What might you see if you came out to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and George Genereux Urban Regional Park?
The wetlands of the West Swale is home to the Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ), of course the Mallard (Anas Platrhynchos), Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius Phoeniceus), Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias), American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and is a unique site in Saskatchewan to spot the ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) (to name a very few wetlands feathered friends).
Frogs, snakes, turtles and the Barred Tiger Salamander also known as the western tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) number among the amphibians in the West Swale wetlands as well.
Visitors can sight a number of birds outside the wetlands, in the woodlands and riparian zone, for instance, to name a few again, the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni), Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides), American Robin (Turdus migratorius) makes its home here. The Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) arrives in the spring, however this prairie songbird population is declining. “Declines appear to be largely due to lost habitat — breeding and wintering habitats,” said Charles Francis, “It’s quieter, and it’s quieter because there are fewer [birds],” according to Christy Morrissey, a University of Saskatchewan avian toxicologist.
The mixed forest in the George Genereux Urban Regional Park and Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area contain native and exotic trees such as the Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Black Poplar (Populus balsamifera, Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L), (Willow Salix), Black Balsam Poplar(Populus balsamifera), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Honeysuckle (Lonicera), Canada Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) and Dogwood (Cornus alba).
The west Swale is also home to mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus, Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), Moose (Alces alces), White-Tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii), Snowshoe Hare (Lepus Americanus) and Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) to name a few mammals spotted here and there.
In a city aiming to hit a population of 500,000 and 1 M in 45 years, it is pretty darn amazing that the city possesses the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, and has preserved in perpetuity these afforestation areas. The city is in the process of developing the Blairmore Sector Plan Report and a wetlands policy for areas within the city of Saskatoon which will include the afforestation areas and the West Swale The P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth Plan is developing their naturalized area study, developing plans such as the Green Network Study Area and provide for West Swale considerations outside of Saskatoon City limits.
In your considered opinion, will a swale which contains wetlands and drains into the South Saskatchewan River – filtering and cleaning the drinking water through the afforestation areas), and a swale which feeds the underground aquifers benefit the city in its march to become a metropolis? What do you think, when the city reaches 1 M in a few short years wouldn’t it be fantastic to have afforestation areas to mitigate climate change and mitigate flooding on surrounding lands, provide carbon sequestration, and delight the eye with magnificent woodlands nurturing a semi wilderness habitat?
For more information:
Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park and areas around the afforestation areas and West Swale inside of Saskatoon city limits
P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority at 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉
“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.
“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker