Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
At the time of the last glacier, a meltwater spillway carved a swale from an area on the present-day North Saskatchewan River close to Langham to the South Saskatchewan River near Yorath Island. The land, dotted with sloughs, is known today as the West Swale. It rims Montgomery Place to the west and the south.
In 1972 a crew from the City of Saskatoon Parks Department planted two forest areas in the swale – one south of Montgomery Place and another west of the neighbourhood, just west of Highway 7. The southern forest was named the Richard Ste. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area after a noted conservationist who lived in Saskatoon for a time. The western forest was named the George Genereux Urban Regional Park after a Saskatchewan Olympian trap-shooter.
The St. Barbe Baker forest is 132 hectares (326 acres) while the Genereux forest is 132 hectares (326 acres). Chappell Marsh Conservation Area, established in 2011, lies immediately to the south of the St. Barbe Baker forest and contains 60 hectares (148 acres). The areas include wetland and grassland in addition to mixed forest, providing habitat for all manner of wildlife.
In 2013 the St. Barbe Baker forest was divided into three sections, with the centre sections designated an off-leash dog park. Sometime later the Fatlanders fat bike group established trails through the forest.
At its June 2015 meeting, the Montgomery Place Community Association passed a motion to “support sustaining the St. Barbe Baker Forest as an urban forest of significance.”
In 2019 a non-profit, charitable volunteer group to support the forest was established by Julia Adamson and can be reached at https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com/ or FriendsAfforestation@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/RichardStBarbeBakerAfforestationArea/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/GeorgeGenereuxUrbanRegionalPark.