WinterCityYXE ~ Saskatoon, SK,CA

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.<

“Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder–no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.”
–Candace Bushnell

The Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)
The Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

According to CBC news, City of Saskatoon to formulate its Saskatoon Winter City Strategy; WinterCityYXE is seeking input  before April 15, 2017 on the following:

  • “Winter life: How can Saskatoon celebrate its inviting and fun quality of life, even in the coldest months of the year?
  • Winter design: How can Saskatoon improve community comfort and accessibility for everyone, even in the ice and snow?
  • Winter culture: How can Saskatoon build enthusiasm for winter, take advantage of winter opportunities, and tell the story of its winter city?
  • Winter economy: How can Saskatoon address challenges associated with winter to create a more vibrant economy during the colder winter months?”

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
–Victor Hugo

The city of Saskatoon states as its environmental leadership mission that “We thrive in harmony with our natural environment, conserving resources, reducing our impacts, and promoting environmental stewardship.”Environmental Leadership

Mule Deer
Mule Deer

Just as Edmonton embraced the environment and winter, so can Saskatoon call upon its green groups to help celebrate winter in the city’ natural areas.  A few environmental organizations are the Saskatoon Nature Society , Saskatoon Environmental Society, Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, Wild About Saskatoon Connecting Nature and Culture in the City, Meewasin Valley Authority, Saskatoon Heritage Society, Saskatoon Geology Society, Nature Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club of Canada – Prairie Chapter, SOS Elms Coalition, Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin, Saskatchewan Eco-Network, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Saskatchewan, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), City of Saskatoon parks, Open Spaces and Urban Forestry Program.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ”
–John Burroughs

There is absolutely nothing more enticing than a glorious walk in a mixed forest decked out in hoar frost splendour. And thank goodness, the Planning and Development Committee set City of Saskatoon policy in regards to trees on City property, declaring the trees as “‘living‘ assets owned by the City of Saskatoon and maintained as a legacy for the citizens of the City of Saskatoon.” with a purpose “to protect, preserve and perpetuate the health, beauty and safety of the City of Saskatoon’s urban forest for the enjoyment of its citizens, past, present and future.” This means, that as an amazing winter activity city residents will be able to enjoy the beauty of these urban forests ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Urban Regional Park formerly named George Genereux ~ for many years to come as they are preserved in perpetuity.

Winter in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestaton Area
Winter in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestaton Area

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
― Mary Oliver

Saskatoon, is definitely on its way, with the Optimist “Raise the Hill Campaign”, Winter fireworks to celebrate the ushering in of 2017 Canada’s 150 anniversary, PotashCorp WinterShines 2017 and Saskatoon Nature Society’s new publication, Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon (3rd edition). The beauty of nature is explored in and around Saskatoon, including the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Check out landscapes,species, and amazing nature facts as you explore the wild plants, birds and animals in this exciting semi-wilderness natural space. The afforestation area formerly known as George Genereux Urban Regional Park annexed into the City of Saskatoon in 2015 is another likely candidate for another edition.

Why not employ a new wave of smart-city projects to enjoy nature outside? The book set out by the Saskatoon Nature Society mitigates sensory deprivation, and stimulates and initiates other  policies to multiply the urban forest experience. In winter, pleasurable sights, smells and sounds abound in the afforestation area providing the viewer with a rich and varied urban encounter as they make contact with the natural world in an urban forest.

Colorado Blue Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce

A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky-unbidden-and seems like a thing of wonder

However, Edmonton, is not the only WinterCity in Canada, the Canadian Geographic enumerated ten of the best Canadian cities to visit in winter, including Edmonton with their winter activities and festivals, Quebec City’s winter carnival and ice hotel, Whistler for apres-ski nightlife, Ottawa featuring the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, Montreal featuring snow soccer and a polar circus, and Winnipeg hosts one of the world’s longest skating trails.

“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.”
–Taylor Swift

So how is Saskatoon to enter the world stage as a Winter City? The best way is to embrace who we are, Saskatoon is a wonderful prairie city nestled in a  moist mixed grassland eco-system on the South Saskatchewan River featuring the channelization of the West Swale, Aspen bluffs and a cottonwood riparian forest. These ecological processes define who we are, and give to us over the winter months, a healthy environment with amazing surroundings, flora and fauna species. With these Saskatchewan wonders nestled into the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation Area formerly named George Genereux Urban Regional Park, Saskatoon can surely offer a one-of-a-kind winter tourism experience and opportunity. We rank “as one of the world’s prime destinations for environmentally responsible tourism.”Atlas of Saskatchewan

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. Anton Chekhov

Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millennium edition. ISBN 0-88880-387-7. 1999. University of Saskatchewan. Ka-iu Fung Editor.

Charlton, Johathan. City Hall wants to know: How can Saskatoon be more fun in the winter?” Saskatoon Star Phoenix. January 25, 2017.

Doyle, Sabrina. Best Canadian Cities to visit in winter. These urban centres really know how to heat up the chilly months. November 10, 2016.

City of Saskatoon Council Policy C09-011 Trees on City Property.

Environmental Leadership | City Hall > Our Performance > Performance Dashboard > Environmental Leadership.

Feeling dreary about winter? City of Saskatoon trying to change that. New strategy designed to improve winter life, economy, accessibility, culture. CBC News. January 24, 2017

* For the Love of Winter. WinterCity Strategy Implementation Plan. The LoveofWinter-ImplementationPlan.pdf City of Edmonton. September 10, 2013.

** For the Love of Winter Strategy for Transforming Edmonton into a World-Leading Winter City. (pdf)

Lun Liu, Hui Wang Hui Wang Hui Wang, Chunyang WuChunyang Wu. A machine learning method for the large-scale evaluation of urban visual environment. a Department of Land Economy, University Cambridgea Department of Land Economy, University Cambridge
b School School School School School of Architecture, Tsinghua University of Architecture, Tsinghua UniversityMachine Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Engineering, University Cambridge

PotashCorp WinterShines 2017: Saskatchewan’s Premiere Winter Festival. January 28 – February 5, 2017

Saskatoon Winter City Strategy Update – City of Saskatoon

WinterCityYXE: Saskatoon’s Winter City Strategy |

WinterCityYXE Guide

WinterCityYXE interactive map

Winter Cities Shake-Up Presentation – Alternative Approaches to Fostering a Winter City in Smaller Communities January 3, 2017. Community Planning Conference Presentations.

YXE Winter City | Optimist Hill Campaign

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.

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′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SW 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:
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

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance /commemorate your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – year
Membership with donation : $20.00 CAD – monthly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD
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