2021 Annual Report. Anniversaries, Performance and Vision. Friends Saskatoon Afforestation Areas

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Annual General Report 2021 Theme:

Laboratory in Ecological Succession Restoration

Anniversary Celebrations Figure 1Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides) Ranked S2 and being tracked by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre

LETTER FROM CHAIRMAN The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas faced critical issues over the 2020-2021 year. COVID19 presented a huge adaptation strategy. The afforestation areas have received more attention, and are enjoyed by the general public for health and wellness, enjoyment of nature, leisure and recreation. Plans were developed for how best to serve the community, the growing diversification of park users, and to meet the mandates of the City of Saskatoon and Meewasin. As the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. grows, we are compiling a natural database of the natural and heritage cultural resources of the afforestation areas. Reporting of intrusive and noxious invasive species is ongoing. And we bring attention to the species at risk in our conservation and protection efforts. Throughout the pandemic, the need for people using outdoor greenspaces relieved stress and anxiety as ever more protocols for safety and lockdowns encapsulated society. To survive, being outside provided fresh air, and utilizing outdoor spaces provided plenty of room for social distancing. Now, more than ever before the two great afforestation areas were needed. Here people found it easier to comply with protocols and take proper precautions to get exercise, to connect with nature, and get outside when everything else was closed up. The previously under-utilized Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area at 326 acres and George Genereux Urban Regional Park at 148 acres do indeed provide space for social distancing, and helped to take pressure off of many other parks in the city which were suffering from shoulder-to-shoulder traffic. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. came into being in 2019 to advocate for safe public access to the afforestation areas without conflict from motorized vehicles, illegal trespass and illegal trash dumping.


We are excited to announce our environmental protections and ecological restorations programs enhance upcoming curriculum place-based inquiry learning in the afforestation areas. Also, these are exciting times with two 50th anniversaries to celebrate. On November 6, 2021 a heritage documentary with an international reach will be released about the extraordinary humanitarian efforts of Richard St. Barbe Baker. Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker OBE, Hon. LL.D. F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., ACF (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was bestowed an honorary doctorate of Laws by the University of Saskatchewan on November 6, 1971 by John G. Diefenbaker. “It is fitting that the afforestation area named after Richard St Barbe Baker, arguably the first global conservationist, be protected and become a site where the public can see the rich biodiversity resulting from planting trees in what was a summer fallow field in 1972,” Explains Robert White, Masters in Science in Ecology. We are grateful to our supporters for a successful year during these unprecedented and very unusual times with the Coronavirus. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone during these times of COVID-19.

Figure 2 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area above and cover image courtesy Vivian Allan


LOCATION

The Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is 326 acres located at those portions on the South ½ 22 and South 1/2 2336-6 W3 GPS 52.0990989,106.750827. George Genereux Urban Regional Park is 148 acres located on a portion of the 160 acres of NE 21-36-6 W3 GPS 52.108769, -106.790045 These lands are located in the West Swale of Saskatoon, a unique Pleistocene era glacial spillway creating an instantaneous river – the Yorath Island Spillway – connecting the Glacial North Saskatchewan River with the Glacial South Saskatchewan Lake. The contemporary water basins of the North Saskatchewan River and the South Saskatchewan River show a drainage pattern that did not continue to support this glacial spillway, so wetland remnants remain on both sides of the watershed divide. Figure 3 Yorath Island Channel Glacial Spillway formation of the West Swale. Map courtesy Hodgins, Larry Edwin.


Figure 4 West Swale Wetlands - the north half of Chappell Marsh in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Photo courtesy Vivian Allen

TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from Chairman .................................................................................................................................................2 Location ........................................................................................................................................................................4 Mission Statement ......................................................................................................................................................6 History of Nonprofit environmental charity ..............................................................................................................7 Philosophy and beliefs ...............................................................................................................................................9 Success Stories Feature Year In review ...............................................................................................................10 20th Commonwealth Forestry Conference ....................................................................................................10 World Community Development Conference ...............................................................................................11 International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) ..........................................................................11 Enhance the visitor experience ......................................................................................................................12 Ecological Restoration .....................................................................................................................................13 Environmental Protection ................................................................................................................................14 Environmental Education ................................................................................................................................16 Ecological Assessment ...................................................................................................................................18 Environmental Protection and Safety ............................................................................................................19 Heritage Designation .......................................................................................................................................20 Heritage and cultural interpretation ...............................................................................................................21 Financial Statements ................................................................................................................................................24


Acknowledgments of top contributers, supporters and volunteers ....................................................................26 Grants ................................................................................................................................................................26 Service Clubs ....................................................................................................................................................26 Media – Communications ...............................................................................................................................26 In-Kind Donations .............................................................................................................................................27 Donors ...............................................................................................................................................................27 Sponsors ...........................................................................................................................................................27 Supporters .........................................................................................................................................................27 Progress towards The Future..................................................................................................................................30 National Forest Week in September 2021 ...................................................................................................30 Government of Canada Climate Action and Awareness Funding. ...........................................................33 Milestone 50th anniversary celebrations 2021: Inspiring Environmental Action: Ordinary people doing the Extraordinary ..............................................................................................................................................35 Milestone 50th anniversary 2022: Green Survival 50th Forest birthday party! ........................................40 Smart Phone Virtual Interpretive App ................................................................................................................41 Survey ....................................................................................................................................................................43 Directions and Map ..............................................................................................................................................44 George Genereux Urban Regional Park.......................................................................................................44 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. ...............................................................................................45 There are three areas commonly used for parking at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area here is the south west off leash recreation area parking area ....................................................................................46 Located in the City of Saskatoon. The border between the RM of Corman Park and the City of Saskatoon forms the south west boundaries of the parks. ........................................................................46 Call to action ..............................................................................................................................................................47

MISSION STATEMENT The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. believe in protecting two afforestation areas in Saskatoon and informing the public about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park. From agricultural field to mixed wood forest and wetlands an opportunity exists to connect with nature, cultural history, geology, and biodiversity. “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas explore and answer the question; “What is there to love and respect in regards to the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas?


Figure 5 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area courtesy Shwetha Gopinath HISTORY OF NONPROFIT ENVIRONMENTAL CHARITY The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas (Friends) was incorporated by a group of citizens with the aim of protecting the 326-acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA) in Saskatoon and enhancing the public use of the area, which due to its unique history does not fit in with any existing City of Saskatoon nor Meewasin park program. The 1970s greenbelt program that led to its development is no longer operating and up until recent subdivision development on the west side of Saskatoon it has been a fringe area. The city nor Meewasin has had no budget for managing it and no long-term plan in place. Seeing that the area was being used for illegal dumping and crossed by off-road vehicles we began a community-based initiative in 2015 to clean-up the area and promote its potential to the community, with the view that having eyes on the ground and sharing information about its value would be the best antidote to misuse. Through volunteer clean-ups organized by the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc., the community has come together and removed 25,030 kg (55,181.7 lb) of hazardous and toxic waste from the environment. These areas were established by a forward-thinking city planner in the 1960s as part of an envisioned greenbelt around Saskatoon. Tree planting began in 1972-1973 under the Green Survival Program as tree nurseries. In 1972 the areas were protected in perpetuity by Saskatoon City Council. In 1979 they were classified by Saskatoon City Council as “Urban Regional Parks.” They are both on lands which contain significant remnants of a larger geological feature known as the West Swale. As the tree plantings established the sites developed into a man-made forest with some open grassland and a marsh area which is the northern extension of the Chappell Marsh, the southern portion of which is in Ducks Unlimited Chappell Marsh Conservation Area. The afforestation areas are owned by the City of


Saskatoon an eastern portion of Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is managed by the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA).

Figure 6 Photo of Richard St. Barbe Baker Courtesy: University of Saskatchewan, University Archives & Special Collections, Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71


Figure 7 City of Saskatoon Archives image 1103-11-007-001 Chappell Yards and south (1975) showing planting pattern east of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

The two afforestation areas remained out of sight-out of mind, secondary in importance to more central, people-oriented green space and trail development in Saskatoon. Up until the establishment of the 14.5acre South West Off Leash Recreation Area dog park in a portion of the east part of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area the area was rarely accessed and often by people dumping trash or other negative uses. Once the area was cleaned up and safe for public use we incorporated and began encouraging sustainable activities so as to maintain the character of Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area which visitors know and love. These initiatives have led to many more people now using the greenspace area and this ensures that more people will love it and advocate for it. By virtue of having users there in all seasons those who might misuse it are much less likely to feel they can get away with it. In recent years we have begun focusing on facilitating and coordinating a variety of activities, user groups and celebrating the area as a community space.

PHILOSOPHY AND BELIEFS The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. provides programs, products and services to enhance the environmental integrity and safety of the two afforestation area greenspaces – Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park- in the City of Saskatoon. We encourage healthy lifestyle connecting with nature in balance with conserving and protecting the environment for future generations. We have been teaching about, advocating for the afforestation areas


since 2015. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas echo the drive and purpose shown by the first global conservationist, Richard St. Barbe Baker in guiding their conservation, environmental protection, climate action, and education deliverables. Considerations taken into account have been the perspectives from an anthropocentric, biocentric and ecocentric point of view take into account nature, picture and scheme of things when observing the afforestation areas, and the evolving approaches to variables which come into play. When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. Dalai Lama

There is therefore, an outstanding question – What is there to be grateful for?

Figure 8 American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Conservation Status: vulnerable (S3B) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe) SUCCESS STORIES FEATURE YEAR IN REVIEW 20 T H COMMONWEALTH FORESTRY CONFERENCE A presentation entitled Saskatoon’s Hidden Forest- An afforestation project now a laboratory in ecological succession and valuable urban forest on the Prairies was presented by Robert White at the 20th Commonwealth Forestry Conference hosted by Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. A Laboratory in Ecological Succession, the presentation for urban forestry introduced the City of Saskatoon’s role and the afforestation areas, the evolution of the greenspace encapsulating its secondary succession and went on to expound upon the future celebrations and the impact of Richard St. Barbe Baker conservationist and humanitarian.


WORLD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas were greatly impacted by the WORLD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE which took place in Kenya, Africa. The community development stories between these two great nations were powerfully similar and the differences were profound. A presentation by the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas spoke to community development locally here in Canada. The community development stories between these two great nations of Africa and Canada aimed on the improvements to their own communities for the benefit of the public with different projects at hand. The 2021 World Community Development Conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 21st – 23rd June 2021. Graduating from the Cambridge botany programme, Richard St. Barbe Baker applied for work in Kenya. In North Africa he saw the effects of centuries of land mismanagement, first from wheat farming in the later days of the Roman Empire and after that from the grazing of goats first introduced by Arabs. Immediately concerned with these deforestation problems, in 1922 he set up a tree nursery and founded an organisation with Kenya's Kikuyu people to carry out managed reforestation in the region, utilising native species. In the regional dialect, the local society was called "Watu wa Miti". This formed the foundation stone for what was to become an international organisation, the Men of the Trees a translation of the original name.) Source

Figure 9June 2020 when Nairobi experiences a water shortage photo courtesy Martynno69 Figure 10 Clean up Volunteer George Genereux Urban Regional Park

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (ICSD) September 20 – 21, 2021 saw a poster presentation for the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas providing a unique forum to present on practical solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Saskatoon and tell


our story. The ICSD allowed opportunities for the Friends to learn from other participants and follow multi-faceted disciplinary approaches. It was a means of learning about challenges and opportunities around the world, and hear engaging presenters address these issues. ENHANCE THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE The Friends have enhanced the trail experience with the installation of amenities such as bird feeding stations and benches. Self-guided tour pamphlets provide information on birds that visitors are likely to see while out in the forest in the various seasons. The observation of birds provides a source of delight to most people. Overall, this project will encourage greater use of this once neglected green space for recreation and enjoyment. Both exercise and spending time in nature are recommended antidotes to stress, and particularly the extra stress of this COVID-19 winter. Extensive research on contact with nature has shown that it can nourish mental well-being and harness the restorative and resiliency benefits of the outdoors. Outdoor activity in a semi-wild area is especially beneficial. The Take It Outside -Outside Safely program makes activity in the large afforestation area much more feasible for all ages and varying ability levels. Safe community connections can also take place while visitor’s rest. In summary, this project does indeed encourage and aid COVID-19 family and relationship bubbles to use this expansive space this winter, a space that is unknown to most citizens. This CommUNITY commitment pledge found ways to comply with Government protocols while still keeping staff and customers safe. This story is online: Outside Safely Virtual Outside Tour on YouTube video.

Figure 11 Naturalist in Richard St. Barbe Baker who comes to the benches and bird feeding stations to relax, and enjoy the ambience of nature around her, and delight in the birds. Efforts have been made to enrich and enhance the visitor experience. Information, public programming, bird feeding stations, COVID protocol approaches, seating bench areas and partnering organizations welcome visitors to the afforestation areas. As the areas become fully protected from trespass so that safe use is possible, they provide an excellent space for observation and education around ecological succession and regeneration, land use, and environmental stewardship programming.


Figure 12 Photo of the Canadian Wildlife Federation WILD youth groups courtesy Shwetha Gopinath

Figure 13 Photo of the Canadian Wildlife Federation WILD youth group with their winter COVID project

ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION

Figure 14 Origins of a small lean-to arising from chopping down trees including Elm, and leaving the chopped elm in the forest attracting tiny elm bark beetles and Dutch Elm Disease

Figure 15 This lean-to continued to grow and grow causing further devastation in the afforestation area. It did not make use of deadfall, but rather encouraged the wanton chopping of city-owned trees without permissions from the landowners.

The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. asked permissions from the landowners to remove this structure during Arbor Week in the spring of 2021. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas


members in conjunction with community volunteers and members of SOS Trees Inc. were able to remove the shelter safely without injuries. One of the concerns about the afforestation areas is the continued safety of the users in the afforestation areas. With combined community initiatives undertaken by the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc and the FatLanders FatTire Brigade the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is receiving minimal to no illegal trespass and illegal dumping. However, the safety of families with children and nature schooling forest classrooms was at risk with this shelter. A very unfortunate injury was indeed reported that the week before the shelter was removed a very large log rolled off the “roof” of the structure and smashed an adult on the head, fortunately this person was not injured, yet we think about children who frequent the park space now. All the Elm dead wood used in the structure were safely removed out of the afforestation area. Insects will not host on healthy plants, and just like all insects, the tiny elm bark beetles are attracted to dead and decaying plants and for the tiny elm bark beetles they have an affinity for elm. The fact that dead and decaying elm was left in the forest in this structure has the tendency to spread the fungal disease known as Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. The beetles which host on the dead and decaying elm then carry with them the spores of the fungus on their corrugated backs. This ecological restoration event had, therefore, two safety benefits – one to protect members of the public enjoying this urban regional park, and secondly to protect the afforestation area itself from the ravages of an ecological pandemic known as Dutch Elm Disease.

Figure 16 A few of the community volunteers who came out to make Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area safer. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION


Figure 17 George Genereux Urban Regional Park after the September Clean up of 2020

Figure 18 Removing contractor size fibreglass insulation from the urban regional park - huge task for which we are grateful to Len's Hauling for their assistance

Figure 19 Volunteers with SOS Trees Inc. at a community volunteer clean up in the afforestation areas.

Figure 20Evan and Ila from Westgate No Frills Grocery Store supplied refreshments for the volunteers, and pitched in to give a hand

The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. helped to organize volunteer cleanups of two afforestation areas four times removing 25,200 pounds 55,557 kg of toxic and hazardous waste from environment safely during the COVID pandemic. It was a time when the protocols were being relaxed allowing gatherings larger than ten people as the public had shown due diligence in following and abiding by safety measures regarding the Coronavirus. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. also abided with Public Health advice during this time, and all volunteers were supplied with face masks and encouraged to participate in their own COVID bubbles in the large outdoor spaces, or wear facemasks. Urban regional parks such as the 148-acre George Genereux Park are wildlife habitats and homes for so many animals and species at risk. Additionally urban regional parks provide a growing urban city a nature sanctuary to enjoy connecting to the biodiversity in a mixed woods forest setting.


Figure 21 Volunteers who enjoy the urban regional park greenspace who came out to make a difference.

Figure 22 Volunteers carrying out trash from the urban regional park, and proud to take part in protecting the environment.

Natural habitats are degraded by trash and pollution, so fewer species and fewer numbers of any species can live in them and some individuals may be damaged or die from direct contact or consumption of discarded materials. The community trash cleanups prevent further damage to wildlife in this large area of habitat and will restore and help to revitalize the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat. Positive attention by citizens to these neglected areas fosters an attitude of protection and a sense of collective ownership. As conditions in the area are improved and safe use is ensured, positive human-wildlife interactions such as birdwatching and photography become feasible. Such positive use is important in ensuring civic support for maintaining these areas as nature reserves in the face of development pressures. Appropriate and well-placed vehicle barriers, garbage cans and signs will enhance the wildlife habitat by protecting it going forward. ENVIRONMENTAL AND HERITAGE EDUCATION

Currently, the educational opportunities available are 1. getting involve in citizen science bio-blitzes to develop a baseline inventory, 2. student guardian programs 3. to engage in a Clean Green Community Scene Trash cleanup at GGURP for environmental protection and the aforementioned 4. observation and education around ecological succession and regeneration, land use, and environmental stewardship programming. On January 25, 2020 before the pandemic and during the Nutrien WinterShines and Winterruption festivals the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. were grateful that master ecologist Robert White and author Paul Hanley were able to provide a presentation about Richard St. Barbe Baker, the namesake of the larger afforestation area in Saskatoon. This presentation was attended by a full house, with standing room only. The slide show and talk were appreciated my many who came away with an enlightened sense of the global conservation efforts undertaken by Richard St. Barbe Baker. Robert White and Paul Hanley both personally knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, and united everyone in the room with the fruits of Richard St. Barbe Baker’s works and passion. It was a time when the audience,


themselves, felt privileged to have a glimpse at Richard St. Barbe Baker through the eyes and tales of White and Hanley. And at the end of it all, the audience was left with the answer to a simple environmental question: “What’s Next?” It was a great way to also inspire everyone to visit the afforestation areas and celebrate Saskatoon’s Winter City YXE. Enhancing sharing of heritage representation by advancing collaboration and communication with youth groups, classrooms, and the general public. It is a time of heritage tours and projects. The Canadian Wildlife Federation WILD youth group chose from winter COVID option ideas for an opportunity to connect with nature with at home engagement which could be taken outdoors when COVID protocols allowed. To this end, nature heritage signs were suspended from trees with nature friendly holdings. Speaking to Leisha Grebinski the host of CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. on March 13, 2021 Robert White provided a history and legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker. During this time of COVID, the Morning Show highlighted Open to the Outdoors: Explore parts of the Saskatoon area you've never seen before. Grebin ski reached out to folks across Saskatoon to help provide a new perspective on what our city has to offer. The Morning Show connected at once with the capacity of the afforestation areas to serve the public, the elderly, and those with mobility challenges as the forest is planted in the flat flood plain of the Yorath Island Spillway. It was wonderful to tell the afforestation heritage story.

Figure 23 Community intrigued by the legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker and the afforestation area

Figure 24 Robert White Speaking to Richard St. Barbe Baker and Linda Moskalyk, chair from SOS Trees Inc.

It was a time celebrate trees during Arbor Week with SOS Trees Inc. as Robert White spoke with love, caring and compassion about Richard St. Barbe Baker. Baker spoke from the heart about planting trees, and he travelled the globe passing on his passion to everyone about forests and trees which keep people and the planet alive and healthy. A group of people came outside in the spring, a beautiful Sunday afternoon in May to appreciate the heart felt stories from Robert White as the spoke of his personal ties and connections with Richard St. Barbe Baker. The remarkable legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker and the 326-acre forest named in his honour to commemorate his extraordinary achievements. The very amazing thing about Robert White is the way he is able to speak about Richard St. Barbe Baker and help us all appreciate through his passion and inspiration how his life was impacted by this charismatic historic hero and champion of trees. Robert White is appreciated as an engaging speaker, and not afraid to tell


poignant personal stories which captivate the listener and draw them into the magnitude of the environment and work Richard St. Barbe Baker did for nature, trees and forests. DEVELOPING SMART PHONE INTERPRETIVE APP INFORMATION. We believe this project can be part of an effective long-term strategy to focus our vision on this ideal. In a significant way this project allows the past to meet the present and future. The rich geological, historical, natural, and cultural heritage of the areas honours where we have been. Science, conservation, and hands on learning about the land and about careers and safety ensure our future. The smart phone virtual digital app provides indicators introducing content, roles of flora and fauna in an ecosystem, natural asset capital valuation, heritage such as previous site use through time. The exploration delves into the geological, geographical, biographical, environmental and historical heritage. The experience of place has a focus on the preservation of both natural and cultural ecotones, and recognizing notable people and events along the interpretive journey. Interpretation is not only a text book communicating facts and information, but shares experience providing the language of the heart and soul of the place. Interpretation facilitates the park user 1. to recognize the species at risk, 2. to develop a tree sense, 3. appreciate the role of city administration, park administrators and everyone adopting an environmental career path to set a foundation for greenspace protection and preservation 4. to absorb and appreciate the feeling and inspire the curiosity for a memorable experience Interpretation is fueled by passion and love of place where a textbook is built on generalized facts and knowledge which can occur randomly at any location. Textbooks are tailored to history, science, etc., whereas interpretation envelops cross-discipline holistic themes. Books tell a story with a theme, and a plot, a beginning and an end. Interpretation provides an introduction to an experience, with the story felt and lived by the park visitor. Interpretation provides inspiration to learn more, to delve deeper, and provides enrichment, pride and curiosity about place. Interpretive design finds the essence of a place, the conversation which inspires love and compassion, and sparks conversation and a connection to honour the past. Interpretation kindles observation, and discovery of the jewels and treasures which exist for the user to experience. Interpretation provides connection. Interpretation fosters interaction, or action between visitor and place. Interpretation fosters responsibility or the ability to respond. ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT Species at risk and invasive species together provide a picture of the ecological integrity in the afforestation areas. Historically, there has been a focus on invasive species, and a lack of knowledge about species at risk. Biodiversity identification and an ecological database inventory signals management and recovery actions. Species have adapted to or appreciated the unique ecosystem of the afforestation areas. Habitat restoration is vital to decrease the exponential increase of invasive species. Reducing the loss of habitats and fragmentation works with the efforts of SARA and COSEWIC for recovery and management actions.


Figure 25 Red-berried Elder Sambucus racemosa Conservation Status: vulnerable (S3) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Figure 26 Northern Small Yellow Lady's Slipper Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin Conservation Status (S2) in Saskatchewan, CA (SCDC)

To date there are a number of endangered or species at risk in the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas as documented by photographs, or observations via e-Bird or iNaturalist and various observers. Vespula pensylvanica (Western Yellowjacket), Ochlodes sylvanoides napa (Woodland Skipper), Horned Grebe ( Podiceps auritus), Aechmophorus occidentalis (Western Grebe), Dolichonyx oryzivorus (Bobolink ), Riparia grievous (Bank Swallow), Phalaropus lobatus (Red-necked Phalarope), Tringa flavipes (lesser yellowlegs), Ammodramus bairdii (Baird’s Sparrow), Ammodramus savannarum (grasshopper sparrow) , Ambystoma mavortium barred tiger (salamander or western tiger salamander) , Sambucus racemosa (Red-berried Elder), Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin (Northern Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper), Accipiter cooperii (Cooper’s Hawk) C.O.S.E.W.I.C. protection list, Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green Ash) critically endangered (CR) (IUCN Red List), Calidris pusilla (Semipalmated Sandpiper) near threatened (IUCN Red List), Pelecanus erythrorhynchos (American White Pelican) imperiled (S2B,S4M) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe), Pinicola enucleator (Pine Grosbeak) S2B, S4N Imperiled in SK (Nature Serve) and nearby there has been spotted the Grus americana (Whooping Crane) and Antigone canadensis (Sandhill Crane) imperiled (S2B,S4M) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe). and nearby there has been spotted the Grus americana (Whooping Crane) and Antigone canadensis (Sandhill Crane) imperiled (S2B, S4M) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe) These species at risk are also culturally significant species. Along with plant species, animal presence (such as ungulates, American Red Squirrel, and muskrat), reptiles, and insects.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SAFETY


Citizens of Saskatoon and area have come together calling for proper barricades. The grassroots consensus being that barrier to motorized vehicle access would reduce illegal trespass and illegal dumping of trash. A call for signage and communications to let the general public know that the area exists. Sharing history and significance increases natural surveillance, and enjoyment of the area. Initiatives undertaken under advisement from the City of Saskatoon and Meewasin expand environmental monitoring efforts

. Figure 27 Members of the public, families, youth groups enjoy the urban regional park on the west side of Saskatoon Heritage Designation


Perhaps Marcus Garvey says it best, “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” The City of Saskatoon has a strong heritage policy and program in place which supports key guidelines to municipal leadership. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. submitted three reports which told of how the afforestation areas are part of the hearts and soul of the general public. It is not only the breathtaking beauty of the hoar frost and rime ice on the mixed woodlands trees in the winter months. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Aras Inc. highlighted the benefits of the afforestation areas – both George Genereux Urban Regional Park and Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. It provided a perfect opportunity to feel good about the City of Saskatoon and the treasures of the afforestation areas. With enthusiasm and fascination, questions were answered, and the connection which the afforestation areas have with everyone resonated in its heritage interpretation. Most importantly, heritage designation looked at how the afforestation areas help to shape the City of Saskatoon.

Figure 28 Scots Pine captured by Shwetha Gopinath eco-photographer The Afforestation areas are unique, and being together a mosaic of attributes in their identity. “Interpretation is the translation of the language of the scientist, the voices of the past, and the significance of the places to help create meanings and connections with the people of the present.” Carolyn Widner Community pride is the result of knowing one’s local heritage. The unique history and identity of the place supports curiosity, wonder, thought provoking illumination which is shared involved the power the significance of the afforestation areas. It is sharing the visions and principles of those who celebrate, recognize and commemorate the unique character of the afforestation areas Heritage interpretation through municipal heritage designation provides authentic human attachment to place. There are so many view points, thoughts and ideas to provide creative expression when it comes to our rich heritage. Its about providing engaging environmental and heritage communication and capturing the attention of the local community about these best kept secrets of Saskatoon. HERITAGE AND CULTURAL INTERPRETATION


Interpretation builds on place-based learning, and engages community investment in the authentic community relationship to the afforestation areas. Its about unique learning experiences for members of the general public, youth groups, and classrooms. Interpretation is a means of coming together with a vision, and enabling collaborative efforts and successes for the health and well-being of the community, our natural and heritage resources. Its providing seeds for cultural history, the wonders of flora and fauna, and opening a gateway towards active engagement. The unique eco-system at the afforestation areas provides an ecotone between the moist mixed grasslands of the Saskatoon prairies, alongside the boreal – like forest created in the afforestation areas. It’s a master plan investing in the social benefit for the public and caring for species at risk. Addressing ecosystem preservation, the significance of the afforestation areas promotes tranquility of spirit and health benefits. The holistic benefits of the biodiversity, natural, historical and cultural assets honour the sacredness of place. Interpretation captures the mystery and intrigue of what is loved the most. Heritage and environmental leadership support the value of nature-based solutions to climate change.

Figure 29 Walk through the cathedral of caraganas courtesy Vivian Allan With the capacity for heritage and cultural interpretation is also the opportunity to engage and align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. GOAL 1: No Poverty GOAL 2: Zero Hunger GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being GOAL 4: Quality Education GOAL 5: Gender Equality GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production GOAL 13: Climate Action GOAL 14: Life Below Water GOAL 15: Life on Land GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Following through on the council decision of 1972 to preserve the afforestation areas in perpetuity, engages UN SDG Goal of Life on Land of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and Life Below Water caring for the Chappell Marsh West Swale Wetlands. This year, 2021 is the first year of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. We believe that we have a role to play in taking action locally on this vision of the United Nations. Engaging in citizen bio blitzes, invasive species are ascertained so that their spread can be eradicated. Having a vision to restore and plant native species for pollinators and climate action is a great means to restore degraded and destroyed areas.


FINANCIAL STATEMENTS Pie charts provide information in understanding and assessing the impact that the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Area’s fund raising has for enhancing afforestation protections and services for the general public. A great majority of funding for the 2020-2021 annual reporting year was received immediately before the Year End and the compilation of the Financial Summary. This funding will be spent on environmental protections in the form of vehicle mitigation barriers, fencing and gates for the most part. There are also initiatives for environmental education and protection, and ecological restoration. This is a great way to usher in the United Nations Decade on Ecosystems Restoration.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF TOP CONTRIBUTERS, SUPPORTERS AND VOLUNTEERS GRANTS Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) grant funding through the Government of Canada Department of the Environment Paulo Climate Change Canada Ecofriendly Sask Walmart Canada Sask Energy City of Saskatoon SERVICE CLUBS EcoFriendly Community Highlight July 2020 Of Land and Living Skies. Sask Outdoors. Of Land and Living Skies. Baba Wya Miti Loving Father of Trees Summer 2020 published Bluejay Blue Jay. Nature Saskatchewan. Afforestation: Ecology in the West Swale BCCIC Added to Global Map International Day of Action for Rivers challenge MEDIA – COMMUNICATIONS Shaw Spotlight on GGURP Bottle Drive in newspaper Spotlight on Wild About Saskatoon Saskatoon Star Phoenix. George Genereux Park cleanup CTV news. Two Saskatoon afforestation areas receive $100K to build barriers to stop illegal garbage dumping Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Gardening: Fun ways to celebrate Arbor Week in Saskatoon Saskatoon Public Library. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. share how COVID-19 affected them as a non-profit environmental charity throughout 2020. CBC Open to Outdoors Celebrate Canada Historic Places Days July Wild About Saskatoon Community Profile 2020 CTV News June 20


SOS Trees December 2020 Newsletter Federal Funding our press release October 3 clean up results Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup IN-KIND DONATIONS City of Saskatoon Eco-Friendly Sask Fit 4 Less Canarama Foods Public Media Announcements City of Saskatoon Meewasin Lawson Safeway No Frills Westgate Plaza Ecofriendly Sask DONORS Kyle Gerwing and Danya Cosgrove Todd Pawklowski Diane S. Anderson Tom Lee Watson Valerie Ridsdale Shawn and Janice Sanford-Beck Anonymous SPONSORS SUPPORTERS 306 Fitness AGI Insurance Westgate


Alice Turner Library Ardene Canada Atmosphere Bentley Bombay Spices Booster Juice Bugsy’s Bar and Grill Bulk Barn Canada Canada Safeway Charm Diamond Centres Chatters Cheesetoast Family Restaurant Chopped Leaf City of Saskatoon Cliff Wright Library Coles Dr. Freda Ahenakew Library Dufresne Furniture Early’s Farm and Garden Centre Eclipse Evan and Ila’s, No Frills Extra Foods Canarama Fox and Hounds Pub and Brewery Frances Morrison Central Library GasPlus


H & R Block Hobnobber Saskatchewan Artisan Products Indigo Chapters Jewels J.S. Wood Library Jump.ca Betts Avenue and Lawson Heights Lawson Heights Leisure Centre Lee Valley Lids Circle Centre Mall Lifeline Insurance Mayfair Drugs Pharmasave Mayfair Library Motion Fitness Peavey Mart PetValu Poor Boys Gas and Auto Red Swan Pizza Red Wing Store Round Prairie Library Rusty Macdonald Library Saskatoon Antiques Saskatoon Public Library Sask Lottery Shaw Centre Shopper’s Drug Mart


Showcase Sleep Country Circle Drive and Betts Avenue Smiley’s Restaurant Source Speedy Mart Sportchek Staples Stellar Gear Sunrise Tailgatorz Sports Bar & Grill Tandy Leather Saskatoon Telus Tommy Guns Original Barbershop The Source Twisted Goods Ultracuts Urban Planet Vision Electronics Werezak’s Pharmacy PROGRESS TOWARDS THE FUTURE With the Blairmore Suburban Development Area now in progress adjacent to these sites there will eventually be up to 70,000 people living in nearby neighbourhoods plus a developing commercial sector. Already, the afforestation areas are becoming increasingly attractive for recreation, active transportation and other green space uses such as bird watching and photography that are in accordance with their protected status. NATIONAL FOREST WEEK IN SEPTEMBER 2021 Celebrate Forests and All they have to Give us. “Our Forests – Continually Giving” is an appropriate theme for this year’s National Forest Week. September 22 is Canada’s National Tree Day or Maple Leaf Day. National Forest Week is the week


around Maple Leaf Day, the third Wednesday of September. Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. had a virtual guest speaker series featuring nine exciting webinar events Saturday September 18, to Sunday September 26, alongside in-person events such as guided forest walks, forest heritage tours, and a National Forest Week flag raising ceremony to show our love of forests. These events are coming online on YouTube if you missed them in September of 2021. What if you are wandering in the forest and discover something. How do you find out what it is? “To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained. I offer this as a formula of re-enchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and littleknown organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions." E.O. Wilson, Biophilia. Enjoy our forest favourites, the 326-acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area or the 148-acre George Genereux Park right here in Saskatoon!

Participants tuned in to Saskatoon’s Wildlife where the real night life in the city was revealed. The discovery of the ecological, social benefits of nature-based solutions to climate change, and the mutual advantages which can be had for climate, society, and nature presented by our partner, SOS Trees Inc. The webinar series provided the opportunity to hear from the City of Saskatoon YXE Green Infrastructure Strategy and Urban Forestry for best practices, innovative strategies, experiences and approaches when it comes to the urban forest in our city. It was a time to discover our university’s very own TREE program; how it involves students across Canada investigating how our Trembling Aspen communities are faring amid contamination and toxicant, climatic and human events. Over 2,000 km of shelterbelts became established in the prairies between 1930 and 2013, and during this era of climate action, 40% have been lost. Now into four years of drought, this speaker series had a focus on the innovative free app developed by the University to enable farmers to know what their shelterbelt is worth under the $50 per tonne CO2E tax expected to roll out in 2022 – a great hands-on method for farmers to reap the benefits of the 2022 carbon offset value for the carbon pricing system and to increase their potential benefits with successful tree plantings. Or maybe you are intrigued to learn about the health care system capacity under the PaRx program which uses nature to boost patient health. Another initiative addresses an ingenious Truth and Reconciliation programme. Imagine woodlands setting(s) for


health, wellness, understanding, and respect across cultures under the National Healing Forest initiative and how you can become involved.

It was an exciting week delving into environmental protection, climate action education and awareness stories to celebrate our heritage as we delve into forests and their multiple blessings, for as Richard St. Barbe Baker says, "We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees, we call a forest." Throughout the week, the National Forest Week flag flew at City Hall.


Figure 30 Image Courtesy Vivian Allan

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA CLIMATE ACTION AND AWARENESS FUNDING.

Two historic afforestation areas in Saskatoon will benefit from $100,080 in Government of Canada funding from now until the end of 2022. The non-profit charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (Friends) obtained the funding through the Government of Canada’s Climate Action and Awareness Fund (CAAF). “The funding will help protect and restore the 326-acre Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the 148-acre George Genereux Urban Regional Park,” said Julia Adamson, chair of the Friends. “A major priority of our 2021/2022 Green Vision project is installing barriers to stop motorized vehicles from entering and dumping garbage in these unique man-made forests on the prairies.” Additional initiatives include installing identification signage, conducting ecological surveys and bio-blitzes to identify significant species and landscape features, ongoing garbage clean-ups, and educational programming linked to these laboratories of ecological succession. SOS Trees Inc. is a partner for climate action activities the Friends will be undertaking. “The larger afforestation area, named after the world-renowned forester Richard St Barbe Baker, has seen a big increase in use since the Friends began clean-ups there in 2016,” added Adamson. “George


Genereux Urban Regional Park can now benefit from similar restoration initiatives. These forests are a common public space for residents of all ages to come out and connect with nature and uniquely, experience a boreal forest type of woodland right here in Saskatoon.” “We are proud to be one of 58 community-based climate action, awareness, and engagement projects funded through CAAF. We appreciate that fines collected through the Environmental Damages Fund are turned into positive environmental action in communities like ours.” Backgrounder: Situated on the west edge of the city, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park are unique natural semi-wilderness habitats of great biodiversity. These man-made forests are the only remaining portions of a 1970s city plan to create a greenbelt around Saskatoon. They were designated to be ‘preserved in perpetuity’ and were planted in response to the Green Survival program promoted in the US and Canada at that time. The afforestation area 50 th birthday will be celebrated in 2022. The afforestation areas include a portion of the West Swale wetlands formed by a glacial spillway formed during the Pleistocene era connecting north and south Saskatchewan River Valleys. The non-profit Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. was created to preserve and restore these areas for their beauty and special geological, geographical and historic elements, including PaleoIndian and First Nations heritage. In the past few years, the Friends have organized community volunteer clean-ups that have removed over 34,890 kg or 76,919 pounds of illegally dumped materials from the two afforestation areas. This has made the areas safe for public enjoyment and a variety of recreational and educational user activities. Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982) is an inspirational global figure with many ties to Saskatoon and his extraordinary worldwide humanitarian efforts in tree planting and habitat protection will be commemorated this November. Nov. 6th 2021 is the 50th anniversary of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker conferring the honorary Doctorate of Laws upon Baker at the University of Saskatchewan fall convocation. Quotations: “Green networks and infrastructure are important aspects for sustainability in our city. This priority has been identified in multiple City of Saskatoon and regional community plans. This project will help ensure the success of efforts to clean, preserve, and protect the more than 450 acres of greenbelt surrounding Saskatoon. These are our recreational and educational spaces for generations to come.” His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark, City of Saskatoon “The tireless work of Friends contributes greatly to the wellbeing of our environment and the wellbeing of Saskatoon residents. I am thrilled that this support is making its way to the local champions of these unique forests.” Hilary Gough, City of Saskatoon Councillor Ward 2 “I have been walking almost daily in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area for some 20 years now. It is my quiet place in the city. Back in the day however, this forest was full of abandoned vehicles and garbage. But thanks to the passion and dedication of the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc., it is now a pristine sanctuary – for me and for so many species of plants and animals. And because of their dedication, I feel confident that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will also be able to enjoy this amazing piece of Saskatoon. You work is so important!”


David Kirton, City of Saskatoon Councillor Ward 3 “Climate mitigation is one of the most important benefits that our trees provide. We are delighted that our Saskatoon afforestation sites will be better protected and provide citizens the opportunity to engage with nature.” Linda Moskalyk, chair, SOS Trees Coalition “It is fitting that the afforestation area named after Richard St Barbe Baker, arguably the first global conservationist, be protected and become a site where the public can see the rich biodiversity resulting from planting trees in what was a summer fallow field in 1972.” Robert White, Master in Science in Ecology, Friends the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.

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MILESTONE 50 T H ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS 2021: INSPIRING ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION: ORDINARY PEOPLE DOING THE EXTRAORDINARY Figure 31 World Environment Day the last tree planting of Richard St. Barbe Baker, founder of the International Tree Foundation

The largest afforestation area in Saskatoon was named after Richard St. Barbe Baker OBE, Hon. LL.D. F.I.A.L., For. Dip.Cantab., ACF (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982). Baker was a silviculturist, conservationist, environmental activist and prolific author, who contributed greatly to worldwide forest protection, reforestation and desert reclamation efforts. Richard St. Barbe Baker was one of the first climate change activists in that he addressed the issues surrounding climate change before this reality was named and his life demonstrates how an individual can take extraordinary action for environmental education and protection. Baker was ahead of his time in many ways and he is an inspirational role model for our time. The organization he started in 1922, now known


as the International Tree Foundation, and other successful international organizations and activities started by individuals inspired by him (Egg: Plant-for-the-Planet and The Forest Trust) demonstrate this potential for inspired action. November 6, 2021 is the 5oth anniversary of Baker being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). Baker has other connections to Saskatoon; he was one of the first 100 students at the U of S, initiated former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker there, planted a tree at the U of S on World Environment Day, 1982, died here 4 days later and is buried in Saskatoon’s Woodlawn Cemetery. His archives are installed at the U of S. Our 2021 major event will focus on Baker’s legacy and a short film based on his extensive archival photo and film collection, interviews and footage shot by Christopher Chapman for a film on Baker. Chapman’s archives are also at the U of S and the head of the U of S Archives and special Collection has offered to support this project. “When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.” Thomas S. Monson

Figure 32 Richard St. Barbe Baker Image Courtesy U of S Archives and Special Collections

This anniversary includes two projects. INTERNATIONAL ONLINE PREMIERE The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest International Online Premiere debuting November 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm telling the heritage story of Richard St. Barbe Baker Global environmentalist and humanitarian.


Figure 33 Image by Shwetha Gopinath

Figure 34Image by Shwethaa Gopinath


Figure 35 Image courtesy Vivian Allan


HERITAGE CURRICULUM BOOKLETS The heritage education booklets were developed with an eye towards the vision of Richard St. Barbe Baker's vision. This vision can be summarized in his tree planting song as follows: “From Our Hearts with Our Hands for The Earth All the World Together." The information brings forward the coordination of an evidencebased approach to place-based knowledge and information sharing and co-production with Indigenous local systems of knowing. This is in keeping with the spirit of Witaskêwin, living together on the land. The assistance of Elizabeth Bekolay, a nature-based ecological educator, naturalist, and writer wrote of her passion in connecting students with cultural heritage and the natural world around them. Kevin Wesaquate, artist from Piapot First Nation espouses Indigenous traditions and expresses his heritage through art, and his connections with the land can be seen in the richly coloured illustrations Stories were woven, images were fashioned and combined bringing forward the true mutual respect for trees, forests and nature for a healthier future. Robert White, ecologist, personally knew the powerful legacy of Richard St. Barbe Baker which went viral in a global environmental group, the Men of the Trees, now known as the International Tree Foundation. With compassionate guidance, the heritage education series embraces the global humanitarian and conservationist vision of Richard St. Barbe Baker for the 50th anniversary November 6 when John G. Diefenbaker bestowed the honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan upon Richard St. Barbe Baker for extraordinary service worldwide. With the combined heart-warming perceptions of White, the innate writings of Bekolay and the hallmark artistry of Wesaquate the unique local natural history, the diverse cultural heritage of the afforestation areas is celebrated encouraging a new generation of earth guardians. And so, it can be said that “From Our Hearts, With Our


Hands, For the Earth, All the World Together" these heritage booklets bring forward earth stewardship and healing.

MILESTONE 50 T H ANNIVERSARY 2022: GREEN SURVIVAL 50TH FOREST BIRTHDAY PARTY! The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA), 132 ha in size, was planted in 1972 under the Green Survival Program, and preserved in perpetuity by Saskatoon City Council a few years later. The Green Survival Campaign spread across North America with the message that "each individual can have a positive, meaningful effect on the quality of life by planting trees and other living plants." The 40th anniversary of the last tree planting by Richard St. Barbe Baker on World Environment Day, 1982 will also be in 2022. The 2022 celebration will use different footage from Christopher Chapman’s films, and a different story line. “World afforestation is necessary because it is the most constructive and peaceable enterprise in which the nations could co-operate," Dr. Baker wrote in 1949…"It would check, stop, and reverse the advance of the deserts upon the good lands of the globe, and thus relieve the shortage of foods” (One Country, 1994) We plan a ceremonial tree planting gala. We would approach local dignitaries to present interviews/opening and closing remarks for our event in order to promote our film for use in webinars, in school classrooms, and at conferences. 2022 also marks the centenary year of the International Tree Foundation (patron HRH Prince Phillip) and they are planning celebrations that we can link with. We will reach out to Tree Canada, the International Tree Foundation, and the main national and international environmental groups which were formed as a result of individuals being inspired by Richard St. Barbe Baker. Additionally, green groups around Saskatoon, Canada and the world, will be notified of our events. The same will apply to conferences where we feature our proposals. We will present a pitch to television stations to produce a documentary and reach out to the media, radio, television and newspapers across Canada letting them know of those relevant events. Besides Baker and Chapman, George Genereux the namesake of the second afforestation area is also an inspirational figure and there is the potential to build on his legacy to bring attention to the protection of the afforestation areas. B.T. Chappell is another


significant Saskatoon builder and the marsh area that extends into the RSBBAA is named after him.

SMART PHONE VIRTUAL INTERPRETIVE APP Our project focuses on enhancing the value of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area through developing a smart phone app. Our guided tours of the areas have enhanced public enjoyment and highlighted the environmental and heritage value of the area. Citizens are discovering the many advantages of this area, but during COVID-19, and being an all-volunteer organization, we have not been able to accommodate the growing demand. Our plan, therefore, is to develop a GPS-guided app so that anyone with a smart phone can follow trails into the area. While social distancing is still required the app will be especially valuable The creation of a smart phone virtual app, i.e., virtual place-based interpretive signs, provides residents and visitors alike, year-round finger tip access to the many facets of the RSBBAA. Informing and educating visitors will enhance visitor appreciation of the area and instil civic pride in this ecological restoration success. Virtual interpretation will provide an immersion experience enriching the visitor’s experience of the ecological, natural history and geological features and sharing the history of human activity in the area. The app will have options that provide information about the plant and animal species found there and on how natural succession after the initial tree planting created the ecosystem as a whole. Additionally, the app can bring forth the “active” and the “passive” areas within RSBBAA, and the rationale, and criteria for these recommendations. Messages about stewardship and sustainability, visitor experience opportunities, coming events and welcoming greetings will also be included. All in all, the app will make for a much more pleasurable and educational visitor experience and the satisfaction of being connected to the space. It can help urban residents actively relate to the many landscape features in this ecological succession laboratory. The awareness of cultural and natural resources will be enhanced and the interpretive programming is available at all hours. Including biographical information on Richard St. Barbe Baker’s lifetime work to preserve virgin forests and promote tree planting through his organization’s work in over 100 countries can give visitors inspiration to respect the forest and protect this area in perpetuity.


The use of an app increases the enjoyment, satisfaction, and inspiration of feeling connected to the space. People can get caught up in the story, and the whole experience, of walking alongside the ice age mammals as the Pleistocene era glacial spillway broke open and surged forward in an instantaneous river. It is bringing urban residents disconnected from nature back in touch with nature. Extensive research on contact with nature has shown that it can nourish mental well-being and harness the restorative and resiliency benefits of the outdoors. Outdoor activity in a semi-wild area is especially beneficial. During the pandemic it has been a go to area to experience the refreshment of being in nature with lots of space to distance. On a recent Sunday afternoon, it was noted that the three parking lots, each holding 20 cars, were filled to overflowing and cars were being parked on the road, which is commonly seen throughout the days. Place-based learning enhances appreciation of and identification with place and lends impetus to successful conservation of the area. With GPS location-based interpretation, ongoing public bio-blitzes and nature study and learning to key plants plus cultural ethno-botany will further enhance this. For the first eco-museum of Saskatoon the aim is for a better place-based nature experience for urban visitors, the capacity to keep the story and vision alive through changing generations, promote features and themes through changing seasons. There is excitement to enhance the love of the area with awareness of the outstanding natural features, and the captivating human stories.

Figure 36 Image Courtesy Vivian Allan

People are attracted to the RSBBAA because of its relative wildness, unlike most manicured parks. RSBBAA provides a meaningful nature experience, and it is this wildness which keeps visitors coming back time and again. However, as the city expands around the area and more people use the RSBBAA, the pressures on it will increase. An interpretive app will inform users of the balance that needs to be kept between commonly used areas with trails and protection of areas with species at risk or rare features. Gazing up at the meteor shower in the night sky, resting on a log listening to meadow larks, encountering a squirrel, glimpsing a rabbit, smelling the wild roses, discovering a landscape view which is memorable caught in a superb prism of light beams, exploring the wetlands to see that delicate summer flower in bloom at their toes, or the ducklings in the water, it may be walking through the meadow to smell the dew on the grass and seeing the sparkling glimmer on the spider webs in the morning are the marvellous spontaneous moments possible in this semi-wilderness area today. These need both the


wilderness area and the human taking in the experience. The personal reflections and feelings on events captured and appreciated provide the feelings of awe, and elation. The interpretive app will facilitate such experiences and give visitors the potential to share their experiences as feedback. Moreover, it can, by its potential to educate help our children and grandchildren to also have these experiences so close to a city by fostering a stewardship ethic and a shared vision of a special community wild space. What does the future hold for RSBBAA? Beyond the many recreational, educational, and training activities taking place there is potential for a variety of other uses on some open areas. Curriculum natural science classes could monitor and document carbon sequestration and learn about climate action, plant native berry plant agro-forestry gardens, or plant pollinator ribbons with native flowers. Engaging with First Nations elders holds potential for RSBBAA to be one of a network of National Healing Forests to honour Truth and Reconciliation. The GPS Prairie Forest Guide has been developed with the help of the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Computer Systems Technology students under the guidance of Wade Lahoda Instructor, Computer Systems Technology. Thank you. It is with grateful appreciation that these students embraced this project, and the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. raised money so that they could continue onwards after the school year was completed.

SURVEY Email your answers to. FriendsAfforestation@gmail.com 1. What is most appreciated about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area -inclusive of the SW OLRA, the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. non profit charity? 2. What should be improved or changed about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area – inclusive of the SW OLRA, the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. non profit charity?


3. The priority for the year 2021-2022 should be to…? 4. Other comments, feedback or questions? DIRECTIONS AND MAP GEORGE GENEREUX URBAN REGIONAL PARK

Figure 37 George Genereux Urban Regional Park map adapted from a Google Map George Genereux Park just west off of the Pike Lake Highway (Sk Hwy 7) at Range Road 3063 Please don’t drive in the forest GPS PROVIDED FOR SMART PHONE MAP DIRECTIONS


NOTE. PLEASE STOP DRIVING ON THE SK HWY 7 SERVICE ROAD PARALLEL TO SK HWY 7 WHERE INDICATED TO NOT TRESPASS. DO NOT DRIVE ON THE GRAVEL ROAD SOUTH OF GEORGE GENEREUX PARK (PARALLEL TO THE CANADIAN NATIONAL RAIL-LINE.) THIS IS A CNR RIGHT-OF-WAY, AND HAS RESTRICTED ACCESS TO CNR SERVICE PERSONNEL ONLY UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY ASK PERMISSIONS FROM THE CNR. SIGN POSTED; “NO TRESPASSING” 1. NE 21-36-6 W3 – George Genereux Afforestation Area -133 Range Road 3063 – GPS 52.1089473,-106.7925807 Directions. Drive on 22nd Street West in the City of Saskatoon in a westerly direction. Proceed west through the traffic light intersection at Kensington Boulevard to the Kensington neighbourhood suburban development area, and Betts Road to the Blairmore suburban development area Drive west 460 meters to the traffic light intersection of 22nd Street and Sk Highway 684 (Dalmeny highway). Turn left (south) onto Sk Highway 7. Drive south on Sk Highway 7 (the Pike Lake Highway) for 2.376 km. o o o

As you are driving south on SK Hwy 7, proceed 1.8 km to the intersection with 11th Street, the 11th Street compost, and the Poor Boys Esso. Driving another 366 meters south after the 11th street intersection you will pass the West Swale wetlands. Proceed another 201 meters after the wetlands, and turn right onto the gravel road. Note this road is signed “Department of Highways only.” For this reason, there is provided another two sets of directions for arriving at this greenspace.

Follow the Saskatchewan Highway 7 service road parallel to Saskatchewan Highway 7 for 884 meters. o o o

Take a “quick left” in 36 meters where the gravel road turns left (southwesterly) 40 meters after turning onto the gravel road there is an “Y-intersection” The SK Hwy 7 service road proceeds in a southwesterly direction parallel to Saskatchewan Highway 7. To achieve success at the commonly used informal parking area, do not turn right and proceed parallel to the wetlands, but keep south-westerly parallel to Saskatchewan Highway 7 for 761.5 meters.

Arrive at the intersection of Range Road 3063 and Sk Hwy 7 Service Road. Proceed another 122.5 meters southwesterly along Sk Hwy 7 Service Road, and park. You have arrived. Do not drive in the forest greenspace. There happen to be dog walkers, classrooms of children, families, and cyclists enjoying the greenspace. There is also City of Saskatoon bylaw 7767, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle in any Park unless written or verbal permission to do so has been received from the City.” RICHARD ST. BARBE BAKER AFFORESTATION AREA.


Figure 38Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Map adapted from a City of Saskatoon map Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Map Directions THERE ARE THREE AREAS COMMONLY USED FOR PARKING AT RICHARD ST. BARBE BAKER AFFORESTATION AREA HERE IS THE SOUTH WEST OFF LEASH RECREATION AREA PARKING AREA LOCATED IN THE CITY OF SASKATOON. THE BORDER BETWEEN THE RM OF CORMAN PARK AND THE CITY OF SASKATOON FORMS THE SOUTH WEST BOUNDARIES OF THE PARKS. GPS PROVIDED FOR SMART PHONE MAP DIRECTIONS 1. Part SE 23-36-6 W3- SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area) – 355 Township Road 362-A – GPS 52.1006373,-106.755882 This is the most commonly used parking lot located at the South West Off Leash Recreation Area.


Directions. Drive on Circle Drive towards the landfill – Civic Operations Centre – Bus Barns – Snow dump area of the City of Saskatoon. From the traffic lights at the Civic Operations Centre/Landfill access continue to drive west for 651 meters. Do not proceed on Valley Road with the left turn towards the Saskatoon Berry Barn. There are signs posted for Township Road 362-A and Cedar Villa Estates, and take the right turn, then a quick left to continue travelling westward. Continue west on Township Road 362-A (Cedar Villa Road) for 1.3 km. Turn right into the gravel parking lot when you see the blue sign: South West Off Leash Recreation Area. You have arrived. CALL TO ACTION Support for the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas promotes conservation, education programming, environment protection, and climate action. Getting out in nature has long been advocated for health and wellness by Shinrin Yoku, and Hygge and now the PaRx program has come to Saskatchewan. The health care community will advocate that nature supports health and wellness. Become a guardian of the forest by joining, or renewing your membership today. We are group of nurturing, caring people who have created a community in protecting our natural resources. Your membership provides us the means to benefit our critical work in protected this semi-wilderness habitat, and connect a growing and vibrant city and its residents with this green environment. There are numerous studies which show urban forests improve physical health and mental well-being. With the city growing, the need to protect urban greenspaces is more vital than ever before. The 2020 Green Vision Donate $100 to conserve the afforestation area as trees are the largest and cheapest method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere mitigating climate change. Forests clean our air, our water, and regulate our climate. Forests help to manage and alleviate flooding. Your contribution via donation, or when you contact Donate A Car Canada helps to create and maintain a GPS place-based learning Prairie Forest app to take the afforestation areas online, and share the community stories of legends, and memories. Donate $90 to assist in the installation of interpretive signs and the creation of an afforestation area outdoor classroom for children across the City of Saskatoon. Donate $75 to ensure 125m of wildlife friendly fence can be installed. This allows the deer fawns and moose calves to pass through without getting caught in the fence, or without being left behind. Your reach out for The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. when you donate, or contact Donate A Car Canada goes towards the installation of a garbage receptacle to protect the semiwilderness habitat without pollution in the environment. This installation will protect the natural areas at this amazing habitat. Donate $50 in protection of habitat for bees and other pollinators which help keep our planet and our city green. They are facing habitat loss, and what a better place than the afforestation areas to protect their habitat where herbicides and pesticides are not in use. Your donation also helps provide the means for classrooms of children, or youth groups to come out to the afforestation areas by bus for inquiry-learning on-site in these naturalized afforestation areas.


Donate $40 which will go towards installation of a metal park identification sign and mitigate illegal motorized vehicle trespass and illegal trash dumping. Sponsor a tree with $25 a month to enable the proper Afforestation Area protections are in place. Receive information about your tree. This is a gift that keeps on giving, and you can be a part of the effort to protect these trees in perpetuity. Donate $20 to provide groups of volunteers with gloves and trash bags to conduct clean ups. Community volunteer clean ups go a long way to protect the woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. A gift like these makes a real difference. Make an impact with your gift, and help make the world a better place.

Figure 39 Image Courtesy Vivian Allan


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