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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Paul Hanley | Eleven

A transformational model that will help individuals, institutions, and communities make an eleven-billion world work for everyone—and the planet.

Ideas Transform the World.

Planet Earth, the World, is in our Hands
Planet Earth, the World, is in our Hands

Ideas Matter.

Eleven Billion facebook and the book “Eleven” are written by Paul Hanley, winner of the Canadian Environment award and the University of Saskatchewan President’s Award for Non-Fiction 2015, via Saskatchewan Book Awards, for Eleven. Hanley has definitely compiled a timely book which faces the paradigm facing all of us individually as the global population reaches 11 billion by the end of this century.

Hanley reclaims the future, sows seeds for a new culture, and provides a model for positive change. What do greenhouse gases, climate change, health, 21st century culture, agriculture, environment conservation and protection have in common? “We are going to change so completely that future civilization will be barely recognizable. We are going to change because, faced with extinction, ‘our better angels’ will prevail.”P3. Eleven

One of the many, diverse stories in Eleven is about Sawadogo, The Man Who Stopped the Desert. This farmer, without any training at all, began pioneering farming techniques for agriculture, increasing farm productivity. Amazingly Sawadogo also created 20 hectares of forest…in a desert. These innovative techniques of “restoring vegetation has been shown to create climatic feedback loops that increase rainfall.” p.162 Eleven. Think of that ~ a desert with rain!!!

These concepts were also seen by Richard St. Barbe Baker. After completing his silviculture course in forestry at Cambridge University, St. Barbe was posted to Kenya, Africa. While there, he witnessed the devastation which agricultural methods were creating on the land. It was here that the first forest scouts “Watu Wa Miti” {Men of the Trees} were assembled and encouraged to make a solemn promise to do one good deed each day, plant ten trees, seedlings or seeds each year, and take care of Trees everywhere.”*

Just as Sawadogo recognized the effects of erosion, St. Barbe, also only turned around farming practices in Kenya with the Watu Wa Miti initiating the International Trees Foundation (formerly Men of the Trees)  St Barbe says; “The great Empires of Assyria, Babylon, Carthage and Persia were destroyed by floods and deserts let loose in the wake of forest destruction. Erosion following forest destruction and soil depletion has been one of the most powerfully destructive forces in bringing about the downfall of civilizations and wiping out human existence from large tracts of the earth’s surface. Erosion does not march with a blast of trumpets or the beating of drums, but its tactics are more subtle, more sinister.”

St Barbe Baker wrote in Green Glory: The Forests of the World that “We advocate that all standing armies everywhere be used for the work of essential reafforestation . .. in the countries to which they belong, and that each country . . . shall provide expeditionary forces to cooperate in the greater tasks of land reclamation in the Sahara and other deserts.”

Hanley explains that “deforestation and forest degradation, through agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging, and fires accounts for nearly 20 percent of global [Greenhouse Gas] GHG emissions, second only to the energy sector, and more than the entire global transportation sector.” p. 168 Eleven.

However, just as St. Barbe and Sawadogo saw and recognized poor agricultural practices and put into practice innovative techniques to reclaim the environment, and bringing hope to people and communities, so too, does Hanley offer a way for us to wake up with innovative ideas.  Paul Hanley knew Richard St. Barbe Baker personally.  Hanley suggests, that, “This awakening world would necessarily lead to an ethical revolution that will help emerging generations build a new social-ecological order on a sustainable foundation.” P. 337 Eleven. How can we wake up, how can we change the world? Hanley offers hope, but not only hope, Hanley offers a well-researched model for progress, a methodology for all of us to get started to change the world outlined in his book Eleven.

Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi says “Every concerned citizen of this planet needs to read this book.” However, it may be best to go one step further, and say everybody, every citizen will gain insight and incredible opportunities to transform the world by reading Eleven. Hanley, environmental columnist for the Saskatoon Star Phoenix since 1989 has delved into global and environmental concerns, and in Eleven, Hanley provides more than hope. Eleven is an innovative solution and recipe for an enlightened social-ecological system for personal, local and global worldviews to survive. Not only to survive, but to live sustainably and well.

“You may ask, ‘…Why do I have to be at all concerned with those circumstances that have existed before I was born, and will most certainly continue to exist after I have taken myself out of this rather soiled and seedy world and have moved to other areas of consciousness?’
The only answer that can be given to such a question is that the world is a mirror and the more one polishes and cleans the mirror, the better one can see one’s reflection. …Does it not stand to reason that the elements that are used in this magnificent venture need to be kept in tip-top condition?” ~Emmanuel

“Trees worked for millions of years to make it possible for man to come on this planet. Yet man, who owns his presence on this Earth to trees, has been cutting, burning, greedily and recklessly. He has turned the forest into desert, until today we are faced not only with a timber famine, but with a food famine.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Business, Technology, 21st Century Culture, Planet Earth
Business, Technology, 21st Century Culture, Planet Earth

Let us turn back the clock…to the great wars, World War I and World War II. Outside of combat, war efforts had other ecological impacts. “Twentieth Century technology made forest destruction much easier than in Caesar’s (or William Tecumseh Sherman’s day)… European wheat demand in World War I led to the plowing up of about 6 million hectares of grasslands on the American High plains and in Canada’s prairie provinces. This helped prepare the way for the dust bowl of the 1930s. The British war effort in World War II consumed about half of Britain’s forests. McNeill.” How have we corrected and ameliorated these environmental changes and damages? What can we possibly do now? Hanley has an answer for ecological, environmental and agriculture futures in Eleven.

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”~ James Allen

Is it true what Vaclav Havel says that “Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.” Or is it more probable as Rene Daumal says, “You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place ? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.” A glimpse into Eleven will surely allow everyone to know. To know a healthier world, a “united, just and sustainable civilization that encompasses everyone, including our extended human body ecosphere. P.372 Eleven.

Planet Earth Future Generations
Planet Earth Future Generations

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Eleven Friesen Press.

“ELEVEN is a call to consciousness. Only an ‘ethical revolution’ will allow us to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. Paul Hanley proposes a transformational model that will help individuals, institutions, and communities make an eleven-billion world work for everyone—and the planet.” *

Emmanuel’s Book. A Manual for living comfortably in the cosmos. Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton. ISBN 0-553-34387-4. Bantam Books. New York. 1987.

Hanley, Paul. Eleven “eleven billion people will share this planet by century’s end. Adding 4 billion to an already overburdened world will force everyone to change everything.” Friesen Press. Victoria BC. ISBN 978-1-4602-5045-7 (Hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4602-5046-4 (Paperback) ISBN 978-1-462-5047-1 (ebook). 2014.

MacNeil,J.R. Ideas Matter: A Political History of the Twentieth Century Environment. “The grand social, and ideological systems that people construct for themselves invariably carry large consequences, for the environment no less than for more strictly human affairs. Among the swirl of ideas, policies and political structures of the twentieth century, the most ecologically influential were the growth imperative and the (not related) security anxiety that dominated policy around the world…By 1970, however something new was afoot.” From Current History November 2000, PP 371-382. originally excerpted from “An Environmental HIstory of the Twentieth Century World” New York. Norton 2000) by Current History Inc. reprinted with permission: Environment 2002/2003. Annual Editions. 21st Edition. Editor John L. Allen. McGraw-Hill Dushkin. ISBN 0-07-250682-2.

Van, Leon C. Le. Poems from Swedenborg Swedenborg Foundation Inc. New York. ISBN 0-87785-134-4. 1987.

Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron
Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron

For more information:
You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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

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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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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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

Spring Sunset Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Spring Trees Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

The angels,
Who are principled
In the science
Of all knowledges,
And that in such a manner
That scarce a thousandth part
Can be unfolded
To man’s apprehension,
Yet esteem knowledges
As nothing
In comparison to use.~Swedenborg

Honouring Courage and Passion of St Barbe

It is up to us too, to carry on the fight – as tirelessly as he did in the past; to assure that his vision is realised and that his ideas live forever

“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

 

Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D., O.B.E.
Photo credit: University of Saskatchewan
University Archives and Special Collections
Richard St. Barbe Baker Fonds, MG 71

“The world is so full of care and sorrow that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another to discover the bright crystals of delight hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks” ~ Helen Keller quotes

What was the task which befell St. Barbe? “Baker believed in the value of planting trees.” ~Mike Was this task was it irksome to Baker? What did he feel as he wrote over 23 books promoting the value of trees? Following his task alone with passion guided him on his solitary journey. Why did he do it?

In 1924, St. Barbe established the international organisation ~ Men of the Trees ~ (now called the International Tree Foundation ITF. This was followed by the international group: Children of the Green Earth and the Green Front Action Group.

“…I seemed to have entered the fairyland of my dreams. I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost…buoyed up with an almost ethereal feeling of well-being, as if I had been detached from earth. I became intoxicated with the beauty around me, immersed in the joyousness and exaltation of feeling part of it all… Rays of light pierced the canopy of the forest… I had entered the temple of the woods. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid… The overpowering beauty of it all entered my very being. At that moment my heart brimmed over with a sense of unspeakable thankfulness which has followed me through the years since that woodland rebirth.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The International Tree Foundation set out three tasks for the forest scouts (originally called Watu wa Miti meaning Men of the Trees:
1./ To plant ten trees each year
2./ To do a good deed ever day
3./ To take care of trees everywhere

Were these tasks irksome to the forest scouts? They recognized the importance and value of the forest, and their tasks. Tree planting ceremonies, greenhouses,and deeds which saved life and property grew from this humble beginning.

During the 1930s, St. Barbe met with President Roosevelt and they started the Civil Conservation Corp to save the California Redwoods. St. Barbe then formulated three new tasks. They were;
“1./ To save the trees for posterity.
2./ To provide a magnificent backdrop where young people could meet and marvel at the beauty of the Redwoods and the planet
3./ To inspire young people to work together to hand over this legacy to future generations.

“Of course it is difficult to agree that the death of St Barbe counts for nothing. He was a unique figure whom we shall never replace. Nevertheless I feel sure that in death, as in life, he will continue to teach and to inspire us. It is up to us, his disciples and his friends, to celebrate the life and work of Richard St. Barbe Baker. It is up to us too, to carry on the fight – as tirelessly as he did in the past; to assure that his vision is realised and that his ideas live forever.” ~Goldsmith

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Goldsmith, Edward. Richard St. Barbe Baker. July 1, 1982.

Mike B is for Richard St. Barbe Baker: A Life Planting Trees May 21st in Choosing To Build A Positive Planet.The Postive Encourager.

Man of the Trees A legacy that Keeps Growing

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 Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, SK, CA. 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

Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D, O.B.E.

forestry is among the oldest and most honorable of the peaceful arts of men, and in its practice is unselfish and constructive service.

Richard St. Barbe Baker Biographical Highlights

Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982) Founder of Men of the Trees (MoTT)   world renown horticulturist, and silviculturist ( a person who tends to trees)   received  the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on 6 November 1971from  the University of Saskatchewan.  This honour was followed by an appointment bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II as Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE in 1978. Baker attended Emmanuel College at the University of Saskatchewan as one of its first students in 1910.  He first began working on his divinity degree and changed to the study of forestry after the Great War.

Baker.jpg
Images of St. Barbe, credit
University of Saskatchewan,
University Archives & Special Collections,
Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

In 1922 Baker took the post of, Assistant Conservator of Forests in Kenya and while in Africa embraced the “Boy Scout Good-deed-a-day idea” (Oldfield. 1979)  He called for volunteers, Watu wa Miti (Men of the Trees)  to plant trees to restore the ravaged forests, and thus the international organisation, Men of the Trees was born.  The group founded by Richard St. Barbe Baker, “Men of the Trees”, has as its slogan, TWAHMWE, meaning “All as one” or Pull together.  Those candidates chosen to become members in Kenya were to “repeat solemnly the three-fold promise, “I promise before N’gai to do at least one good deed each day, to plant 10 trees each year, and take care of trees everywhere”. (The Sunday Morning Star  1930)  Baker founded “ the ‘Children of the Green Earth’ movement, encouraging youngsters to seed and nurture baby trees. “Sullivan, 1981. P. 55

Baker headed to his alma-mater, the University of Saskatchewan where he hoped to found the first Canadian branch of “The Men of the Trees. “ (Spokane, 1932)  “Forestry arose from a recognition of a universal need.  It embodied the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life, and in addition ministering to his aesthetic tastes and recreational interest. The man who planted trees and created forests was rendering one of the greatest of services to his country.  “This real life tree hero attended the U of S from 1909-1913 and his life’s work brought him back to receive an honorary doctorate in 1971.  At the age of 91, while visiting Saskatoon in 1982, St. Barbe, as his friends called him, planted a tree near the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. He died three days later, and his body was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

He is an example of what one person can achieve in a lifetime and to this end the Baha’i Community of Saskatoon is planning an historical marker at the site.” White, 2002). “…The aim of the Men of the Trees  is briefly ‘to develop a tree sense in every citizen, and to encourage all to plant, protect and love their native trees; for forestry is among the oldest and most honorable of the peaceful arts of men, and in its practice is unselfish and constructive service.” (The Sunday  Morning Star 1930)

On June 9, 1982, Baker passed away aged 93 during a visit to Saskatoon.  He is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Oldfield, Barrie (1979) Interview between Barrie Oldfield, Man of the Trees in Perth and Richard St. Barbe Baker

Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (1932)  Works To Guard Forest Friends.  June 10, 1932.  Digitized online by Google news.  Date accessed April 12, 2016.

Sullivan, Jane. (1981)  The Man of the Trees and his magnificent obsession.  The Age.  Sept. 10, 1981.  Digitized online by Google news.  Date accessed April 12, 2016.

The Sunday  Morning Star  (1930) Found Tree-saving colony in Africa.  Richard St. Barbe Baker, who will lecture here, writes of his adventures.  .  January 26, 1930. Page 5.  Date accessed April 12, 2016.

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
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
July 9, 2016 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area CLEAN UP Day PAMPHLET