generous gifts to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. (MVA RSBBAA)” have truly made a profound impact on the betterment of the afforestation area as a whole. As the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area strive to protect this rich and diverse environmental habitat, it is a reflection on the City of Saskatoon to have the generous financial support, caring citizen volunteers and in-kind donations from the community.

“From water and earth we came, and the future of mankind on this planet will be determined by respectful or disrespectful treatment of these basic elements.” ~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

 

Spring 2017 Updates

The greatest gift of all is life. Richard St. Barbe Baker

New updates about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Jeff Hehn made a facebook posting:  “As mentioned at the meeting last night [Wed March 29, 2017]- here is the  link to the photo album of accumulating issues since the last cleanup: . Anyone should be able to add to the album if you see an issue that needs addressing.”

“Also I,  [Jeff Hehn] have been logging the location to a google map as posted on the Users of Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area facebook page Additionally the phenomenal RSBBAA – Vehicle restrictions are pictured online!”

This is a fantastic to update the news about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, thank you to Jeff Hehn, ambassador of the Fatlanders Fatbike  Brigade FFBB. However, that being said, it is arrggghh to see the devastation.

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 Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

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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“In the wealth of the woods since the world began The trees have offered their gifts to man.” – Henry van Dyke

The greatest gift of all is life. For millions of years the trees were paving the way for life on this planet, absorbing impurities, clearing up the foetid atmosphere and the swamp breath, absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off the life giving oxygen that
we breathe.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

What happens August 18, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.?

We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees.

What happens August 18, 2016 at 1:00 p.m., indeed?

Wouldn’t you love to walk in this urban regional forest, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, with your grandchildren amid truly magnificent trees, and breathtaking forest scenes? The Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area recently gathered together to promote the environmental health of the St. Barbe Forest with the clean up on July 9, 2016.  This year 8,300 kilograms (18,300 pounds) of trash were removed, including at both clean ups appliances, chesterfields, construction materials with nails, fencing, doors, windows, shingles, and tires were removed. Last year, May 2015, 3,300 kilograms (7275 Pounds) of trash came out of the east side alone!

So now, when you arrive at the afforestation area, you do not have to put your “trash blinders” on.  There are truly delightful 44 year old trees, with an understorey coming in of native plant growth.  There are American and Siberian Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, Black Balsamic Poplar, Willow, Colorado Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine and Caragana, chosen for their drought resistant capabilities, and for the soil type at the afforestation area.  There is not too much evidence of the Manitoba Maple, and the Green Ash is a very small stand today.  The Scotch Pine and Colorado Blue Spruce have delightfully made groves of small saplings.  The far west side predominates with Poplar, as it was believed that this area would be more prone to flooding.  The east side is mainly  Elm mixed with Spruce.  Caragana, implemented as a wind break and to act as a moisture collector in the winter is seen throughout the east and west sides.  The rows in the afforestation area are fourteen feet apart and weave in and out to give the afforested area a more natural look rather than rows in lines at right angles to each other.  The trees were selected randomly, and set into the soil four to five feet apart.  In every 2-1/2 mile long section, there were fire guards left of 50-60 feet which were not afforested.  Presently, native Trembling Aspen Bluffs are starting to make their home here creating a wonderful complement with the afforested trees.

Two organisers came together in 2016 with different backgrounds, but the outcome or goals for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area overlap.  Jeff Hehn is seeking to introduce the city to “green exercise”, a way to get the population more actively involved with the environment.  There is a wish to also engage residents in a more active winter lifestyle, and Jeff proposed a winter active lifestyles plan.  Julia Adamson is seeking to restore the environment, protect the woodlands and West Swale wetlands, and the wildlife habitat corridor.  Both Julia and Jeff, in consultation with neighbourhood community associations of the city, neighbouring residents of the Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344, environmental organisations, recreational groups, city and MVA staff, came up with some goals and ideas which have amalgamated together from a wealth of ideas and concerned people.

First and foremost came the unanimous decision that a forest was not a place to have trash and garbage.  About 70 volunteers arrived one Saturday in July combining several organisations and individuals. Volunteers poured in from across Saskatoon, and from across the continent, from as far away as Utah and Pennsylvania, from coast to coast in Canada, volunteers came from Victoria, British Columbia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec; Toronto Ontario; and Winnipeg, Manitoba. This response was fantastic to shift the 8,300 kilograms (18,300 pounds) of freezers, full pails of tar, 85 tires, two car engines, roofs and roofs of shingles, children’s games, clothing, shoes, doors and windows.

Though the volunteers were absolutely fantastic, and would gladly help out again, there is no need for garbage to be filling up an urban regional park.  The enormous amounts of money that could be saved by closing off the afforestation to motorized vehicles would be massive by just recovering the clean up costs alone.  So what measures need to be undertaken to keep the trash out of the forest?

The majority of the trash was piled up alongside the wider pathways, those wide enough that a vehicle could drive upon.  So a very quick and easy solution would be to place vehicle access barriers with large rocks, bollards, gates or fencing to restrict access into the afforestation area.  So three representatives for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area spoke before the Standing Policy committee on Planning and Development on Monday, July 18th.  It was with glad and happy hearts, that recommendations for three different options for vehicle restrictions  were discussed at this very meeting to block access to the Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area.  The committee voted that Plan C should be approved, and now this option will go before City Council on August 18, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. for a vote from council.

Will this day see a step towards preserving and conserving the West Swale wetlands?  Will August 18, 2016 see a vote towards protecting the afforestation area, which had been preserved in perpetuity in 1972?  Will City Council vote to keep trash out of the afforestation area and in the landfill where it belongs?  Will the trash finally be out of the forest following the vote taken on Thursday August 18, 2016?  Without vehicles allowed to trespass, the afforestation area will not be littered with trash, and there will be no need for massive clean ups to be arranged for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, as it will come into its own as an urban regional park to be enjoyed by responsible citizens of Saskatoon.  Mark your calendars for the outcome of this vote, and the impact it will have on the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area!

“We forget that we owe our existence to  the presence of Trees.   As far as forest  cover goes, we have never been in such a  vulnerable position as we are today.  The  only answer is to plant more Trees – to  Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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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
Contact the MVA 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker

2016 Trash Clean Up Statistics

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.

What did the volunteers of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area actually have to deal with?  Because of data card sheets supplied by the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up, there is some idea of the trash clean up at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, as follows:

July 9, 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Clean Up Statistics
8,300 kg was the weight (Metric)
18,300 pounds was the weight (Imperial)
9 tons was the weight (approx tonnage)
350 were the number of recycling bags filled
128 collected and removed cubic yards of trash
Huge Loraas Bins 32 cubic yard roll-off waste bins that were emptied a total of 4 times.
85 collected and recycled tires
19 collected and removed Cigarette Butts
89 collected and removed Food wrappers, candy chips etc.
40 collected and removed Take out containers plastic
24 collected and removed Take out containers foam
66 collected and removed Botle caps plastic
17 collected and removed Bottle caps metal
77 collected and removed Lids Plstic
37 collected and removed Staws, stirrers
17 collected and removed Forks, knives spoons
16 collected and removed Condoms
12 collected and removed Diapers
3 containers collected and removed Syringes / needles
27 collected and removed Femine Hygiene Douche Applicators
10 collected and removed tampons/tampon applicators
20 collected and removed Appliances freezer/refigerators, dishwashers
4 collected and removed batteries
4 collected and removed cigar tips
5 collected and removed cigarette lighters
57 collected and removed clothing, shoies
918 collected and removed construction materials too too many to count
85 collected and removed tires
136 collected and removed toys
23 collected and removed beverage bottles plastic
5 collected and removed beverage bottles glass
34 collected and removed beverage cans
47 collected and removed grocery bages plastic
32 collected and removed other plastic bags
8 collected and removed paper bags
43 collected and removed cups and plates paper
20 collected and removed cups and plates plastic
19 collected and removed cups and plates foam
1 collected and removed 6 pack holders
24 collected and removed other plastic foam packaging
11 collected and removed other plastic bottles
15 collected and removed strapping bands
16 collected and removed tobacco packaging wrap
2 collected and removed ropes
5 collected and removed foam pieces
78 collected and removed glass pieces
81 collected and removed plastic pieces
70 collected and removed scrap metal
30 collected and removed broken glass
6 collected and removed box springs
6 collected and removed mattress
1 collected and removed 200 gallon water tank
2 collected and removed tar can contractor/roofer size
1 collected and removed refrigerator / refrigerator
3 collected and removed metal
1 collected and removed tech
1 collected and removed drain stopper
3 collected and removed eavestrough
12 piles – 12 roofs (minimum) collected and removed shingles
2 found and 1 removed motor
90 litres collected and removed oil
10 collected and removed paint cans
3 collected and removed chesterfields
3 collected and removed pillow
3 collected and removed rebar
20 collected and removed cement foundation chunks
32 collected and removed bricks
1 collected and removed fence
10 collected and removed wood pallets
6 collected and 4 removed Televisions
2 collected and removed sinks
5 collected and removed arborite for counter tops
10 collected and removed doors
7 collected and removed compost bags
1 collected and removed batman toys
5 collected and removed snow shovels
3 collected and removed hats
4 collected and removed windows
1 collected and removed mirror shower door
1 found Engine hood for car
1 collected and removed prescription bottle with pills and label
1 collected and removed Song book
2 collected and removed Books with signatures in them
5 collected and removed hotel grade counter tops
1 collected and removed lawnmower
1 collected and removed arrow

Please remember that there is a $25,000 fine for illegally dumping trash or for  illegally using a motorized vehicle in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  To use a motorized vehicle legally in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area please contact the city for a vehicle permit, they are only $30 each, .and you must state your purpose of needing to use a motorized vehicle in this green space.

“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 it the ‘skin’ of the earth, for without it there can be no water, and therefore, no life.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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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
Contact the MVA 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker

2016 Trash Clean Up Summary

..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

How does one follow up on the work extended by volunteers at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area?  Where does one begin?

What a toll all this litter had on the afforestation area.  From the waiver signed and lanyards distributed, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Clean Up organisers know that there were at least 66 individuals out at the clean up, some arriving at 8:00 a.m. rhe CISV youth group “Peace Bus” volunteers arriving at about 10:00 a.m., and others along with 15 members of the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade arriving at 1:00 p.m.    Some volunteers were out working all day ~ It made for a 13 hour day for many of the volunteers.~ such as Renny W. Grilz, .Resource Management Officer Meewasin Valley Authority , Regan Olson Environmental Protection Officer City of Saskatoon, Ross Harwood President of Cedar Villa Estates, Douglas Adamson, Julia Adamson, Mathew Dutnall,  Ann Dutnall,  working east tent, Beth Romano who worked in the west ten, and the fellow from Loraas didn’t just drive the Loraas truck, but got his hands dirty and was in with all of the volunteers cleaning up trash.  So to all the volunteers from the community associations, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Rural Municipality of Corman Park hamlet residents, environmental groups, church groups, businesses who participated during Canada’s Corporate Clean up Week, a resounding thank you and round of applause and appreciation. There were about 13 Elders and Mormon Missionaries from the Saskatoon, and Winnipeg Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter Day Saints out helping for the entire day as well, so much appreciated.  The Multi Faith Youth Groups were contacted by Robert White of SOS Elms, himself a Baha’i as was Richard St. Barbe Baker, and his contribution in this regards is so appreciated.  Paul Hanley, previous environmental reporter for the Star Phoenix, and Baha’i president Saskatoon, were also out for the majority of the day, and were very impressed with the efforts to conserve, preserve and restore the afforestation which was named in the honour of Richard St. Barbe Baker as can be seen from their face book postings.  So all in all, the trash clean up could be considered an amazing success, morning and afternoon crews toiled away at the far west end between the prairie potholes of the West Swale wetlands and SK Hwy 7 (Pike Lake Highway),.  Afternoon crews worked at finishing up the most excellent 2015 spring clean up  the east end (between COC and SW OLRA) and removing the dishwasher, household trash, chesterfield, shingles, composting bags &c .

The pre-inspection sites marked on the maps were  attended to as well as many of the several smaller trash sites as well.  Very little of the larger piles of trash remain, however  there may still be some smaller items hidden behind leaves and tall grass, but the huge quantity of construction materials, tires, oil, &c have been removed, the listing which follows on subsequent web pages shows the report of items removed from the afforestation area.  Several volunteer groups compiled data on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup data sheets, photographs showed several items, pre-inspection tours marked sites of shingles, appliances, household trash, clothing, tires, toys, doors, etc. to give this idea of items at the RSBBAA clean up.  A truly sad state of affairs that those people chose to use an urban regional park to dump children’s train tracks, toys, clothing, shoes, hats, blankets, pillows rather than call a recycling facility or association such as Communty Living, Value Village, Salvation Army, Canadian Diabetes Foundation so that the children’s toys, clothing, safety gates, lawnmowers could be re-used by someone who would have need of these items.

Again thank you for bags from the MVA we actually used approximately 350 bags which was mind blowing considering that a lot of the garbage was not baggable i.e. shingles, appliances, chesterfields, fences, decks, 200 gallon water containers, pails of tar &c

Thank you to the City of Saskatoon for arranging the Loraas bins, and the attendant driver, and for waiving the tipping fees, and staying on site to help safely dispose of oil, tar, litter, and recycle tires and help with the actual clean up itself, as Regan Olson from the city did truly “get his hands dirty” with the clean up, Hats off to him.  Thank you to all the City of Saskatoon staff in assisting the organising of the clean up from allocations, to the folks working in the City Solicitor office, at Land Branch, City Planning Department, Parks Department, Public Utilities, all the assistance was invaluable and treasured so much for the enormous help offered towards the afforestation area clean up.

Thank you to Ross Harwood, President of the Cedar Villa Estates Hamlet resident association.  The hauling of shingles especially would have been near impossible without his tractor and low trailer arrangement, and his dedication to staying the whole day.  Ross in fact pre-built a box from wood pallets to help haul shingles and wood construction materials  without getting a tire puncture.  Thank you also to Jeff Hehn, who also built a second box from wood pallets, so two boxes could be rotated at the many and several shingle sites, concrete sites, brick, and construction material sites throughout the forest, which was estimated to be about  12 roof loads of shingles at the very minimum counting those on both east and west sides of the afforestation areas.

The tragic realization that construction or contractor professionals were using the afforestation area as dumping ground was horrifying, as the large cans of tar attest to, these large cans are not residential use roofing tar. The tragedy that hotels used the site for a land fill was received with sad ears, which the hotel grade counter tops bear witness to.

The very heartbreaking scene arriving at a clearing filled with female douches and condoms, measured the pain of young women forced into the sex trade against their will, and desperately trying to avoid the diseases and risk of pregnancy through desperate measures such as douching was extremely painful.  It was heartbreaking to realize that women and girls  were being brought to the very outskirts of the city where they could not reach out for help in a populated area in awkward and potentially dangerous situations.  The arrival of prostitution to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, mandates the immediate erection of vehicle barriers to the urban regional park, not only to protect the users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, but also to protect the defenseless women and girls carried away out of the residential neighborhood areas of the city.  This must stop immediately, indeed.

The amount of needles found at the afforestation area, and the speech given by Jacqui Barclay,  Street Health Program,Population and Public Health, Saskatoon Health Region.and the risk of Hepatitis, and diseases to walkers and users of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is also distressing, and shocking. Not only is needle use dangerous for those who come across needles in an urban regional park, but it is also calamitous for any who originally are using needles for illicit drug use.  These needles probably arrived from a trash dumping, perhaps a `slum landlord seeking to clean an apartment, and disposing of the trash illegally in the forest. This site is marked with bright red contractors tape so it is clearly visible in case any were missed. Community programming must intervene in our fair city to mitigate such tragic circumstances, and the toll on human life from illegal drug use, truly horrifying and ruinous. Further, imagine being out in the RSBBAA and falling in the winter time on a beautiful hoar frost day, when the trees are glorious in their winter array, and falling on a needle covered by a blanket of white snow, and contacting a tragic disease which will affect you for the rest of your life.  Whether or not the needles arrived from users in the afforestation area, or from a slum landlord cleaning out an apartment and dumping the trash at the afforestation area, the fact remains, that needles found in an urban regional park is not the standard for this amazing City of Saskatoon and its green space norms, thank goodness.  Something most definitely must be done, to make sure that no further needles are found to protect any users, be they the young youth making use of the BMX jump park, or Fat bikers in the prime of their life, or any other users, naturalists, walkers, skiiers, snowshoers, who may wish to enjoy the wildlife habitat corridor.  These folks do not and cannot come across needles in any area of the urban regional park.  And what is to say of animals finding, stepping on this human trash of needles, who is going to speak up for the jack rabbits, squirrels, and moles when they get injury?  This is another imperative need to get vehicles restricted to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, now with temporary barricades, until permanent fencing can be installed.  The time is now!  Before people, animals, and the flora of the afforestation area are further devastated.  With increased use of the RSBBAA, such illegal activities will decrease, diminish and eventually desist.

With more eyes on the forest, more protection can be maintained, but help is definitely needed.  With funding raised by the Stewards, to bring an initial impetus, surely something can be initiated and installed with the funds deposited at the MVA in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund.  The cost of the clean up was enormous in tipping fees, Loraas fees, tire recycling, tragedy to humans in regards to prostitution and needles, wetlands and riparian treeland zone pollution and volunteer man hours.  This cost is too high to bear in future years.  We must protect those who cannot protect themselves!

The afforestation area is very beautiful with fully grown 44 year old trees, and native flora coming in as trembling aspen bluffs and snowberry bushes to supplement the Black Balsamic Poplars, Blue Colorado Spruce, Elms, Scotch Pines, Caraganas which make the site ever so spell – binding, riveting and beautiful.  The uncommon Mountain Bluebird makes its home in the Green Ash, the Ruddy Duck is unique to the West Swale wetlands, and is a treasure among the fauna, Pelicans at the West Swale wetlands, and flocks of Sandhill Cranes who oft times migrate along with the occasional endangered  Whooping Crane alongside who make their homes in the Riparian forest of the Richard St. Barbe Baker  Afforestation Area and West Swale wetlands.  Mule deer, White tail deer, Jack Rabbit, Porcupine, Skunks, Squirrels, and many other animals pf the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and as the honourable Councillor Pat Lorje said, this is their home too.

The monies raised in the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund will offset the cost of tire recycling 85 tires at $4 a tires is $374 after taxes, and thank you to A-1 Tires for taking care of this. Any remaining funds in the trust fund can go towards vehicles barriers and signs.  Even just a metal sign similar to the SW OLRA bylaw signs, with the name of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area would go a long way to show ownership of the land.  But first come motorized vehicle barricades for sure as prevention against illegal activities at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Thank you to the FatBike Fatlanders groups and the MVA for proferring additional trucks and low flat bed trailers. Jeff Hehn, ambassador for the Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade mentioned that there were 15 members of the fatlanders with 5 trucks and a trailer including a truck donated for the afternoon by the Bike Doctor.  What an amazing rallying forward to support the clean up efforts.  The size of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is about 2 miles by an irregular 1/2 mile, which is a huge distance to traverse carrying loaded bags, appliances, bricks, concrete foundation blocks, motor engines, and so the clean up needed to be done with motorized help for sure.

Thank you to Verity Moore-Wright, Pat Lorje, Jacqui Barclay, Julia Adamson,  Jeff Hehn for saying a few words to start the morning and afternoon shifts.  This motivated our volunteers who so very kindly turned out on Saturday July 9, and also kept them safe while out in the forest.

Thank you to our Saskatoon Singing Circle, an affiliate of the Sacred Web Singers who serenaded our group with tree songs as a tribute to the standing nation, all the trees of the afforestation area, a tradition which is often seen at the Prince Edward island clean ups, and a group of Saskatoon women came here to the St. Barbe forest as well.  It was absolutely thrilling to be invited to sing along with them.

Thank you to Ann Dutnall, and Beth Romano, who with injuries that they had sustained, still wished to be involved in the clean up, and so they manned the two tents, one at the east and one at the west end of the afforestation area, allowing volunteers respite from the sun, a chance to re-fill their  water bottles with juice or water, let the volunteers grab a granola bar for sustenance, and receive any first aid supplies, or wash hands from a particular messy encounter with used diapers, oil, tar and weathered trash which had been on site for years.  The tents marked with Sk Energy banners also allowed volunteers to sign waivers at the beginning of the day and collect a Sask Energy lanyard, and return to the tent at the close of their shift for a certificate, a package of Richard St. Barbe Baker tree seeds, and a prize donated by many amazing corporations who did their part during Canada’s corporate clean up week.

Thank you to those businesses and corporations and benefactors who helped to sponsor the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, they included Sask Energy, EcoFriendly Sask, Fatbike Fatlanders Brigade, Tommy Guns Original Barbershop, The Real Canadian Superstore, Fit 4 Less, Cowtown Pets Saskatoon Everything Pets, Motion Fitness, A&W Restaurants, Panago’s Pizza, Verity Moore Wright of the Meewasin Valley Authority, the honourable Pat Lorje Councillor of Ward 2, Julia Adamson, Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt.

Thank you to our volunteers, our oldest volunteer was  83 years old, Blake Adamson, and the youngest was a daughter of a Cedar Villa Resident about 8 years old as far as can be determined.

Thank you to Global Saskatoon TV news who aired the event on Saturday July 9, 2016 at 6 pm and 10 pm  Thanks to the radio stations who announced the “Clean Green Community Scene” Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation  Area clean up on Friday July 8 throughout the day on 98 Cool FM, CJWW 600, 92.9 The Bull Saskatoon, and Cool Classic Radio, what an immense help that was!

There were volunteers who arrived from Winnipeg, Utah, Philadelphia, British Columbia [and Victoria] – (different volunteers), Quebec, Toronto, Halifax as well as Saskatoon.  So to come from all over North American, find the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and love trees and the environment so much, that on their time away from home, they came to clean up in Saskatoon is very heart warming indeed, what a way to spend their holidays and travel time, and it is greatly appreciated.

During the organising campaign, thee was support from many schools, churches and community associations south of 33 street and west of Idywld Drive who placed the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in their newsletters, and mentioned the clean up at their meetings.  It is with huge gratitude, that these community were involved in efforts to preserve and protect the environment.  Of note, were the many Saskatoon environmental societies and green groups who have been supportive of the efforts of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  It is truly an honour to know that the ecology, and green areas of Saskatoon are in such diverse and wonderfully caring hands of individuals in these organisations.

Thank you so much for everyone’s time, commitment and love for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Please help us to acknowledge you, if your group came out, and we have missed it on our web pages, please email us   We are very sorry for any oversight, it is not intentional.

Due to the high number of tonnage of trash removed, the high cost of recyling tires, the Loraas bin hours and costing, the fees lost by the City in tipping fees by illegal dumping taking place in the forest, the fees waived by the City for the clean up, so the city  bore the costs twice a burden to the taxpayer to clean up after illegal dumping by folks too lazy or cheap to go to the landfill properly, the hours of volunteer time, the tremendous damage to wetlands and woodlands done by 4x4s and ATVs to a protected afforestation area, the shocking and traumatic news of prostitution and needles, the devastation to the afforestation area and wetlands by trash dumping and destruction to the paths and undergrowth, and actual trees themselves by motorized vehicles is calamitous, it is well and truly hoped that temporary vehicle barricades can be installed at the main entry access points to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, until such time that permanent fencing or vehicle barriers can be erected at the main entry access areas on both  east and west sites of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Furthermore, the addition of signs to let folks know of this amazing forest would be truly and gratefully appreciated as well, and that it is not vacant land to be used as a spare land fill area, but rather an amazing urban regional park, and a true treasure indeed!  Thank you so much again to everybody for everything, indeed, you have well and truly made a difference!

Please remember that there is a $25,000 fine for illegally dumping trash or for  illegally using a motorized vehicle in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  To use a motorized vehicle legally in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area please contact the city for a vehicle permit, they are only $30 each, and you must state your purpose of needing to use a motorized vehicle in this green space.  The Saskatoon Landfill fees are very reasonable, in fact once a year, the city waives the tipping fees for residents engaged in spring clean ups.The Landfill is very accessible being located just off of Circle Drive. The city of Saskatoon also has a tremendous free Compost Recycling programme for yard waste such as lawn clippings, tree trimmings. Remember to not send your Elm trimmings to the City compost area and risk the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, and it is further devastating to dump Elm trimmings in the forest, and take the chance of immediately infecting an entire forest! Read these wonderful web-sites City of Saskatoon’s Dutch Elm Disease pageGovernment of Saskatchewan, or SOS Elms to learn how to properly prune your Elm and dispose of the clippings, please

This is a small example of what our volunteers would see on site Saturday July 9, 2016, how utterly tragic that anyone could dump this in a forest of beauty or near the West Swale wetlands!  Please click on image for larger size.

 

“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
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 MVA 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)” .
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Shaping Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Saskatoon is changing. It’s how we manage change that is important.

As plans were being made to organise the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up, the City of Saskatoon Shaping Saskatoon concept made a huge impact.

Online, the City of Saskatoon Communication Division invites feedback from the residents of Saskatoon in order that the various and several departments may make informed and wise decisions in management and design of civic services.

What is Shaping Saskatoon all about? This is where projects and discussions undertaken by the City of Saskatoon are presented for feedback from the public. “The more public input we receive the better Shaping Saskatoon can become.”~source

Projects such as the Active Transportation Plan are outlined online. The City of Saskatoon has designed unique surveys. Ongoing discussions on a wide variety of subjects come online.

The very marvelous thing is that to get involved in shaping Saskatoon, as a citizen of this fair city, there is also an invitation to email communication division and share your feedback; “Better services start with you.”source

Please take time to view the Saskatoon Speaks You Tube video inviting you to make comments about what is important to you as the City of Saskatoon grows to 1/2 million by the year 2023.

Over the next few days, the results of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up will come online – how many kilograms of trash removed, how many tires were removed, were there any needles found, what else was uncovered during the clean up, what was the most interesting thing found during the clean up, what were the numbers of volunteers engaged in the clean up, and where did the volunteers come from?

A number of community associations in the south west area of the city of Saskatoon were contacted to help get the word out about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up, in addition to environmental green groups. Youth groups and churches were contacted who kindly placed the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area clean up in their newsletters and mentioned the clean up at their meetings. Sports and bicycle groups were engaged in the planning process.

What were the results of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? What was discovered and found out about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and what will follow the clean up effort which began with the set up at 6:30 a.m., volunteers arrived at 8:00 a.m. and the clean up effort lasted until the tires were deposited for recycling at 5:30 p.m. with the last of the volunteers arriving home around 6:30 p.m. to unload the tents, banners, signs, and tables sitting down for supper at 7:00 p.m. It was a day in which the weather cooperated, and there was not a stitch of rain. Please stay posted as to what happened during this 13 hour day, and what is planned next for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

After months of planning, which began in May of 2016, to remove the trash from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area On July 9, 2016 to celebrate the well established trees and forest of this urban regional park area what will happen next?. Following months of organising to restore the West Swale wetlands, what will be the follow up?  With community engagement and feedback from community associations, hamlet residents, bicycle enthusiasts, environmental green groups for the clean up of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, what will be the results?  Upon discovering that the riparian forest and West Swale wetlands are home to the uncommon Mountain Bluebird, to find out that the wetlands are a unique habitat for the Ruddy Duck, after sighting flocks of Sandhill Cranes which quite often have flying alongside them the Whooping Crane, what are the plans for this one of a kind wildlife habitat corridor?

“Saskatoon is changing. It’s how we manage change that is important.”
Source Growing Forward

“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.” ~ 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
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 MVA 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)” .
Twitter: StBarbeBaker