Honoring Varsity View Community Association

Honoring Varsity View Community Association: A Beacon of Support for the City Nature Challenge

Introduction: In the heart of Saskatoon lies the vibrant neighborhood of Varsity View, where community spirit thrives amidst lush greenspaces and a rich history of environmental stewardship. At the forefront of this community stands the Varsity View Community Association, a beacon of support and collaboration in championing initiatives that celebrate and protect our natural heritage. Among these endeavors, their partnership with the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas in promoting the City Nature Challenge shines brightly as a testament to their dedication to environmental education and community engagement.

A Legacy of Environmental Championship: The roots of Varsity View run deep with a legacy of environmental championship, as evidenced by the planting of 1500 spruce trees in President Murray Park under the supervision of Wyndham Winkler Ashley, a pioneer in Saskatoon's Parks Board. Ashley's tireless efforts in tree planting and community service have left an indelible mark on the neighborhood, shaping its landscape and fostering a culture of environmental consciousness that endures to this day.

Greenspaces and Community Centers: Varsity View boasts four breathtaking greenspaces—Raoul Wallenberg Park, Cumberland Park, Albert Park, and President Murray Park—each offering residents a serene escape into nature's embrace. These oases of greenery serve as invaluable sanctuaries for both wildlife and community gatherings, reflecting Varsity View's commitment to enjoying and celebrating its natural surroundings.

Additionally, the community's rich tapestry is woven with essential amenities, including the municipal heritage site the Albert Community Centre, Kinsmen Children's Centre, and Luthercare Communities, which provide vital support and services to residents of all ages.

Historical Significance and Urban Development: The historical significance of Varsity View is palpable, with landmarks like the iconic Bottomley House—a municipal heritage property—and the revered Albert School, which played a pivotal role in city sports and education for decades. The neighborhood's evolution, spurred by the establishment of the University of Saskatchewan in 1907, reflects a harmonious blend of tradition and progress, with each street and structure bearing witness to the passage of time.

A Thank You to Varsity View Community Association: In light of their unwavering support and collaboration with the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas, we extend our deepest gratitude to the Varsity View Community Association. Your commitment to networking and spreading the word about the City Nature Challenge has been instrumental in inspiring residents to connect with and appreciate the natural wonders of our city. Your tireless efforts in organizing events, coordinating programs, and celebrating outdoor spaces exemplify the true spirit of community stewardship and serve as an inspiration to us all.

Conclusion: As we celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature through the City Nature Challenge, let us also take a moment to acknowledge and honor the invaluable contributions of the Varsity View Community Association. Together, we can continue to nurture and protect our natural heritage for generations to come, ensuring that Varsity View remains a vibrant and thriving community where nature and community flourish hand in hand.

President Murray, (1866-1945). Walter Charles Murray, the inaugural President of the University of Saskatchewan from 1908 to 1937, was a visionary leader and educator who shaped the institution's educational policies and ethos, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to influence the university's trajectory.  Known for his resourcefulness and skills in negotiation, Murray was actively involved in local, provincial, and national organizations, contributing to a greater understanding between native-born Canadians and settlers of European origin. His legacy lives on as a driving force in shaping the educational policies and community spirit of the University of Saskatchewan.

Saskatoon Public Library Image Wyndham Winkler Ashley (1882-1967), a passionate environmentalist, member of the Saskatoon and Saskatchewan Horticultural societies and charter member of the Saskatoon Parks Board for 45 years, dedicated his life to planting trees, beautifying the city's streets, and promoting community service.   Did you know?  W.W. Ashley sent out approximately 2,000 packages of seeds each year for 12 years, helping to establish shelter belts across the province and contributing to the greening of Saskatchewan's landscape. Ashley's efforts not only beautified our cities but also played a crucial role in environmental conservation.