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President's message

By now, many of you will have received your copy of "Birds of Saskatchewan". I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy this expansive book with its beautiful pictures. Congratulations to Nature Saskatchewan, the editors: Alan Smith, Stuart Houston and Frank Roy, along with all the authors, photographers, reviewers and other volunteers who produced this amazing body of work. Thank you to Donna Bruce for coordinating the distribution of pre-ordered books. The Society was tasked with distributing over 250 books to about 150 people in the Saskatoon area. Thanks also to the volunteers who helped distribute the books in short order.

In November, I attended a book launch for "Man of the Trees: Richard St Barbe Baker, The First Global Conservationist" by Saskatoon author, Paul Hanley. Many of you may have first heard of Baker in the Society's "Nature Viewing Sites" book. See pages 122-125 (chapter 28) for information about the afforestation area named after Baker, who came to Canada from England 1909 and was a student at the University of Saskatchewan. He went back to England to study forestry, becoming a conservator of forests in Africa. In 1922, he started the first environmental non-governmental organization, The Men of the Trees, which in 1992 became the International Tree Foundation (ITF). The last tree that Baker planted was in 1982, near the John Diefenbaker Centre. Baker is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery which seems fitting as the Cemetery is designated a National Historic site with its memorial avenue of elm trees.

The City of Saskatoon annexed a portion of the afforestation area in 1963, but today it is within the city limits. The area has been in the news over the last couple of years as local residents have worked tirelessly to clean up the site, which had become a dumping ground for garbage and other waste. With the publication of Hanley's book, there is renewed interest within the community, and plans are being discussed to install appropriate signage and barriers to restrict access by motorized vehicles to reduce its appeal as a dump site. We have offered an annual field trip to this unique site for the last couple of years.

Our March Annual General Meeting is fast approaching. At the AGM we will elect a new Board and members will have the opportunity to share their pictures of nature. We love to see those photos so start getting them organized. Also, please consider volunteering for the Board. Contact Marten Stoffel at 306-230-9291 or asio.otus [at] for more information. Thank you to all of you who contribute your volunteer time to the Society. Please send an estimate of your volunteer hours to our treasurer, Yvonne Cuttle, at or 306-374- 5228. This information is submitted to Nature Saskatchewan and is used to support grant applications. Thank you too to those who have switched to receiving the newsletters via e-mail as postal rates increased recently. Please contact Claire Bullaro at c.bear [at] to switch over to receipt of the newsletter via e-mail.

Valerie Martz
SNS President

Last updated: 9 February, 2019