The so-called “Man of the Trees” would be proud of a Saskatoon woman who is now speaking up for a quiet forest that sits on the outskirts of a rapidly growing city.
The forest of mixed trees sits near the Southwest Off-Leash Dog Park in Saskatoon and is named after one of the city's early environmentalists and world-renowned forester Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker. Baker was known as the “Man of the Trees.”
Julia Adamson discovered the forest by accident, but it’s an oasis of wilderness she and her dog enjoy. In fact, the forest has often been a subject of one of her other passions, photography. Adamson gets some beautiful shots of the forest. But at times, she said, keeping the setting natural is a challenge
“It should be something just beautiful and you shouldn't have to be cropping out couches and futons and discarded ceiling tiles and things like that.”
This week Adamson brought her concerns to city hall, urging councillors to consider making some simple changes to help ensure the forest will survive.
Beyond the trash that’s collecting there, the forest is also under pressure from a rapidly growing city. It’s close to Saskatoon’s landfill and the new site for Saskatoon Transit's bus barn.
Adamson isn’t asking for much, perhaps some signs, a fence and a way to keep traffic out. She’d also like to make people more aware of the forest and its significance to the city.
"Everybody just thinks it's this no man's land or just another grove of trees growing on the prairie kind of thing because there's no sign, no fence, no traffic bollards, no anything to make it look like it belongs to anybody,” said Adamson.
Already, her pleas have met with some favourable response. Some environmental groups in Saskatoon have stepped up to say they'd like to help clean up the forest.