Two issues have recently resurfaced.
- Today, January 25 2018, is female blackout from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It’s a movement to show what the world might be like without women. Your facebook photo should just be a black square so that men wonder where the women are. Pass it only to women. It’s for a project against domestic abuse, It’s no joke. Share it on your facebook page.
- A reminder came forward that the Jane’s Walk believes in walkable cities in honour of journalist Jane Jacobs OC OOnt (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006). Jane’s Walks are one way to get people out into nature, into their cities, and in touch with the people of their community. And as the Saskatoon Jane’s Walk representative states; Jane’s Walks “support ensuring [that] the Afforestation area remains a walkable safe location for all to enjoy”
Have you walked the afforestation areas? Have you really walked these urban regional park to be able to discover and respond to the complexities which exist through observation? Here is a photo album of images photographed since the community volunteer clean ups. [October 2016 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) ~ July 2016 8,300 kg (18,300 pounds or 9 tons) ~ June 2015 3,300 kilograms (7,275 Pounds) of trash, chesterfields, construction materials with nails, shingles, and tires were removed.] And this is a map [west portion of afforestation area only] exploring the complexities which have been observed since the cleanups. Who has walked George Genereux Urban Regional Park?
How can the Afforestation areas be a “walkable safe location for all to enjoy”? And today, January 25, 2018 ~ female black out day, would women feel comfortable walking in the city, in all urban regional parks, and in the afforestation areas?
Walk the walk
Talk the talk
Very wonderfully, full city addresses have been enabled for all city parks, and for the afforestation areas. An address very wonderfully aids in the safety process in cities, as addresses enable a call for help to friends or family and to emergency support.
Fires have sprung up in the afforestation area such as in the spring of 2016. Besides fires in the Afforestation areas, in both 2011 and 2016 huge grass fires broke out near the afforestation areas. The afforestation area is adjacent to the Canadian National Railway ‘CN Chappell Yards.’ A railway yard, is a complex series of railroad tracks for storing, sorting, or loading/unloading, railroad cars and/or locomotives which may carry flammable contents. The afforestation area is within the City of Saskatoon city limits, adjacent to the neighbourhoods such as Montgomery Place, and also adjacent to the homes of Cedar Villa Estates of the Rural Municipality of Corman Park 344. Thankfully there are no more tires in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area which may fuel such fires should they become out of control. And of course, the afforestation areas are home to diverse biodiversity, woodlands, wetlands and grassland flora and fauna as well as host to many and several visitors from the city exploring nature on bicycle, walking, or with their dogs. The visitors include men, women and children.
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” J.R.R. Tolkein Gandalf character
“A city street equipped to handle strangers, and to make a safety asset, in itself, our of the presence of strangers, as the streets of successful city neighborhoods always do, must have three main qualities:
First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space. Public and private spaces cannot ooze into each other as they do typically in suburban settings or in projects.
Second, there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind.
And third, the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
At the afforestation areas there are no real demarcations of space, except at the South West off leash recreation area and the east side. What happened in this areas? What was the result? Illegal trespass has declined to nil. Illegal activity [i.e. trash in the park] has declined to nil. Woo Hoo!!!!!!! These portions of the afforestation areas are most definitely showing the progress in tune with the philosophy of Jane Jacobs ~ activist best known for her influence on urban studies [city planning] which introduced sociological concepts such as “eyes on the street”. Nature enthusiasts, dog walkers, bicyclists, photographers are coming out to these areas …. and …. really enjoying it. There is safety! This is wonderful progress!
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”― Jane Jacobs
The question is asked again, would you, lady, gentleman or child, feel safe today, January 25, 2018 ~ female black out day ~ or any day in the City of Saskatoon, in its urban regional parks, and in the Afforestation Areas? It is hoped that the answer to this question is a resounding “yes!”, if not why not?
Observe, Experience, Do Something.
In honour of female blackout day ~ a movement to show what the world might be like without women ~ perhaps a statue should be erected in the City of Saskatoon afforestation areas.
“I believe with Ruskin, that I must be just to the Earth beneath my feet, to the neighbour by my side and to the Light that comes from above and within that this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy from my having lived in it. “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
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!
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 😉
“The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin…” Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden