What might you see?

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′
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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

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

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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“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

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Green Network Study Area

What in the world is the P4G Green Network Study Area?

Well to start out with , the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth (P4G) is a collaborative which includes political and administrative representation from the following partnering municipalities: City of Saskatoon, Rural Municipality of Corman Park, City of Martensville, Town of Osler, City of Warman, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority(SREDA) (Advisory Role)

Now then where is the Green Network Study Area located?

Green Network Study Area, south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, part of the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth P4G planning area (partial map) adapted from the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth Regional Plan map on page 26
Green Network Study Area, south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, part of the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth P4G planning area (partial map) adapted from the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth Regional Plan map on page 26

Page 45 of the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth Regional Plan explores the concept of this green space, and the discussion is supplied in the aforementioned report explaining those aspects which are under additional review.

Basically the report states that, “the Green Network Study Area includes connected areas of wetlands, swales, natural areas, the South Saskatchewan River corridor, and other areas providing stormwater storage and conveyance, and recharge of groundwater supplies.”

This area will support the native flora and fauna of the area, thus encouraging wildlife to thrive and move about from the West Swale wetland areas through to the South Saskatchewan River.

According to the P4G report, there will be consideration given to both environmental and recreational activities in multi-functional green spaces.  This inter-connected open space system will supply opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird-watching, and other passive recreation activities within parks, open space, and protected areas.

Across the river, the green natural space marked on the map, as well, is Diefenbaker park.

Meewasin Valley Authority’s Maple Grove Conservation Area/ Leisureland and Yorath Island are both found within the Green Network Study Area on the west side of the South Saskatchewan River.  More about these areas follows.

Wikimapia reports on Maple Grove Conservation Area/ Leisureland as follows; ”

Maple Grove originally did not have a channel running through it. The quarter section of which Maple Grove is part of was intact when surveyed in 1903; however, the river channel meandered into the quarter section then deposited on the west edge forming Yorath island. This natural accretion allowed the owner of Maple Grove to retain title of the remainer of the quarter section on the island (very rare).

In the 1960s, Mr. Mike Egnatoff and his wife developed the area into an amusement park with a ferris wheel, trampolines, miniature golf, playground, train, playfields, and picnic facilities. In addition, they developed a dance hall with kitchen and concession. A campsite for trailers was developed which turned into a permanent mobile trailer park with 18 trailer units. The amusement park was known as Leisureland. It was very active for 20 years, then except for the group picnics, hall and trailer court, the area became inactive due to amusement competition in town. The Egnatoffs built a new house on the site close to the river and near the hall in the 1980s. In addition to the trailers and the one new house, there is a shack that is located south of the hall at the base of the west bank. This building is the only building site on the lower terrace that is above the 1:500 year flood line. A root cellar mini hall was built to service the catering hall near the entrance to the property. This building is currently being leased to a group of artists.”

Wikipedia has an article about Yorath Island, the confluence of the West Swale;
“Yorath is a small island, 151 acres (61 ha) in size, in the South Saskatchewan River just outside the southern boundaries of the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The island is relatively new, and did not exist when the land was first surveyed in 1903. This island is managed by the Meewasin Valley Authority; it is not accessible by road (although some maps of the area plot a non-existent north-south grid road on the island), but can be seen from the Maple Grove (formally Leisureland) area. The island is named after Christopher J. Yorath, who in 1913 became the commissioner of Saskatoon.Yorath is best known for an extensive, forward-thinking planning document published in 1913 that proposed future residential and road layout for Saskatoon, and he originated the idea of the City developing an “Encircling Boulevard”; in 2013 this proposal came to fruition with the completion of the Circle Drive freeway project. Ironically, Yorath’s document proposed the Encircling Boulevard cross through what would later be named Yorath Island; the final Circle Drive passes to the north of the island, which is undeveloped save for a set of power lines that cross the river and the northern tip of the island.Within North America the Island is one of the farthest northern examples of a cottonwood forest. The island also support 23 different types of shrubs and a mixture of wildlife (including the Cooper’s Hawk, coyotes, red foxes, river otter, porcupine, beaver and deer)”

“The Meewasin Valley Authority entered to an agreement with the Leisureland  Community Co-operative Ltd. whereby the public use of certain lands (Maple Grove) owned by Meewasin is limited. The agreement was a condition of the purchase of the property by Meewasin and will expire December 31, 2022.” City of Saskatoon

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
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

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

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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

YXE Green Strategy

The city of Saskatoon cares about the environment.  The YXEGreenStrategy began in the spring of 2018 allocating the City’s existing green spaces into a baseline inventory.  Read the report conclusion from the previous public engagement meeting.

A Green Strategy public meeting came together to develop Saskatoon’s Natural Area Standards; such as considering new neighbourhoodspark development, specifications as well as to update the Urban Forestry Management Plan, naturalized area policies (protected lands and wetlands policy), and to update the City of Saskatoon Official Community Plan (Community Plans & Strategies)

The City of Saskatoon Environmental Initiatives are many and diverse, the YXEGreenStrategy is one of them.  Of course the YXEGreenStrategy encompasses the
South Saskatchewan River watershed – source water protection plan, environmental grant, soil handling strategy, various community environmental programs, the rainfall report, and the northeast swale.

City planners, and civil engineers have it made when it comes to grey landscapes such as city infrastructure which includes both hard and soft infrastructure concerns. Hard infrastructure refers to the physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industry. This includes roads, bridges, railways, etc. Soft infrastructure refers to all the institutions that maintain the economic, health, social, and cultural standards of a country.  This includes educational programs, parks and recreational facilities, law enforcement agencies, and emergency services.  There are many manuals, and textbooks for the long range planners and engineer regarding city size and density and the recipe for how, when and where to create roads, parks, bridges follow contemporary patterns in planning.

When city planners have to incorporate municipal and naturalized reserves into the greenscape, this becomes challenging.  The laws and guidelines put forward by Canada Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Minister of the Environment are followed by developers and city planners.  Saskatchewan’s provincial Ministry of the Environment is the next level of protection becoming more local in scope.  Then, of course are YXEGreenStrategy policies and procedures.

Can a forest, a wetlands, a natural grasslands, a ravine, a swale, be placed into a formula to determine when to bull doze the trees, when to fill in the wetlands, or when to place development upon a natural grasslands area.  Can general formulas and procedures be written for nature the same way that the length and width of road on primary and secondary access fit into a manual?

How have other cities managed?  For a short example in Canada;

City of Regina Open Space Manual

City of Edmonton The Way We Green: Environmental Strategic Plan

City of Vancouver Greenest City Action Plan

City of New Westminister Environmental Strategy and Action Plan (ESAP)

If you wish to learn more about the City of Saskatoon green strategy, you may subscribe for updates

How does this YXEGreenStrategy  affect the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional park?

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is listed in the City of Saskatoon Green Infrastructure Network baseline inventory, however George Genereux Urban Regional Park has been abandoned, neglected, and unlisted.

So, therefore, as a report card, to date the YXEGreenStrategy is only 1/2 successful, and only 1/2 committed.

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  😉
.

Saskatoon’s Green Belt

World Cities Day
31 October 2018

“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity. ” ~Jane Jacobs American-Canadian journalist on Urban Planning

1960. A green belt for the city starts with Bert Wellman, Saskatoon Planning Department, who walked around Saskatoon’s perimeter choosing high spots of land for scenic beauty. Together with City Planner Bill Graham they worked on parkways and planted trees for the 1960 Circle Drive Parkway at these sites. Alfred Henry Browne “Man of the Trees” city Parks Superintendent – “The Man Who Made Saskatoon Beautiful” had a vision for Saskatoon – planting over 30,000 trees in the city. Wyndham Winkler Ashley local horticulturist and founder of the parks board advocated trees, and dispersed tree seedlings. They all envisioned a green city.
“The Richard St. Barb Baker Afforestation Area was established in 1960 to create a green belt around the city. Trees, which act as habitat for local wildlife, were planted in rows to generate a man-made forest.”(World Web.com) From Jeffery O’Brien at the City Archives, it has been determined that in 1960, the city purchased the land, parts of Sections 22 and 23 Township 36, Range 6 West of the third meridian, south of the CN Chappell yards.

1972. Planting in reserved lands purchased in 1960 for a tree belt begins in 1972. “A tree belt as a windbreak and to create a sense of enclosure is suggested along the edges of development for all areas which will not expand in the near future. Such a belt can already be considered along the northern boundary of Westview Heights. In conclusion it can be stated that a seemingly overwhelming demand lies ahead, however, through careful timing, programming and design there should be few difficulties. It should be remembered that the city forefathers reserved beautiful parks along the river, others have developed in Kiwanis Park, the University Grounds and numerous treed and landscaped streets. They did so under adverse conditions with a population of 20,000. They gave the city a reputation as the “City Beautiful” and today’s residents should be willing to uphold their tradition.” (Wellman. 1963. P 18)_At this time City Council passes an order in council that the afforestation is protected in perpetuity.

1976 On June 7, the Planning and Development Committee prepare the South Saskatchewan River Corridor Study: Towards a River Edge Authority. From this an autonomous agency arises upon which Saskatoon and Corman Park agree to implement the report.

1978 Moriyama’s Meewasin Valley Project 100-Year Conceptual Master Plan is submitted by Raymond Moriyama Architects and Planners. Moriyama’s report includes the river valley of the South Saskatchewan River and also rural lands adjacent to the natural drainage systems feeding into the South Saskatchewan River. The “West Swale” as described by Golder Associates is a low lying wetlands area which has its confluence at the South Saskatchewan River. The West Swale – its wetlands and surrounding environment does have a congruency with the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. The core concept of Moriyama’s plan was that this is indeed a unique land with a unique people, the objective is balance. As the current plans for the South West Sector (now the Blairmore Sector) are to develop the area west of Sk Hwy 7  as a residential, and the P4G has plans to place rural commercial/industrial in the lands around George Genereux Urban Regional Park and in the long term these may well be the plans for  the lands south of Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, and south of Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforesation Area alongside the Green Network Area Study it is even more imperative to address conservation practices and sustainable open space and parks preservation for future generations.

Additionally a sound neighbourhood or business park development needs to take into account the fundamental values of the Meewasin Valley Authority
1/ Nature conservancy.
2/ The improvement of water quality and a reduction of pollution
3/ The need for increased education and research opportunities
4/ An enhancement between rural and urban inter-relationships and users.
5/ An improvement of recreational opportunities
6/ The moving forward on cultural aspects in the area.
“Meewasin Valley Authority The Meewasin Valley Authority (Meewasin) was formed in 1979 to act as an agent of the City, the University, and the Province of Saskatchewan to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley, with a balance between human use and conservation. The Meewasin Valley Authority Act (MVA Act) establishes the mandate of Meewasin, its powers, and its jurisdiction, and the Conservation Zone. Meewasin‘s mandate can be summarized into three mandate areas: conservation, development, and education. It is around this time residents of the RM of Corman Park petitioned to protect agricultural lands from the MVA conservation area, leaving the westerly portion of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area [RSBBAA] and all lands within the afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux park without management from the MVA

By 1979, the afforestation is named in the honour of Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, L.L.D., O.B.E. – founder of the international group “Men of the Trees”

2013 South West Off Leash Dog Park becomes a small fenced off area within the afforestation area. During this year, Golder Associates conducted their natural screening of the southwest sector which included the “Wooded area” namely Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Maps show that the Blairmore sector afforestation areas are congruent with the wetlands area named the “West Swale”

2014. “Advantages  of Incorporating Natural Wetlands as Features in Urban Planning Wetlands in landscape settings, whether urban or rural, provide open space, wildlife, aesthetic, recreation,  ambient temperature, and educational benefits to local and regional residents in addition the direct stormwater  flood management and water quality  improvements….natural wetlands provide valuable ecological benefits such as groundwater recharge and improved water quality, storage and cycling of nutrients and sediments, carbon sequestration, and enhanced wildlife habitat and biodiversity. [1]”

2016 The Afforestation Area is one of the nature viewing sites in the updated version of the Saskatoon Nature Society’s latest book, Nature and Viewing Sites in and Around Saskatoon.

“While you are looking, you might as well also listen, linger and think about what you see.” Jane Jacobs American-Canadian journalist on Urban Planning

 

“The important thing to remember is that even if you seem like the only one in all of North American who uses more native [native plants] than aliens, wildlife will be better off for your efforts. The effects will be cumulative, and probably synergistic, as more and more people join you. And don’t forget that plants are long-lived. The [native tree] you plant tomorrow could easily live 300 years, servicing innumerable insects, birds, squirrels, mice, raccoons, and deer every year of its life. Yes, you can make a difference on a small plot of land. You can even make a difference if you own no land. If you live in an apartment, you may be able to influence the landscaping habits of your landlord, or the company you work for, or the township supervisors who control your city parks, or your sibling who does own property. If we humans are capable of turning hundreds of millions of acres of rainforest into depleted grasslands, and extirpating millions of buffalo from the plains, and billions of passenger pigeons from the skies and cod from the North Atlantic, we are also capable of returning natives to our gardens.” ~ Douglas Tallamy

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1.  Wetland Design Guidelines For the City of Saskatoon CH2MHILL March 2014

2. Wellman, Hilbert E. and Henry F. Frolich. (1963) Community Planning Scheme 1963. Henry F. Frolich, Assistant City Planner, and Hilbert E. Wellman, City Planning and Building Director. Page 18.

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′
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
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

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!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“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.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Herptology; What is a herptologist?

What a question in the middle of winter, however as spring approaches ~ “Where are the frogs?” is a most excellent query!!!

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan.  With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species.  One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.  Did you know that April is Frog month? Celebrate Frog Month with your family!  Find out how to become an amateur herpetologist this April!

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where  a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time.  But where are the temporary wetlands located?  This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs.  This area for the lands east of  Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map.  The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather.  During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe  Baker Afforestation Area.  However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern.  As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017.  The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area.  The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist,  volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude.  This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area.  Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park.  In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones.  And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return.  🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival.  An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development.  Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables.  The years 2013, and 2014, saw very,  very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding.  Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards.  The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.”   “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017)  Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017)  “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015)  Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else  in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009.  Whereas, the flood years are reported  as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010.  (Garnet, 2012)
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather.  CBC News.

Chan, Emily.  Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops.  Ctv News.  July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy.   Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News.  Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press.  June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar.  From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies.  May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz.  Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan.  Centre for Hydrology Report #1.  Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News.  May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News.  June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja.  Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal.  July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies.  Government of Canada.  Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

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  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 “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

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 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

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

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  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“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.

Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

City council meeting.

Monday August 28. 2017

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

There is a city council follow up meeting  to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services meeting of Monday August 4.  The City of Saskatoon meeting will be Monday August 28, 2017.  The agenda will be to continue discussion regarding the Inquiry from former Councillor Lorje (April 25, 2016) – Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area [File No. CK. 4000-1 and PL. 4131-39-1 (BF 016-16)]

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.

Max de Pree

The Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area will be considered by City Council at its Regular Business meeting to commence at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017. The public may attend this meeting of City Council and, if you wish to bring forward any points relevant to the discussion write a letter providing additional information, and/or requesting to speak at the Council meeting.

Drop off a letter addressed to His Worship the Mayor and Members of City Council.  c/o City Clerk’s Office, City Hall. City of Saskatoon | 222 3rd Avenue North | Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5 by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017; or submit your intent to speak for up to five minutes by the online form.

For more information on the meeting, the agenda or how to Write a Letter check the City of Saskatoon’s website prior to Monday, August 28, 2017

By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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′
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