Unplanned and poorly planned development in Saskatoon is taking its toll on natural areas around the city. The Northeast Swale, a lovely piece of natural grassland and wetland north of the Silverspring neighbourhood, is being placed at risk by two major parkways that the city is planning to build through its heart.
Writer Candace Savage (A Geography of Blood, and Prairie: A Natural History) is part of a growing group of concerned people who want to see a better plan for the swale. The "Northeast Swale Watchers" group has a new website and recently released the video shown above. As their site says, the swale is "a ribbon of wild prairie and natural wetlands that represents the conservation opportunity of a lifetime for the City of Saskatoon."
It's not that there should not be more urban development in a place like Saskatoon--it is a matter of doing it in ways that create a full mix of human-friendly and nature-friendly landscape. With the swale there is an unprecedented opportunity to create a larger, connected greenspace--one that would be the pride of the province. Saskatoon can do this--if you live there, think about it when you vote in the upcoming civic election.
As Candace says at the end of this video, "The best we can imagine is the least we should settle for."
It is time to celebrate--especially if you were one of the 137 people who submitted comments to the Province expressing concerns about the harm that wind turbines could bring to the native grasslands and wetlands around Chaplin Lake.
Today the Saskatchewan Government put out a news release with the following headline:
Thanks to the good work and cooperation of the Saskatchewan environmental community (Nature Saskatchewan, Nature Regina, the Sask Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Public Pastures--Public Interest, and many others), the Chaplin project has been turned down and some strong new siting guidelines have been released by the province. Saskatchewan has a chance here to be a leader in ecologically sensitive siting of wind energy projects.
Here is a CBC story on the announcement--more will be on news later today.