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 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 the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them 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′
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:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***


“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger

“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

“In the words of Henry van Dyke, America’s greatest tree poet,
‘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.’ ”

Richard St. Barbe Baker


“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.

%d bloggers like this: