Virtual Tour of George Genereux Urban Regional Park, a movie

Virtual Tour of George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon,

a winter movie on You Tube

History of “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

133 Range Road 3063, Saskatoon, SK ( NE 21-36-6 W3)

Greenbelts were the brainchild of Ebenezer Howard, Rexford Tugwell and Benton McKaye. These greenbelts were pioneered to control urban growth.

Saskatoon had its own green belt envisioned by Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, who literally got out of his office, and walked around Saskatoon’s perimeter in 1960 choosing high spots of land for scenic beauty according to Bill Delainey Saskatoon Historian and local history room librarian.Together with City Planner, Bill Graham, Wellman worked on parkways and planted trees for the Circle Drive Parkway at these sites purchased in 1960. The afforestation areas -Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park as well as several green spaces are a part of this concept, and have been incorporated into the Circle Drive plan as is evident around Gordie Howe Bridge completing the southern portion of Circle Drive in Saskatoon.

Green Survival: War Against Ecology Abuse is what Kathy Cronkite, Staff Reporter for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix called it on May 10, 1972.

The City of Saskatoon Parks and Recreation Board planted 200,000 trees on 600 acres of land as a tree nursery program in 1972 as part of the Green Survival Program sponsored in North America by the Canadian Nursery Trades Association and the American Association of Nurserymen. In total 355 acres of afforestation areas were planted that year. In 1973, 355  additional acres are planted. Originally 2,300 acres were envisioned.  Though, originally established as a tree nursery, George Genereux Urban Regional Park has trees too large to transplant at the current moment of time.

Future residential areas were examined, and the areas for public reserve allocated. The intent was to plant these future areas of open space so that when the subdivision was developed, the  Blairmore Suburban Development Area (SDA), there would be mature trees already established.

In 1972, A. L. Ligtemoet, Assistant Parks Superintendent sets before council that these
afforestation areas be kept in perpetuity ~ this is approved by city council.

George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the third afforestation area south of Diefenbaker Park received plantings of drought resistant trees; black or balsam poplar also known as the balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifera), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Colorado blue spruce ( Picea pungens), Sibernain Elm (Ulmus pumila),  Scotch Pine or Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Willow, Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo), Green  Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), and the Siberian peashrub or caragana (Caragana arborescens) Tree planting selections recommended by the P.F.R.A. Tree nursery at Indian Head, SK

The rows were planted by weaving in and out, deviating from the centre line by as much as  forty feet, producing a natural forest effect. “We’re stabilizing the sand with a series of spiral shelters – rows of trees planted in semicircles to catch the winds and create vortices of air,”  explains Richard St. Barbe Baker. “The same thing would be valuable on the Canadian prairies where straight  shelter belts cause snow to accumulate.” Star Weekly Toronto, On January 15 1972

In 1979, the parcel of land at NE 21-36-6 was named “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park – 133 Range Road 3063 and is now part of the Blairmore Suburban Development Area

The George Genereux Afforestation Area, besides providing flood mitigation control, and being an amazing carbon sink for the rising greenhouse gases, features an amazing geological history.  The West Swale, is an amazing geological remnant of the Pleistocene Yorath Island Spillway. The West Swale is a low-lying depression created by repeated glaciations and the melting of the last bit of glacial ice. When the glacial lake dam failed, a huge outburst flood (GLOF) occured The dam can consist of glacier ice or a terminal moraine. Failure can happen due to erosion, a buildup of water pressure, an avalanche of rock or heavy snow, an earthquake or cryoseism, volcanic eruptions under the ice, or if a large enough portion of a glacier breaks off and massively displaces the waters in a glacial lake at its base. Peak flows as high as 15,000 cubic metres per second. The northern flow of water in the Glacial North Saskatchewan River Valley was halted by ice, creating Glacial Rice Lake settling into the lowlands west of Grandora. Glacial Rice Lake drained by channels into the South Saskatchewan Valley According to Larry Edwin Hodgins, “The Moon Lake Channel, a major spillway connecting the North Saskatchewan River basin with the South Saskatchewan, and a smaller parallel channel, Yorath Island Channel, also cross the Cory plain….but they are clearly not South Saskatchewan channels.” and the area of the South Saskatchewan may have increased by 140% and 194%

George Genereux (March 1 1935- April 10, 1989) was a seventeen year old high school student in 1952 when he won the Olympic Games Gold Medal for trap-shooting at the Summer Olympc Games held in Helsinki, Finland with 192 out of 200. This was Canada’s first gold medal at the olympics since 1932. Further to this honour, Genereux was bestowed the Lou Marsh Trophy for being Canada’s outstanding amateur athlete of the year, making him the youngest person in history to receive this honour. The City of Saskatoon declared Genereux “Citizen of the Year” in 1952. Canada honoured him as male athlete of 1952. Genereux was installed in the Canada Sports Hall of Fame (1955), Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on October 31 of 1966, inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame 1986 and the Trapshooting Hall of Fame (1986).

Genereux went on to trap shooting events across Canada and the United States. At the age of 13 Genereux won the Midwestern International Handicap Honours, then he acquired 3 successive Manitoba – Saskatchewan junior titles. (source) Genereux won the Junior Championship of North America at the Grand American Handicap, held in Vandalia, Ohio in 1951. During this event, Genereux broke 199 clay pigeons out of 200. Genereux also placed second in the Oslo, Norway World Championships, 1952.

Genereux, attended the University of Saskatchewan to earn his Arts and Sciences degree, then he went on the McGill University to study Medicine graduated 1960. Dr. George Genereux was for years a Professor of Radiology at the Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon.

The biography submitted to City Council stated that “It is considered appropriate to select in his honour this particular tract of semi-wilderness with its favorable habitat for wildlife of many kinds.” “If you can’t help yourself, you should use your God-given talents to help others,’ spoke George Genereux

Plans Around George Genereux Urban Regional Park Area

At the current moment, plans are made for the area surrounding George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  Check out the maps on these three proposals. The Saskatoon Provincial Freeway is being designed in the area west of Saskatchewan Highway 7.  The city of Saskatoon long range planners are designing the Blairmore Sector within city limits to the north of George Genereux Urban Regional Park.  The P4G planners are allocating land use outside city limits in the immediate vicinity of George Genereux Urban Regional Park.

Click here to see maps of the freeway route at the bottom of this story. On mobile? Click here

Provincial Government About the Saskatoon Freeway Project

Provincial Government Saskatoon Freeway

Saskatoon Freeway Presentation When fully developed, the Saskatoon Freeway will provide a high speed, free flow bypass route around Saskatoon for provincial traffic, as well as allowing for another commuter route for the growing city. The key benefits of the freeway include improved safety, improved traffic flow and reduced travel times.

CBC news Province establishes route for Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Committee being formed to plan Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Province picks preferred route for Saskatoon Freeway

CBC news Full route mapped out for proposed $2B Saskatoon freeway Bypass project not expected to start for years with no price tag attached
The bypass that one day is expected to route trucks around Saskatoon and reduce traffic in the city is essentially finalized.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park and areas around the afforestation areas and West Swale inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

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) – wherewhere
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority at 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 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 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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The future of the present

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. Isaac Asimov

To what do Ellsworth Huntington and Stephen Sargent Visher refer when they expound that “Unity is perhaps the keynote of modern science. This means unity in time, for the present is but the outgrowth of the past, and the future of the present. It means unity of process, for there seems to be no sharp dividing line between organic and inorganic, physical and mental, mental and spiritual. And the unity of modern science means also a growing tendency toward coöperation, so that by working together scientists discover much that would else have remained hid….  Its fundamental principle has been that the present, if rightly understood, affords a full key to the past?” Can it also be said that the fundamental principle is that the present, if rightly understood, affords a full key to the future?

The land for the afforestation areas was purchased by the City of Saskatoon in 1960.  Then the lands were afforested with trees as a tree nursery in 1972 along with fire breaks left in 1972.  These firebreak areas left unplanted resulted in native prairie untouched since 1960.  Additionally  only some of the land was homesteaded before the city purchase, resulting in native grasslands and woodlands left in their native state since before 1960.   Currently, the trees are also too large to be used as transplants so the afforestation areas are no longer considered viable as a tree nursery.

The afforestation areas are quite diverse, being  riparian woodlands wholly situated in the wetlands of the West Swale.  Additionally to the general West Swale wetlands classification there is also a Class IV permanent wetlands creating a huge diversification in flora and fauna including ~ grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands.

So it is quite a mix, indeed of flora, therefore, which host quite a mix in the wildlife one can see while in the afforestation areas.

The afforestation areas, thus described, are located within city limits.  Perhaps it is areas such as these which are invaluable to the City of Saskatoon while the city  is growing to 380,650 by 2035; 500,000 before 2050; with some projections seeing the City reach 1.52M by 2038.  It is areas such as these afforestation areas that make Saskatoon a green city, which was foreseen by the City Planners of 1960.

The afforestation areas were “preserved in perpetuity”  by City Council in 1972 and, furthermore, they were designated in 1979 in honour of Dr. Lt. Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, O.B.E., Hon. LL.D. (Sask), F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., ACF and St Barbe’s vision.

How is that to be interpreted?  That is the question.

Photo of Richard St. Barbe Baker Courtesy: University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name. Alice Meynell

Richard St. Barbe Baker often quoted Henry van Dyke, whom he thought of as the  greatest of tree poets;

“He that planteth a tree is a servant of God;
He provideth a kindness for many generations
And faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.~Henry van Dyke”

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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“We are passing through a time of unprecedented destruction of things of the spirit of the natural order.  We have been caught up by personal greed and national competition.  The very body of life on this planet is now being threatened by the destruction of earth’s green mantle, the Trees.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker.