Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas

הצטרפ.ה ב:ינו' 11, 2020 פעילות אחרונה: ספט' 29, 2023 iNaturalist Canada

Global Conservationist's Roots and Shoots FILMS and CURRICULUM package about Richard St. Barbe Baker first global conservationist

Saskatoon And Area City Nature Challenge April 29 - May 2, 2022

Eventbrite page for BioBlitzes and workshops
YouTube Channel
Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas
Two Laboratories in Ecological Succession:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Discover 7 hectares [17 acres] of West Swale wetlands nestled within 132 hectares [326 acres] of woodlands planted 50 years ago now a diverse, semi-wild, area to roam and enjoy. Named in honour of Richard St. Barbe Baker, silviculturist, conservationist, environmental activist & prolific author, who contributed greatly to worldwide forest protection, reforestation and desert reclamation

George Genereux Park 60 hectares [148 acres] of semi-wilderness habitat to explore and celebrate. Honouring Gold Olympic medalist Dr. George Genereux, radiologist, professor, and meticulous illustrator

So I am a member of the non profit charity group called Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. Our non-profit charity organization formed to protect, conserve and restore the ecosystems and biodiversity on a long-term basis at the two Saskatoon afforestation areas, [the 326 acre Richard St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (RSBBAA) and the 147 acre George Genereux Urban Regional Park (GGURPP)]. RSBBAA has 17 acres of marshlands as well as 143 acres of woodlands re-naturalized by tree plantings. That being said, the afforesting practices were done in a "Weaving" pattern and the existing trembling aspen bluffs were not removed, so over the last 50 years the Trembling Aspens have expanded, and nurtured native understorey species. Some of the trees which were afforested were plantings of drought resistant trees recommended by the now defunct Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA); a balsam poplar hybrid sporting the balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifera), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila), Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea Pungens), Scotch Pine or Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Willow (Salix spp) (Bebbs Willow identified among others out there), Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo), Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), and the Siberian peashrub or caragana (Caragana arborescens). There seem to be two spruce in the afforestation areas, the one above, and White Spruce Picea glauca

The maples -if afforested - are not as plentiful as the other aforementioned species and Amur Maples (Acer ginnala) are only found in an area of George Genreux Urban Regional Park.

Perhaps there were buffaloberry afforested, though these are not listed on the 1972 archival list for the afforestation area as saplings chosen, that being said the PFRA did distribute buffaloberry it has been discovered. Buffaloberry is also native to this area of the province of Saskatchewan.

These two areas started as tree nurseries under the award winning Green Survival Program and were preserved in perpetuity by Saskatoon City Council. There is value in conserving natural areas and the ecosystem functions of wetlands and forested areas as City of Saskatoon and Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth (P4G) neighbourhoods develop in the south west area. Citizen science bio-blitzes help develop a baseline inventory towards estimating the natural capital asset value. Such green infrastructure provides a wide array of benefits towards climate change, to people and wildlife. Under direction from the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority, citizen science bioblitzes are beneficial to learn about the ecosystem at the afforestation areas. Community volunteer bio-blitz actions on iNaturalist coordinate well with the ecological assessment and master plan being proposed for the area. Large community group citizen science bio-blitzes were planned and then post-poned when COVID-19 came along. We now encourage everyone to learn with us virtually, via pamphlet, or with small outdoor trips to learn iNaturalist and then if you wish to continue individually as you enjoy great forest walks that would be fantastic. Please email if you are interested in learning more about how to help out! Directions are on the webpages

Because there are two distinct land areas there are two iNaturalist projects:

Baker Area Eco-Quest BA EQ for Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Genereux Park Eco-Quest GP EQ for George Genereux Urban Regional Park

The MVA and the CoS have plans to conduct a professional ecological assessment as well to develop a baseline inventory of the flora and fauna in conjunction with community groups and classrooms as citizen scientists. After this is undertaken, then rehabilitation or restoration work can begin on degraded areas by means of perhaps permaculture three sisters community gardens laying the groundwork for food forests in addition to pollinator ribbons of native flower species. The two afforestation areas are; Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (Baker Area Eco-Quest iNaturalist project) and George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Genereux Park Eco-Quest iNaturalist project).

~This list needs updating.

The Red-Berried Elder (Sambucus racemosa) has a ranking of S2 Imperiled/Very rare. At high risk of extinction or extirpation due to a very restricted range, very few populations, steep declines, threats or other factors.

The Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) is also coming up on iNaturalist as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, though SCDC says S4 Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.

American Elm (Ulmus americana) is also coming up on iNaturalist as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) Conservation Status: imperiled (S2S3B,S2M,S2N) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Northern Small Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin) It has an SK Conservation Data Centre ranking of S3 Vulnerable/Rare to uncommon. At moderate risk of extinction or extirpation due to a restricted range, relatively few populations, recent and widespread declines, threats, or other factors.

Western Yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica) Conservation Status: imperiled (S2S3) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Goldenrod Gall Fly (Eurosta solidaginis) Conservation Status: imperiled (S2S4) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides) Conservation Status: imperiled (S2) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) Conservation Status: vulnerable (S3) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Conservation Status: vulnerable (S3B) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) Conservation Status: apparently secure (N4B,N3M) in Canada (NatureServe)

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) Conservation Status: near threatened (NT) (IUCN Red List)

Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) Conservation Status: imperiled (S2B,S4N) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) Conservation Status: Endangered in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act)

George Genereux Urban Regional Park has amazing Amur Maples (Acer ginnala) - they were gorgeous this fall with their their red leaves. Not many red leaves in SK over the autumn months, so it was a real treat! It is not believed from archival documentation that these were afforested, but there are coming in nicely for the afforestation area. Another unusual find for this greenspace is an observation of Russian Olive, Elaeagnus angustifolia. This tree also is mature, not native nor afforested as part of the 1972 Green Survival Tree Nursery Campaign. How a Russian Olive came to be in this park is a mystery, but it also, is singularly extraordinary. Now we find that Russian Olive is found to be invasive in British Columbia, and parts of Alberta, though it is still a nursery species. There is no invasive information for Saskatchewan which was found at first look.

In addition to plants identified above as species at risk, additionally there are fauna species at risk as well as several birds listed on e-Bird which are also species at risk. Altogether there number over 20 species at risk to date in the afforestation areas. The endangered species recorded to date on iNaturalist or on the eBird Chappell Marsh hot spot include

Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus Conservation Status: Special Concern in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act)

Bank Swallow Riparia riparia Conservation Status: Threatened in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act)

Baird's Sparrow Centronyx bairdii Conservation Status: Special Concern in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act)

Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum

Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis Conservation Status: apparently secure (N4B,N2N3N,N4M) in Canada (NatureServe) Special Concern according to SCDC

Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus Conservation Status: Threatened in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act)

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Conservation Status: apparently secure (S4B,S3M) in Saskatchewan, CA (NatureServe)

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Threatened according to SCDC

and nearby there has been spotted the
Whooping Crane Grus americana Conservation Status: Endangered in Canada (Canadian Species at Risk Act) "Endangered" Globally (Source: IUCN Red List)

There are some beautiful mosses and fungi out in the afforestation areas if you are interested in those, and a plethora of dragonflies and damselflies.

E-bird tracks an amazing number of waterfowl, species at risk, and birds which can be seen at the afforestation areas at the "Chappell marsh" hot spot. Chappell Marsh is a wetlands of the West Swale on the north and south sides of Cedar Villa Road (Township Road 362 A). Chappell Marsh wetlands is in the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area owned by Ducks Unlimited in the RM of Corman Park 344 to the south, and the north side of Chappell Marsh wetlands is in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. Just recently a new hot spot has been added to E-Bird for Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area woodlands. That being said, there are starting to be birds being classified in the afforestation area on iNaturalist. e-Bird link to the three afforestation hotspots Now there should be another for George Genereux park

So.... If you ever around and about the south west corner of the City of Saskatoon, drop around with your iNaturalist app loaded on your phone, and help us out with a few observations here or there ;-)

Thank you.


Directions are on the webpages to arrive at
George Genereux Urban Regional Park
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
in the City of Saskatoon


THANK YOU for your help on iNaturalist from everyone with their identifications to verify species to "research grade", indeed. Greatly appreciated.


Attached is a short of list of helpful web information and I will keep my eyes open for other helpful web sites, books and resources to add as they come up.-Julia

Well now, there is another way of receiving help on iNaturalist. User Torgos23 has a list of helpful identifiers on iNaturalist on their profile page for various organisms! User Torgos23

User / Curator Cedric Lee also has a resource list - starts out in California, but has broad resources as well.

iNaturalist Tech Tips by Vermont Atlas' of Life Journal

This is a very valuable note about research grade! by user jgw-atx

~North American iNaturalist Guides

~Helpful journals, guides, tips from iNat users

~iNaturalist Journal of Mary Krieger

~iNaturalist Nathan Taylor "Links I Use a Lot"

-List of Online Resources by AT csledge

~iNaturalist "What to photograph" When it comes to a plant which is unknown, which plant parts should be photographed to help to create an identification "What to photograph"

~Getting Good Photos For Identification

~Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre iNaturalist Project


~Asteraceae An illustrated key to the Asteraceae of Alberta

~Biota of North America Program BONAP USDA

~Book: TITLE Plants of the Western Rangelands

-Buffaloberry - which is which? leaves and thorns

~Colin's Virtual Herbarium (based out of Regina SK)

~Facebook Plant Identification

~Facebook Saskatchewan Native Plants - Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan

~Fire Effects Information System

- [Linum compactum(

~Flora of North America

~Integrated Taxonomic Information System ITIS

~Invasive Species Cards features invasive plants including thistles, fish, bugs etc

~Key to the major groups and families of vascular plants in Alberta illustrated

~Lactuca in Manitoba - More Puzzles - an amazing way to tell apart the blue lettuce species of flowers

~Minnesota Wildflowers

-Name change.
Name change. American Stinging Nettle Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis

-Name Change Name change. L. tatarica is now considered to be a Eurasian sp., not found in North America, and L. tatarica var. pulchella =the native species- has been elevated to a full species, L. pulchella.

~Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan resources

~Nature Saskatchewan Resources

~ Saskatoon Nature Society Resources

~Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Species lists

~Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan PCAP resources

~Sask Wildflowers

-Small Dicot Families Taxon Keys with drawings from Alberta

~Trees, insects and diseases of Canada's forests

~University of Saskatchewan Virtual Herbarium of Plants at Risk -->If a genus contains a species at risk, the taxonomic key for the genus is given

~USDA Plant Database

~Vascular plants of Canada VASCAN

~Western Wild Flowers book online

-Willows Salix ID

~Xerces Society Native Thistles Conservation Guide

Graminoids (grasses):

~Boreal Forest

~Nature SK Book: Sedges (Carex) of Saskatchewan

Fungi (Mushrooms):
~Boletes of California

-Bushcraft Ecosystem Journal not resources, but rather projects to do!

~Facebook Fungus Identification also "Tips for Mushroom Identification" when picture taking

~Facebook Mushroom Identification Group

~Facebook Saskatchewan Mycological Working Group -->These folks offer a Beginner's Mushroom ID movie if you check out their announcement page.

-genus stereum taxonomy changes note = false turkey tail

-AT ksanderson mushroom resources pdf file

~Main features for identifying a mushroom

~Mushroom Expert

~Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Species lists

~The Ultimate Mushroom Resource List --->AMAZING list put together by AT Sigrid Jakob Check it Out if you want more about Fungi!!!

~ Trial field key to the BOLETES in the Pacific Northwest

~Wisconsin State Herbarium -->Mycology collections portal

~Web page Mushroom Observer is similar to Bug Guide, and one can submit their photos their for identification.


~All you ever wanted to know about lichens
~Boreal Forest Lichens

~Discover Life | All living things | Lichens USID

~Facebook Lichen Identification and Appreciation


~Non Vascular Lecture Series by Moss Geek

~Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Species lists

~USDA About Lichens

~Wisconsin State Herbarium Lichen Portal --> Lichen Portal


-@ astorey_botany has a listing of moss identifier webpages listed.

~The Mosses of Saskatchewan Part 5 from Biodiversity SK

~Mosses of the Prairies of West Central Canada by C.D. Bird.

~Nature SK Book Ferns and Fern Allies of Saskatchewan


Vertebrate and Invertebrate Species:

-Bats / Bats of Alberta AT Jasn Headley Profile page with links

~Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Species lists

~Saskatchewan Herptiles Guide on iNaturalist by SCDC

~Saskatchewan Mammals Guide on iNaturalist by SCDC

~For bones / skulls, check out the links from this page

Aves Birds :
~Ebird: by region or by hotspot

~MacCauley Library by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

~Saskatoon Nature Society Field Checklist of Saskatchewan Birds

Arthopods (Insects):
-Identification method

~Arthropod Identification

~Bug Guide

~"Calconey" Profile - Timothy Frey Curator has amazing Gall Resources
-->Recommended Gall Identification Resources for the eastern United States Getting started - great new resource from AT megachile and AT jeffdc
-->Daniel McCloskey AT ddennism - Goldenrod Galls

--Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

~caterpillar resources AT k8thegr8

-Cricket Songs! A note by AT kjudge check it out

-Goldenrod Galls by AT ddennism

-Golderod Leaf Bunch Galls by AT ddennism

~Nomolosx profile page has great resources for any kind of hoppers.

-->Tips for Gall Hunting and Gall Correspondences
-->Tommi Nyman - Aspen gallers -

-->Galls with pictures. 50 types of galls on various native Manitoba plants My Manitoba Gall’ry. Version René Ammann

~Field/Photo ID for Flies

~from AT kjudge for Othoptera [grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (katydids)] For a great resource on identifying Orthoptera, including dichotomous keys, see Vickery and Kevan 1985 Insects and Arachnids of Canada, Part 14:

~Matthias Buck resources

~Saskatoon Nature Society Checklist of Checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies in the Saskatoon Area and Checklist Saskatoon Area Butterflies

~The Order of Lepidoptera in the Northeastern United States & Canada By Chris Alice Kratzer, 2015

~Visual Aid to Identifying Moths of North America found from iNat curator...mamestraconfigurata

~Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation

AT berkshirenaturalist resources on Slugs.

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