Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trip

We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations”. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”~Margaret Mead

The Saskatoon Nature Society Past-President, Marten Stoffel, who is familiar with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area, along with Sara Byrson who has a background in forestry will lead a field trip to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area on the evening of June 14, as follows. For several years Marten Stoffel has been banding birds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pmRichard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.
“We will walk through this afforestation area next to
Chappell Marsh to search for native plants and songbirds.
Meet by the Grain Elevator at the Western Development
Museum parking lot on Lorne Avenue. Bus: Route 1
Exhibition departs downtown terminal at 6:31 p.m. and
arrives on Lorne Avenue adjacent to museum about 6:50 p.m.
Leaders Sara Bryson (306 261 6156) and Marten Stoffel
(306 230 9291)

Guide to Nature Viewing Sites Page 122.”

Everyone is welcome to participate in any Saskatoon Nature Society field trip. Bring your friends. Carpooling for out-of- town trips is arranged at the meeting place; there is no charge other than to share gasoline costs. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions (as above). Participants are free to depart early if they wish. Saskatoon Nature Society Members with FRS radios should bring them on out of town trips. Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved walkie-talkie radio system. Check the website at Saskatoon Nature Society for last minute changes or cancellations and to download checklists. Bus Information: 306-975-3100.

Many of the  Saskatoon Nature Society trip destinations are described in the 3rd edition of “A Guide to Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon” available from Saskatoon Nature Society Books.

Typically, at least the bird species are recorded on the Saskatoon Nature Society checklist but there are some ways that the Saskatoon Nature Society can electronically record our observations too.

It is with grateful appreciation that the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area acknowledge this wonderful program acknowledging the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat of the West Swale, and associated woodlands. Though this two hour walk through will not be as extensive as a two day bio-blitz, it will be intriguing to discover what native plants are discovered at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and which song bird species come to roost for the evening.

As Saskatchewan Tourism says; “With over 350 species to be observed, birdwatching in Saskatchewan is a year-round activity. However, the fall and spring migration seasons present fantastic opportunities for viewing as species both rare and plentiful cross the Land of Living Skies.”

The Prairie Birder, Charlotte Wasylik, has listed the arrival dates for spring migratory birds in Alberta, to check how these dates correspond to Saskatchewan Species, compare to E-Bird historic sightings. The prairie provinces are vast land areas, and she mentions, that “with a variety of habitats and species arrival dates will vary based on your location in the province”, the typical dates of spring migration are March through May.

What are some of Saskatchewan’s prairie songbirds? Sibley and Alquist divided songbirds into two “parvorders”, Corvida and Passerida which include shrikes, vireos, crows, magpies, jays, waxwings, chickadees, larks, swallows, martins, warblers, wrens, nuthatches, thrushes, true sparrows, finches, pipits, buntings, American sparrows, longspurs, buntings for example. Will it be possible from the above family listing to perhaps sight any of the species of these families on the Saskatoon Nature Society Check List which may offer a spotting of the following example species; Sprague’s pipit, Chestnut-collared longspur, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, McCown’s Longspur, Bobolink, and Purple Martin.

“Grassland songbirds evolved with specific needs that restrict where and how they can obtain food and build nests. Most of them can only nest in certain types of grass and will not tolerate trees in the landscape….The Baird’s Sparrow is one of the least flexible grassland songbirds…they’re really fussy about how tall and sparse the vegetation is. They have to have finely stemmed grasses to nest in. So the heavy, thick stems and leaf blades of invasive and non-natives like smooth brome are a problem for them.Hanson

The former natural area screening study conducted surveys in native grassland, modified grasslands and wetlands plant communities throughout the west/southwest sector of Saskatoon. Locating native grassland communities in and around trembling aspen bluffs. Mixed grasslands, however will show examples of smooth brome, alfalfa, and sweet clover. “Grasslands have undergone habitat conversion including cultivation, grazing, suburbanization, and industrialization. Murphy A listing of native plant species is included at the end of this article or click here [pdf].

The south west sector afforestation areas were started as tree nurseries in 1972, and when the trees matured, this use as a tree nursery is not longer viable. So the grasslands have had years to recover, and begin the conversion back to their natural state. However, “in addition to the threat of development, native grasslands are being degraded due to weed invasionWilliams.  So it will be intriguing to see the level of native plants left intact at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

Looking back now, to the afforestation methods employed in 1972, “The following tree species were used: American and Siberian Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, Poplar, Willow, Colorado Spruce, Scotch Pine, and Caragana. Rows weaving in and out as much as forty feet from the centre line was used. This produces a natural forest effect. The proposed planting area consisted of four and one-half adjacent quarter sections. We divided this two and one-half mile long area into five planting areas, with strips of fifty to sixty feet left bare, as fire guards between each planting area.”Ligtermoet So these means that there are areas which have been native prarie biome for 57 years since the land was purchased by the City of Saskatoon in 1960 without development of any form at all, so it may, indeed be promising to find belts of native grassland, and associated songbirds during this Saskatoon Nature Society nature field trip.

Whereas the West Swale has numerous small scattered wetland areas, the focus of this nature study walk, will be not the aquatic vegetation, nor waterfowl, but the belts of native plants, and any associated songbirds.

Louie Schwartzberg states that “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” Thank you to the Saskatoon Nature Society to help all the field trip participants become aware of nature’s beauty which abounds at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Your planning of this nature field trip on June 14, 2017 is gratefully appreciated! Words cannot express our feelings, nor the thanks for all your help.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly”~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Native Grassland Plants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

BIBLIOGRAPHY and FURTHER INFORMATION:
A Land Manager’s guide to Grassland Birds of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.

Are the Prairies getting quieter? Songbirds are declining in number. Audio extra: Can you identify some Prairie birds by their songs? CBC News. May 22, 2015.

Clarke, Jared B. Bird Banding in Saskatchewan
Birds Protected in Canada Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 Environment and Climate Change Canada. Nature. Government of Canada.

Hanson, Kim. Fire is for the Birds in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie. Fire Science. he information for this Manager’s Viewpoint is based on JFSP Project 01-3-2-09, Prescribed Fire for Fuel Reduction in Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie: Influence on Habitat and Populations of Indigenous Wildlife and Future Forest Flammability; Principal Investigators: Robert K. Murphy, Todd A. Grant, and Elizabeth M. Madden.

Wild Birds Unlimited of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Facebook.
Bird ID skills: How to Learn Bird Songs and Calls All About Birds. Cornell University. April 20, 2009

Best Beautiful Bird Songs – Saskatoon Saskatchewan You Tube.

City of Saskatoon West/Southwest Sector Natural Area Screening Study. Report 12-1361-0028. Golder Associates. September 2012

Davis, S.K., D.C. Duncan, and M. Skeel. Distribution and Habitat Associations of Three Endemic Grassland Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 111, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 389-396 Published by: Wilson Ornithological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164104 Page Count: 8
Davis, Stephen K. Nesting Ecology of Mixed-Grass Prairie Songbirds in Southern Saskatchewan. The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 115, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 119-130 Wilson Ornithological Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4164538 Page Count: 12

Ligtermoet, A.L. Assistant Parks Superintendent City of Saskatoon. Afforestation – Man Made Forest on the Prairies. January 4, 1974.

Ludlow, Sarah M., R. Mark Brigham, and Stephen K. Davis. Nesting Ecology of Grassland Songbirds, Effects of Predation, Parasitism and Weather. The Wilson Jornail of Ornithology 126(4):686-699, 2014

Herriot, Trevor. Mapping our birds – the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas kicks off in 2017 Feb. 2, 2017

Higgs, Matt. Songbirds in decline across Canada. Greenup Column. Peterborough Examiner.

Kishkinev. Dmitry, et al Experienced migratory songbirds do not display goal-ward orientation after release following a cross-continental displacement: an automated telemetry study Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 37326 (2016)
doi:10.1038/srep37326

Martinez, Victoria. Student, ranchers protect prairie songbirds. Allison Henderson. Allison Henderson SCOTT Bell/university of Saskatchewan U of S graduate student Allison Henderson is studying connections between prairie grasslands and songbirds. University of Saskatchewan. Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan.
Murphy, Dennis D. and Pual R. Ehrlich. Conservation Biology of California’s Remnant Native Grasslands.

Robinson, Ashley. Grassland birds in Saskatchewan under threat: reort. Regina Leader Post.

Rose, Phil. Native Rangelands: A Last Refuge for Grassland Songbirds University of Regina.


Songbird Documentary on CBC Nature of Things. The MessengerDoc.com.

Species Detection Survey Protocols. Grassland Birds Surveys. Fish and Wildlife Branch Technical Report No. 201 4-9.0 December 2014. Government of Saskatchewan.
Tremont, Anna Marie. Canada’s grasslands most endangered least protected ecosystems. CNC. February 21, 2017

U of S Research takes flight in songbird SOS documentary. The Sheaf. University of Saskatchewan.

Wildlife 911: Baby Birds on Ground. Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan

Williams, Nicholas S.G., Mark I. McDonnell, Emma J. Seager. Factors influencing the loss of an endangered ecosystem in an urbanising landscape: a case study of native grasslands from Melbourne, Australia Landscape and Urban Planning 71 (2005) 35–49 April 9, 2003.
What are Native Prairie Grasslands Worth? Why it pays to Conserve this Endangered Ecosystem. Ranchers Stewardship Alliance Inc. Chris Nykoluk Consulting. 2013

Wolsfield, MIke. Ecoregions in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan EcoNetwork

“We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations”. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“Healing the broken bond between children and nature may seem to be an overwhelming, even impossible task. But we must hold the conviction that the direction of this trend can be changed, or at least slowed. The alternative to holding and acting on that belief is unthinkable for human health and for the natural environment. The environmental attachment theory is a good guiding principle: attachment to land is good for child and land.” `Richard Louv

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

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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: ***

It is not a farce.…”To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” ~Terry Tempest Williams

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Canadian Tire, Thank you!

As we come up to UN World Environment Day on June 5, it is with great appreciation and gratitude that Canadian Tire, Confederation Branch has lent a helping hand. Though we had close to 80 volunteers at the “Clean Green Community Scene” for the July 9, 2016 clean up, and 86 tires were found, removed and recycled.  The clean up was held in the summer when the grass was deep and there were a few additional tires thrown away in the bush were missed. The actions of Canadian Tire are very much appreciated in accepting those tires with rims discarded illegally in the bush, so that a beautiful and healthy forest and wildlife habitat corridor can be enjoyed now, and can be passed on to future generations. It is actions such as these, that do, indeed change the world.

When scrap tires are thrown away in the bush, they pose a real threat to the environment and to human health. Tires, left in the elements collect water. The standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Piles of tires can harbour rats and vermin. Accidental grass fires, which catch onto tires, are very difficult to extinguish as tires, themselves are a fuel source. If tires do catch fire they produce toxins and carcinogens such as benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, butadiene, styrene, dioxins, and furans as well as heavy smoke. A combustible tire also increases the threat of a grass fire escalating into a forest fire. If this wasn’t bad enough, scrap tires also post environmental concerns as the rubber decomposes, polluting the water, air and soil. Tires contain oils, heavy metals and lead which leech into the soil and into the ground water. The marshlands, and wetlands of the West Swale are impacted, as are any animals which may imbibe of the polluted water. Now then, not only for these reasons, but who looks at a magnificent forest and says of the scenic beauty, that a tire would be visually appealing in this green landscape?

So, the legacy pollution, of unknown folks who dumped the scrap tires illegally in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has been remedied and alleviated by the Canadian Tire Automotive Department. This is truly and gratefully appreciated by the many and several environmental, recreational and community groups who are involved with the care and stewardship of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. When tires are taken in for recycling, they may be re-purposed as insulation blocks, drainage aggregate, playground surfacing, rubber modified asphalt, floor and truck mats, belts, gaskets, soles for shoes, rubber washers or garden edging.

The next time you are at Canadian Tire Confederation, thank this leading business for standing beside the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. When voices such as Canadian Tire take stand for the environment, it truly does have far-reaching ripple effects. Protecting our environment, human health and the community is a wonderful support, and we have no qualms saying that we are truly grateful to Canadian Tire for your assistance in helping to recycle these tires, and care for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and its semi-wilderness wildlife habitat.

Canadian Tire
Located in: Confederation Mall
Address: 300 Confederation Dr #1, Saskatoon, SK S7L 4R6
Phone: (306) 384-1212
Province: Saskatchewan

Help us tell Canadian Tire how they did today! It was phenomenal!!!

We feel that our greatest victory remains to be won when man will realize his oneness with the trees, the creatures and with all living things, not ours to destroy, but to be handed on for the enjoyment of future generations. – Richard St. Barbe Baker.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Bloch, Michael. Tires, recycling and our planet. Green Living Tips. March 17, 2013

Bylaw No. 5713. the “Anti-Dumping Bylaw.”
Bylaw No. 8310 The Waste Bylaw The City of Saskatoon. 2004. Codified to Bylaw No. 9410 Dec. 12, 2016

Keeping your neighbourhood clean What you need to know. The Waste Bylaw no 8310. City of Saskatoon Residential Bylaw brochure.

Tire recycling. Wikipedia.

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

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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: ***

For more information on keeping Saskatoon green, you may call the City of Saskatoon “Solid Waste Information Line” (306) 975-2486. If you think there is a problem with waste in the city, please also call the City of Saskatoon Trash Tips hot line at (306) 975-2486.

Any person who dumps or disposes of Waste contrary to Bylaw 5713, “The Waste Dumping” bylaw is liable to a fine of not less than $100.00, nor more than $500.00. Additionally, the person charged is responsible for the removal of the waste dumped improperly.

“You can come across a precipice not only in the mountains but in everywhere! ….When you come across a precipice, look for the bridge; it is somewhere there!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan In this case, the bridge for the precipice at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, in recycling tires, came in the form of Canadian Tire, providing a bridge to recycle the tires safely protecting the environment. Thank you!

Saskatoon City Police Support

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.Lewis Carroll

In a nutshell, Stewards and Stakeholders of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area seeking to get the appropriate services to direct and educate the public to be respectful of the diverse flora and fauna of woodlands, grasslands and wetlands – the afforestation area preserved in perpetuity.

It is very easy to enjoy a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat nestled in a mixed deciduous and evergreen forest such as usually only seen north of the provincial treeline. Here in our native and modified Aspen Parkland eco-system, and West Swale wetlands it is better if all users had an awareness and respect for the environment around them.

Quote by John L. Lonergan “Education not punishment is the solution. Education has a huge role to play to change things… Anybody that goes out and wrongs or damages another human being deserves to be punished. …You cannot allow people to go out and damage other people and injure other people or to rob from other people or to destroy other people’s property. That is not the point… The point is that once we look at the population and at the evidence; are there ways to reduce the number of people committing crime and if we can say yes to that we’ll automatically reduce the numbers of victims and it is far better to prevent people becoming victims of criminality rather than responding to it which we do. ” John L. Lonergan TedX Dublin. Sept 2014

Several points follow; put forward by Jeff Hehn, Ambassador of the Fatlanders Fatbike Brigade and the various stewards / stakeholders of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

1) It is greatly appreciated the assistance being afforded by Air Support One and a request is humbly submitted for continued support until barriers are in place.

2) Better signage, awareness and education will allow police to act when called upon and hopefully less need for action. A defined knowledge of city land / park / open space / environmental bylaws or regulations which are extant if afforestation areas are owned by a/ land branch b/ parks department.

3) Response protocol is defined and understood – police know where to respond and how to get in (particularly if locked) To put into place education that the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is totally owned by the city and totally annexed in 2005 along with afforestation area formerly named George Genereux Urban Regional Park

4) An education or neighbourhood watch program implemented addressing safety for users of the afforestation area who personally step up as citizens in regards to protective services needs.

5) Agreement from the Police Commission and letter of support that better signage and vehicles restrictions to the area are necessary and will reduce resources needed to enforce the bylaws and thereby save the city money. Agreement from police board that restricting access will reduce the need to have go out there – costs less to fix problem at the root than to try and deal with symptoms.

The users of the afforestation areas realize this is not solved by the police alone. Education is the key, education at the citizen level to increase awareness of the afforestation area preserved in perpetuity, education for all users to respect the flora and fauna of the eco-system, education in the form of signage and education in the form of vehicle restrictions to mitigate illegal trespass.

With education, everyone’s role at the afforestation area becomes easier. A safe, vibrant and active community life abounds, the environment benefits, time and money can be much better spent.

“I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life. I will play no part in this devastation of this land. I am destined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and of the generations of tomorrow.Let TAWAMHWE-pull together-be our motto ” Richard St. Barbe Baker”

The Board of Police Commissioners has forwarded comments to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services Department following consideration of your presentation dated April 20, 2017, to the Board regarding the above matter. The resolution from the Board, along with a copy of your presentation, will be considered by the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services Department:

DATE: Monday, May 1, 2017

TIME: 9:00 a.m.

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

South West Sector Afforestation Addresses:
1/ Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (City of Saskatoon Urban Regional Park) Parts Section 22 and SW 23 township 36 range 6 west of the third meridian. (East of the CN overpass on SK Highway 7) SE 22 & SW 23-36-6 W3 under MVA conservation management.

2/ Un-named City of Saskatoon Afforestation Area. Part south of CN Chappell yards SE section 23-36-6-W3 preserved as afforestation area in perpetuity, under MVA conservation management- west of SW OLRA and east of COC.

3/ In 1960, part of NE 21-36-6 W3 (West of the CN overpass on SK Highway 7) was purchased by the City, planted in 1972, preserved as an afforestation area. Named in 1978-1979 George Genereux Park (Urban Regional Park), this namesake was removed at this afforestation area for use at a different city pocket park.

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
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

“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

What is the West Swale?

Geological formation during The Pleistocene Era

Geology of the Yorath Island Spillway After the Flood.

The geological formation of the West Swale occurred during the Pleistocene era from waters cascading out of the glacial l North Saskatchewan River valley, which is quite different from the formation of the North East Swale, which was formed from glacial ice waters in the South Saskatchewan River Valley subsidence.

The West Swale earth science features include glaciofluvial Iandforms created by meltwater channels during Pleistocene glacial drainage. The afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area and Maple Grove at the West Swale Confluence are all provincially significant examples of a landscape typifying fluvioglacial erosion.

Meltwater channels are unique and significant as they possess characteristics which distinguish them from conventional river valleys. The low lying area of the West Swale does, indeed, display a fascinating geological record of the last stages of the Great Ice Age. On a walk in the Richard St. Barb Baker Afforestation Area, or the Urban Regional Park formerly named George Genereux park, and spend an absolutely unforgettable day 2.6 million years in the making.

The West Swale lands are of imperative value to surrounding rural agricultural lands at the present moment, but the lands also provide flood relief in the South West sector in Saskatoon. There are notable and significant geological features providing scientific, educational, historical and aesthetic landscape importance to the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan, the nation of Canada.

What happened during the Pleistocene era?

2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago

“During the Quaternary period, between 2 and 3 million years ago, the prairies were covered by a glacier, the Laurentide ice sheet.

Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The accumulation of 3 to 4 kilometers (1.9 to 2.5 mi) thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 meters (390 ft)
Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The accumulation of 3 to 4 kilometers (1.9 to 2.5 mi) thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 meters (390 ft)

It was 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) thick which advanced and receded several times across the prairies. There were multiple glaciations affecting the Saskatchewan area during the Pre-Illinoian, Illinioan, and Wisconsin stages of the last Ice Age.” Geology These were the major glaciations, there were other glaciations summarized as follows.

Glacial Lake Agassiz A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the hole or space that it has created. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create lakes.
Glacial Lake Agassiz A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. They are formed when a glacier erodes the land, and then melts, filling the hole or space that it has created. Near the end of the last glacial period, roughly 10,000 years ago, glaciers began to retreat. A retreating glacier often left behind large deposits of ice in hollows between drumlins or hills. As the ice age ended, these melted to create lakes.

Ice retreated, and drainage occurred to the north, creating Glacial lakes in low lying areas. Glacial Lake Saskatoon I situated in the northern Saskatoon Lowland and lower areas of the Elstow Basin. When the northern outlet of Lake Saskatoon lowered, the South Saskatchewan River Valley began replacing Glacial Lake Saskatoon I. A broad plain called the Cory Plain was created in the area south west of Saskatoon. Cory Plain features cut off meander loops, ox-bow lakes and geological features showing the historic river braiding and travels.

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 “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.”

Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges
Yorath Island Channel, Moon Lake Channel, Sutherland Channel and Cory Plain Channel Pleistocene Era South Sk River Valley 2588000 to 117000 years ago Adapted from Larry Edwin Hodges

Then there was another advance of ice ~ Patience Lake Ice ~ creating a kame and moraine ridge near Grandora 10 miles west of Saskatoon. The ice blocked the northern flow of water creating another glacial lake; Lake Saskatoon II. As the ice wasted away, & Lake returned to river valley, there were remnants of the lake in and south of Saskatoon. Lacustrine silts and clays were deposited south and west of the city area forming the Cory Plain surface. Paraphrase from Hodges

How is it best to preserve our nation’s geologic heritage which contain evidence some of the earth’s greatest examples of geologic phenomena. From glaciers to swales, it is a true inspiration to be immersed in your personal geologic experience here in the West Swale which envelopes the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation Area formerly known as George Genereux urban regional park. Yorath Island, an “end moraine” and a natural landmark in the South Saskatchewan River locates the confluence of the Yorath Island spillway with the glacial South Saskatchewan River Valley. The West Swale is a low-lying depression created by repeated glaciations and the melting of the last bit of glacial ice.

The West Swale, a major meltwater drainage channel, a glacial spillway and a prairie valley is a classical example of glacial spillway topography. In the West Swale are several areas and features that budding geologists can discover and study the results left behind as the “catastrophic floods of glacial meltwater and sediment washed through these valleys”, typifying the Yorath Island glacial spillway, now known as the West Swale.James S. Aber Pleistocene deposits and geology show “erosional features of the underlying bedrock surface such as buried valleys, which are filled and concealed by drift, and which result in a hickening of Pleistocene deposits; erosional features of the surface of the drift, such as stream valleys, which cause a thinning of the Pleistocene deposits; and depositional features such as end moraines, drumlins, and outwash plains of glacial origin, which result in a thickening of the Pleistocene deposits.P.F. Karrow

The preservation of the afforestation areas in 1972, therefore, has also preserved a segment of the invaluable historic geological landmark of the West Swale, and its Pleistocene heritage and history.  Next time you are out at the Richard St. Barb Baker Afforestation Area, or the Urban Regional Park formerly named George Genereux park, know you are spending an absolutely unforgettable day 2.6 million years in the making.

Now it is time to zip on over to an adventure amid the Pleistocene Megafauna – meet the mammoths, sabre-tooth cats, and tapirs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Hodges, Larry Edwin: Morphology of the South Saskatchewan River Valley Outlook to Saskatoon PhD Thesis. Department of Geography. McGill University. Montreal, Quebec. July 1971.
Theberge, John B., (1989) The Wholeness of Nature. Legacy, The Natural History of Ontario. McClelland and Stewart Inc. ISBN 0-7710-8398-X

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!
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“Clearly, human pressure is exerting a sudden and cataclysmic impact on much of this province, if viewed in the time-frame of evolution and geology to which the rhythms of ecosystems are tuned. The groundswell of environmental concern taking shape among us, its citizens, results in public pressure for new and stronger strictures on human exploitation and desecration…Such action is needed as the embodiment of an ethical responsibility to the land and living things, for our own well-being as well as for that of all other species.” Theberge, 1989. P.376

The Heart of the Plains

Heredity and Environment in the Temperate Grasslands.

In continents and countries the anthropo-geographer looks to see not what reliefs are present, but how they are distributed. The plains, indeed, have been both source and recipient of every form of historical movement. Temperate grasslands have an innate and prevailing fitness for agriculture, trade and intercourse. They are favored regions for the final massing of a settled population.

Well-watered lowlands invite expansion, ethnic, commercial and political. In these areas the whole range of historical movements meet few obstacles beyond the waters gathering in their runnels and the forests nourished in their rich soils. The vast level plains of the earth have found their distinctive and lasting historical importance in the fact of their large and unbounded surface.

And, looking far ahead, can you hear the heart of the West Swale lowlands beating as one with the heart of the Bluegrass, and both beating as one with the heart of the world.

In the plains geography makes for fusion. Without boundary or barrier, there are no secluded corners where settlements could entrench themselves and preserve their individual identity. There is, as a point in fact, a vast melting-pot, which has succeeded in amalgamating the most diverse elements.

The more flat and featureless a prairie is, the more important become even the slightest surface irregularities which can draw faint dividing lines among the population. Here a gentle land-swell, river, lake, forest, or water-soaked wetlands serves as boundary. Especially apparent is the differentiating influence of difference of soils. Gravel and alluvium, sand and clay, limestone and more recent marine sediments, emphasize small geographical differences.

The meager rainfall of the aspen parkland ecosystem eliminates forests and restricts vegetation to aspen bluffs, grasses, sedges and those forms which can survive a prolonged summer drought and require a short period of growth.

The grasslands, the beloved Blue-grass land, known to the Saskatchewan pioneer and indigenous civilization developed historical importance only after the domestication of cattle, sheep, goats, bison, and horses. This step in progress resulted in the evolution of peoples who renounced the precarious subsistence of the chase and escaped the drudgery of agriculture, to devote themselves to pastoral life.

Historically, however, environment determined the nomadic habits of the prairie dweller. The distribution of pasture and water fixes the scope and the rate of his wandering; these in turn depend upon geographic conditions and vary with the season.

Heredity and environment act and react upon each other with the regularity and inevitability of succession of night and day. Neither tells the whole story; together they make up the sum of life; of the generations that are to come!

Heredity and environment create the make up of the geography of the eco-system, the physical biome of an area.

This process has been best described by Ellen Churchill Semple, Ellen Churchill Semple (January 8, 1863 – May 8, 1932) a geographer who focused on anthropogeography, environmentalism, and “environmental determinism”. An analysis of Semple’s works is one theory which unzips the heredity and environment of the Saskatchewan prairies, the world’s most endangered ecosystem.

The heredity and environment of the afforestation area has been examined to some extent. The afforestation areas are within the larger context of the West Swale. What is the heredity and environment of the West SwaleWhat is the West Swale?

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

Take a Walk in the Park Day March 30

On March 30, 2017 please celebrate “Take a Walk in the Park Day.” Before you head out, take a moment to plan a family activity to care for Canada’s rich biodiversity, and to increase the education and awareness of conservation, eco-systems, and Canada’s living resources.

Download a BioKit before going on your family outing at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It is very fortunate that the BioKits are developed by the Biosphere, Environment Museum. These nature observation guides are designed for youth over six years old to become aware of the environment and natural treasures as you explore. the West Swale wetlands and associated riparian woodlands. Become immersed in the mysteries of nature, and take part in the activities outlined in the variety of Bio-Kits available.

“Biodiversity, or biological diversity, means the multitude of living beings, ecosystems and their interrelationships, in space and in time. It is divided into three components: genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity.”Source

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Bio Kit Activity Guide for Educators

Bio-Kit FAQ Government of Canada. About Environment and Climate Change. Canada Services. The Biosphere. BioKits. Explore the Bio-Kits. Pan-Canadian BioKits. Bio-Kit Frequently Asked Questions

Explore Canada The Great Trail PhoneApp

Nature Bio Kit Government of Canada. About Environment and Climate Change. Canada Services. The Biosphere. BioKits. Explore the Bio-Kits. Pan-Canadian BioKits. Nature BioKit

Trans Canada Trail Bio-Kit Government of Canada. About Environment and Climate Change. Canada Services. The Biosphere. BioKits. Explore the Bio-Kits. Pan-Canadian BioKits. Trans Canada Trail Bio-Kit.

Urban Bio Kit Government of Canada. About Environment and Climate Change. Canada Services. The Biosphere. BioKits. Explore the Bio-Kits. Pan-Canadian BioKits. Urban Bio Kit.

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: Off leash dog park Valley Road Saskatoon!

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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I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.

A Meeting

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

Richard St. Barbe Baker had a magical elixir. St. Barbe’s elixir was described by him as a type of rebirth, a connection to the trees, which he used for many years for their healing power.

I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost. As I continued this mysterious journey, looking up every now and then I could see shafts of light where the sunshine lit up the morning mists and made subtle shadows on the huge bracken fronds which provided a continuous canopy of bright green over me. Their pungent scent was a delight to me. Although I could see only a few yards ahead, I had no sense of being shut in. The sensation was exhilarating. I began to walk faster, 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 exultation of feeling part of it all.
I had entered the temple of the woods. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid ~ the call of a distant cuckoo seemed just by me. I was alone and yet encompassed by all the living creatures I loved so dearly.
As I lay back a dead twig snapped, like the crack of a whip; the birds warbling sounded like the notes of a cathedral organ. 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 re-birth. My gratitude for this cosmic experience can be perhaps best expressed in the Scot’s metrical version of the Twenty-third Psalm:

Goodness and mercy all my life,
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house very more,
My dwelling-place shall be. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

For years, I charged my batteries on trees. You have to select a special tree friend. When I came out of hospital after a serious operation, I chose a Cedar of Lebanon. Cedar itself comes from the Arabic word meaning strength.
I used to do two minutes on and two minutes off, then two minutes again. After about four minutes, your hands being to tingle. I wouldn’t recommend to a beginner to take more than a minute to start with. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker speaks of laying the pals of hands on a tree trunk.

A meeting was previously  held Wednesday March 29, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for any and all Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA), the West Swale, and SW OLRA. If you are a user or stakeholder of the RSBBAA, or SW OLRA, please come to this very important meeting and listen to Hilary Gough, the honourable councillor for ward 2. Note the front doors of city hall are locked after hours.  Thank you kindly. It was good to see you.

Forests do have a healing power, a kind of elixir which St. Barbe speaks of to which we can all relate. It is this healing power which does wonders mitigating Nature Deficit Disorder, and replenishing the body with Vitamin N, a common deficiency in this era. Look foward to meeting with you, and speaking about the afforestation area, West Swale, the afforestation area formerly known as George Genereus Park and the SW OLRA

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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1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

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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